Save the stables

posted in: InfoRequests 11

We have had quite a few queries in recent days about the history of the Newmarket Stables in Durban which are apparently threatened with closure. If anyone has old photos or knows anything about the historic background it might help to confirm the stables’ status as a Durban landmark worth saving. Please leave a comment below or message me via the Contact page if you can help.

Suzor’s Bend

And here’s a  puzzle. I have received a query from Arthur Gammage about Suzor’s Corner which is a bend in the old main road just outside Durban. I was sure I had had correspondence with regard to the origins of the name but can’t find anything on this site or in my email archives. Arthur wrote:

On the old highway from Durban to Pinetown, the R103, just on the west side of the bridge over the N2 freeway, is an S-curve known locally as Suzor’s Bend.  All I can find on the web is an article by Jock Leyden about a motorcycle race, which he watched from this place. The relevant text is as follows.

 “Rain dripped from my hair and trickled down the back of my collar. My feet were wet and muddy, but in the excitement of watching my first motorcycle race, I didn’t worry about such minor discomforts. I was one among hundreds standing on the high side of Suzor’s corner waiting for the riders in the 1927 Natal “100” to pass on their homeward journey. Big crowds always collected at this sharp-angled horizon bend for this race as well as the great Durban-Jo’burg classic. Suzor’s had been so named after Ralph Suzor had collided with a Zulu woman in the 1924 Jo’burg race (It is the right hand sweep immediately after leaving the Durban City Boundary).”

 I seem to remember reading that Suzor was fatally injured in this accident, but have no confirmation of this.  Any information or leads would be appreciated.

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11 Responses

  1. Allan Jackson
    | Reply

    This comment by Mike Kamionka was moved from the Lee Men page where he originally left it to this one which is where information to do with Newmarket Stables will be collected. Ed.

    Attached find a link to the Newmarket Stables Facebook. A few photos appear there.

    Alas, the 2nd link is about the imminent closure of the stable..

    Mike Kamionka

  2. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    The name Suzor has been worrying me when it was posted as I recalled it but could not remember where from. I know nothing about Suzor’s Bend but had a look in the Durban directories I have and I think I have solved my problem. In the 1968 directory, R. Suzor & Co is listed as Electrical Engineers and Contractors working out of 1 Cambridge Ave (off Hannah Road) Congella. This would be near Congella Park. I could not relate to this so had a look at the 1938 Directory. R. Suzor & Co. are listed as Electrical Engineers and based at 8 Turner’s Ave which runs between Moore and Berea Roads. Turner’s Ave met Berea Road virtually opposite where the Alvin Cinema was and on the corner of where Moosa’s and Mahomedy’s were situated in Berea Road. When I lived in Moore Road in the mid 1950s, Turner’s Ave was the beaten track to get to the buses going up and down Berea Road as they were more frequent than the Moore Road buses which was the Manor Gardens and Nursing Homes (Entabeni / St Augustine’s) route. Although I cannot categorically say this is a living memory but there must have been a billboard with the company’s name which one saw often and so became a memory. Another I recall in Turner’s Avenue was Natal Ruling Company which many years later I used their services as book binders. Not much of a lead but it has got Suzor’s out of my head.

  3. Jacqueline Yallup
    | Reply

    My grandmother, Helen Copley daughter of Stanley Copley stabled at these stables. I do have some old photo’s which I will go through once my family have left and I have time to go through, them. I know there are some gymkhana ones which will be of interest I am sure. One finds it hard to imagine riding horses along the Durban beach, she said she always had a swim with her horses in front of the club.

    • Tom HINE.

      Hello Jacqueline! So pleased to think this may reach you – I did try about a year ago hoping you may be able to help me, but perhaps it didn’t reach you. I’m a well retired Berkshire water-mill historian and 50 years ago used to live in Maritzburg. (Bulwer St)…happy memories, my youngest son (Pieter) was born at ‘Greys’. My question I would ask is do you know if the HODSON brothers (Caversham Mill) came from the Reading area here in Berkshire? I’m sure I read somewhere that they came from my area. I go every week to our National Mills Archive (in Reading) and would love to clear up this little query at the back of my mind and add the information at the archive. Thanks and My Kind Regards, Tom Hine.

    • jacqueline yallup

      Hello Tom, Sorry I missed this message. Please contact me on: I will be able to answer your questions, but yes they did come from Reading. Having been in Bulwer Road you will most probably have known My great Aunty Doreen Woods (nee Holliday) and her niece Betty Wylie. Now they were also descendants of the Hodson family.
      I look forward to hearing from you.

      Kind regards

  4. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Jacqueline,
    Welcome to FAD! The Stables are quite newsworthy at the moment as it seems their demolition is on the cards. If you want to have the photos you have posted on this site, go to CONTACT US on the banner at the top of this page and get in touch with Allan Jackson who will guide you.

    • jacqueline yallup

      Hi Gerry, I have sent some photo’s of the Copley family through still have more sorting to do. Gerry please could you e-mail me I have the address on the reply to Tom Hine. There is much to catch up on with the family and have a few questions with regard to the family tree.


  5. Karen Lange
    | Reply

    We need to save Newmarket Stables. Were it not for them I wouldnt have experienced the joy of riding & love of horses that has endured almos 40+ years since I 1st learnt to ride there age 6/7. I spent many hours after school & every weekend there. The stables are unique as they allow city dwellers access to this wonderful pastime, animal interaction & even theraputic benefit to disabled people who would not be able to access this should the stables be closed. Surely there us an alternative to excluding this recreational & especially this sporting venue? As I understand it, ABSA rugby stadium is facing closure with the possibility of utilising the new 2010 Kingsmead football stadium. Could not the city negotiate a deal whereby they take over ABSA stadium & still save the stables? After all our constitution includes the preservation of the rights of minorities, which surely this equestrian centre embodies; not to mention the theraputic services it renders to the disabled. I ask council to seriously consider their motives for this closure. Financial gain vs humanitarian provision for a disadvantaged minority & a prejudicial bias against equestrian sports. The city has a unique opportunity to promote itself in supporting this apparent yet necessary minority. Karen Lange

  6. Kathy
    | Reply

    What would we need to declare it a historical site?

  7. Lea Ann
    | Reply

    It would seem the plans for an football academy are forging ahead. The academy contractors are apparently starting work around mid Jan 2017. Really devastating that horse riding will no longer be an option for many local Durban people who are unable to travel to the upper highway area or to the north coast to ride. So many unused soccer pitches in the greater Durban area already and of course the mostly unused stadium too … so sad that equestrian sport in Durban is being made extinct due to another sport discipline. Democracy … what democracy! One cannot build happiness at the expense of others. 🙁

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