Old Durban Photos

posted in: Pictures 61


I was sent these pictures of Durban taken probably in the 1920s / 1930s.  Click on the pictures to enlarge. Dbn View from CuthbertsThis postcard shows the view of Durban looking across the Bay towards the Bluff.

Dbn North Pier BuildingThis is an interesting one showing the construction of the North Pier. As a youngster I used to fish off pier into the channel. I recall that a single railway line was left in place and ran down the middle of the pier. This pier has now been demolished and removed to allow for the widening of the channel.

Dbn Marine ParadeThis picture is of the Marine Parade showing the bowling greens which were a feature of the beachfront even up to the 1960s. The now demolished Model Dairy building on the Lower Marine Parade is in the background. The Lower Marine Parade as well no longer exists.

Dbn Lighthouse TRoomThis picture is before my time. I cannot place exactly where it was perhaps the view site that was on the top of the Bluff.

Dbn Floating HotelAnother interesting picture showing what I think was called the Floating Hotel.

Dbn EsplanadeThe Durban Esplanade in different times. Note the yachts parked on the side walk.  The building on the left would be the Durban Club and in the distance the Marine Hotel, another building which was demolished.

Dbn X L TRoomThen a modern day picture showing the Little Top and the XL TeaRoom. The bowling greens still there.  In the background were the beach trampolines which were popular at the time. DBN West StWest Street at Christmas time. Looking at the VW I would say early 70s. West Street now one way towards the Beach, Smith Street was one way down the other way.

I received two photos from a Durbanite now living in the UK.  The flower sellers one shows their original location in the 50s/60s outside the Soldiers Way entrance to the Durban Station.  The suburban train platform building in the background.  This is the building which was moved when Pine Street was realigned and is now a gym.  Note the blue Durban Corporation public telephone kiosk .  The flower sellers were moved from this site to an area opposite the Post Office Church Street side when the area they were on was acquired to build the parking garage. To commemorate the flower sellers who had been on this spot for many years,  a wall plaque of an Indian man and woman flower seller was mounted on the side of Poynton House.  Flower Sellers Durban Station The second picture is hard to date but looks like late 60s looking at the Ford Zephyr (?) passing by. I have not had the chance to identify all the buildings in the background. The rickshaw puller’s costume is still more flamboyant than some of the poor imitations one sees today.

Ricksha Marine Parade DurbanA historic photo showing the construction of the North Pier. No indication of the date. The locomotive appears to be  an Natal Govt. Railways Hunslet Tank Loco 0-6-0 named the “John Milne”. Built by Hunslet in 1879 as the first locomotive for the Natal Harbour Board.

FAD North Pier Building






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61 Responses

  1. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Two additional photos have been added.

  2. Lynn Raw
    | Reply

    The wall plaque of an Indian man and woman flower seller was by Mary Stainbank (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Stainbank ).

  3. Keith Thomas
    | Reply

    Is the building on the right of the photograph not the old Eden Roc Hotel

    • Yvonne Marais Horak

      Yes it was owned and run by the Frazer family. They were known for their excellent Old Years eve Ball. I was Bridesmaid at the wedding of the youngest son who married a friend and a colleague of mine. THOSE were really the GOOD OLE Classy days!! Further up was the old Torquay Hotel. That was owned by parents of Lynton Israel . Now I think the Maharani or Elangeni is there. Anyhow a few years later the Torquay made way for Hylton who teemed up with Solly Kerzner for the new Hotel. Solly’s Parents owned the Old Manora Hotel for many years and then Solly also bought the Old Palace Hotel at he back near to where the Claridges was -South Beach end. Claridges was then new and a Friday sunset get together for the Social Crowd at the Cookie look !! Never missed that we did. Gosh ! I knew them all as we were the young Party Crowd in those days. We ended up all over the Globe later years. How the years have flown.Maybe you remember some of those too Keith. !

    • Gerald

      Hi Yvonne
      Thanks for the input. I am not familiar with the Manora Hotel. Was that in Durban? I met Sol Kerzner when he built the Beverley Hills Hotel in a rather remote place then, called Umhlanga! I was involved with PABXs and the hotel had a problem and I was called out to sort it out one Friday evening which I did. I never took up Sol’s offer of dinner on him!! I must say whenever we went to the hotel to do maintenance on the system, a waiter would arrive at the equipment with a tray of tea for us. As you say GOOD OLE days.

  4. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Keith,
    Yes that is the Eden Roc Hotel and continuing to the left: Montezuma (a block of flats),
    on the corner of Somsteu Road the Cumberland Hotel, Althea Court on the other corner, then Kangelani (the tall building) Rialto Court, Myhill Mansions and Mentone Flats. Not sure of the date but the car is a Ford probably late 50s/ early 60s. The road running past the hotels is Snell Parade and it looks like there are some roadworks on the go. I have an idea the road the Ford is on is the one which lead to the Lower Marine Parade which became a one way in that direction. It was the way to get to the two favourites , The Nest and the Cuban Hat.

  5. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    I had the opportunity today of going into Durban Central specifically to take a picture of the wall plaque that I mention in my post about the flower sellers. Here it is taken from the Station building across the road. The plaque is on the Pine Street side of the building. As indicated by Lynn Raw the artist was Mary Stainbank.

    Note the corner shop is still a music store Natal Sound & Music.

  6. ivan beal
    | Reply

    the eden roc hotel is now an old age home, i can remember frequenting the captains table restaurant on top of the eden roc hotel, it was very good with an extensive wine list and very good food

  7. Yvonne Marais Horak
    | Reply

    What a blast from the Past!. Thanks for that Greg. Certainly rekindled some very good Memories AND a few good chuckles. Ivan I nearly forgot about the Captain’s table and the legendary Prawns!Food .Was right up there with the Smorgasbord at the Edward. Another old favourite !. Could write good book about those days.!

    • Steph

      Hi there- are you still in contact with Colleen Frazer and Nico Frazer? I used to live next door to them and have often tried to find her since we moved away in 1990!

    | Reply

    I also remember the Grand Hotel at Tyzak Street,a private hotel,owned by an elderly couple.Not fat was the Four Seasons Hotel.then on the South Beach was the Tropicana Hotel.and not far was a Famous Prawns –Restaurant
    not sure the name.and a Famous Holiday Flats was St.Moritz in West Street,

    • yvonne

      Gosh Danny, good memories coming back.! The Tropicana used to be the Claridges if I remember and Four and Jacks and a Jill used to be there at cocktail hour at the Cookie Look! Boy oh Boy, so were all us from the Beach Crowd and all the Airline Staff and Travel Agents of which I was one.Fridays was the highlight, thereafter dinner of Prawns and then we used to hit the nightspots.In those days Solly Kerzner was also young had just bought the PALACE behind Claridges and used to have Talent Competitions,LONG before the Beverly Hills days. We knew Solly well from his bookings at the Airline .He was still working as an Accountant and his Parents still owned the Kosher Mnora Little Hotel down a side street not far from there. Used to speak to his Parents often as his father used to stand in the door people watching. . Gosh believe me I could write a book about those days !

    | Reply

    Hi Yvonne,I think the hotel is parents owned was in Tyzak Street,he ws also an accountant their.It was a private hotel,mostly fort the Senior Citizens.I also thought that they owned the Grand Hotel.
    Their was also a Prawns Place called the Mykonos ,I used to work at the Killarney Hotel,a very large Hotel painted in Green,it was known as the largest hotel in Africa.owned by Roy Palmer then taken over by the Goldberg Family, those were the good old days.

    • Yvonne Marais-Horak

      Hi Danny,
      Hope you and your family are keeping well and still healthy.
      Oh I do remember the Killarney Hotel so well. Also the Palmerston.. Buller Behm and his Combo were the band there on friday and Saturday nights. Good dance music and was very popular. also . and then the Myconos . Many good seafood meals and prawns we enjoyed there. ! Wow, Durban used to be “THE” Place for all the Transvaal people for holidays. During the July Handicap ,Easter and December it was packed.Durban was a clean Garden City. The gardens and flowers along the City Hall and the Square opposite and the areas around central Durban, Post Office and near the flower Sellers, were also packed with Visitors and many taking photos of the plants and flowers.Hanging flower baskets etc. The Tea Gardens nearby with the fountain , ( cannot remember the name just now) on the Post Office side a bit further up, was so popular too. Off course, some of the best curries were at the Royal Hotel. Was booked out well in advance in Season . Durban was also SAFE then. Lots of people Window Shopping at night up west street. When the Christmas Decorations were up in West Street, it used to be packed at night with people and families enjoying the lights and strolling up West Street. The station in Town was so good for Tourism. It should NEVER have been moved at all. Rather the Rail system improved and geared to Tourists. The trains were safe, absolutely clean. The Compartment had green leather Seats and the linen was immaculately clean for overnight journeys. The railways had the best coffee ever. The meals in the dining room were a treat! and SILVER cutlery, teapots etc.Many people commuted to work in the City Center on suburban trains too. We often did ourselves instead of by bus.I t was safe, even for woman alone and even the last late trains. Railways Police on Platforms and conductors on trains etc/ The cafe at the station had good food and Surprise!, coffee and tea served in heavy Silver Teapots with the railway Emblem engraved on !! Had excellent pies with curry gravy on top too and good chips . One of our childhood favourites. The early full house breakfasts were very good too if arriving by train.Very good sandwiches and Cakes. Many may remember the old Pie Cart that was near the station too. Their Pies and curry gravy was also a late night treat for Revelers. AND the Restaurant at the OK Bazaars, after the shopping was done. The Center City was also much frequented and not just the beach front with all the attractions that were there. Easy to reach the Botanic Gardens in those days by bus from town and the Cream Scones and Tea were a highlight there. The best Botanic Gardens in Africa.! It just was the very very best City in South Africa to live in during those days. Well managed, well organised, SAFE and clean and facilities bar none. Let me know what you are keeping yourself busy with now Danny. and how life has treated you along the way since. Yes, we ALL grow old and good memories are then such a blessing. Best wishes to all.

    • Yvonne Marais-Horak

      Danny yes, He studied as an Accountant after his father refused him to become a Mechanic or a Boxer as he said he had a good head for figures.! Yes he wanted to become a Mechanic loved cars.The family moved to Durban and Sol Kerzner too after graduated. His father bought the building and established the Minora, A Kosher smallishe Hotel, The solly bought the Palace Hotel as well (just behind the Claridges at that time which I think was renamed the Tropicana ) At the Palace they organised a lot of Talent Competitions Friday day nights and had very good Prizes. Then they bought the hotel in Tyzak street, I think it was the Astra. Solly was friends with the son of the people that owned the Torquay Hotel at the time and lot of businesses. Then he moved onto Umhlanga and the Beverly Hills hotel was built. He was still married to his first wife Maureen at that time. They had three children Son Butch(killed in a Helicopter accident in Dominican Republic in 2006 He was CEO of Kerzner Holdings at the time and daughter Andrea She is now CEO and Beverly Kerzner. Hotel in Umhlanga was named after his youngest daughter Beverly.I think they made a draw between the names of the two daughters.Thereafter SOl Kerzner was on his way. Their was talk Lynton from the Torquay/ helped with some funds there in Shares etc and was later bought out.. Never established that for sure myself.

    • DP

      Mykonos! Now that brings back great memories

  10. Roger Wright
    | Reply

    1950-60s it was corned beef sandwiches every Saturday for lunch sitting on the Eden Roc hotel ‘veranda/stoep’. The fabulous Zulu rickshaw plied passed regularly . . . just part of every day life. Miniature railway, and snake park were still popular.

  11. Graeme
    | Reply

    That buliding is Poyton House????

  12. Beryl Coulston
    | Reply

    Remember tbe Blue Lagoon at the mouth of the Umgeni. One had coffee there after Ice skating or whatever. I was in car which went into the river. Hit the headlines in 1957 or was it 1958. Have the cuttings still. There were 4 of us in a baby Fiat. I wonder if people still go there. I have been in the UK since 1959.

  13. Danny Moodley
    | Reply

    Hi Beryl
    Yes,The Blue Lagoon is still in existence,and always very busy,its not like in the 60s,its now very different
    and a Tourist Spot, Its busy every day and is more modern.Many Eating Houses and has a extended
    Car Park.On your visit,you will be surprised

  14. Mariette
    | Reply

    Hi there.
    Can anyone stille remember the “coochie”/ “coochy” (spelling) hotel? My best memories of holidays were in coochie hotel in the early 70’s. If i just can know the address please..?

  15. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Mariette
    You are probably thinking of the Coogee Beach Hotel. Tyzack Street . Tyzack Street runs between Marine Parade and Point Road and is parallel to West Street.

  16. Mariette
    | Reply

    Oooh… thank u soooo much!!!! I would LOVE to go see how it looks like these days!!!

  17. Valerie
    | Reply

    Thank you for posting these old photos of Durban, they bring back such happy memories of an era long gone. I was born in Johannesburg in 1938 but my parents moved to Durban when I was about three years old. My earliest memory was attending a day crèche in Kent House in Smith street. My Grandmother Matilda Swift-Luke owned the Coogee Beach Hotel in Tyzack Street which extended through to Smith Street.
    All the family members worked in the Hotel including my parents. Gordon and Jane Loynes. My parents had a flat in the old Tyzack Mansions Building which my grandmother purchased. I attended Addington Primary School till Standard Three and then continued my education at the Convent in Broad Street.
    Thank you Gerald for posting these old Durban photos they bring back such beautiful memories of an era long gone. I now live in Vancouver, Canada and am in my early eighties.

  18. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    HI Valerie
    You mentioned Kent House and it rang a bell so I decided to try and trace where it was. It was at 509-511 Smith St and Dudley Andrews had his Dance Studio there. That was the memory as in the 60s there were quite a few dance studios in town, Kinrade Potter, Myklebust etc. The building was the premises of Silver Garbus Wholesale Tobacconists, Confectionery (Kilty Sweets) and General Sales. Kent House does not appear in the 1938 Durban Directory I have so must have been relatively new when you went there. The Convent you mentioned I assume is the one in St Andrew’s St which catered for Junior and High school . St Joseph’s which was on the corner of Smith and Broad Sts was only a junior school but the Convent itself for the nuns was in Broad St hence Convent Lane. The Coogee Hotel was being discussed on Face Book recently and there was confirmation it ran from Tyzack to Smith Sts. What years would your grandmother have owned it?
    The name Loynes also rang a bell there was a David Loynes at Marist St Henry’s in the late 50s early 60s. Big boy rather chubby if I recall. Any relation?

    Edit: Here is a picture of Kent House circa 1964. I think Dudley Andrews Studio was upstairs.
    Kent House Smith Street

  19. Roger
    | Reply

    Wonderful read, thank yo Gerald. The Silver Garbus Wholesale Tobacconists building is most impressive architecture, it would stand its ground in many a High street to this day. Looks as though the shop-front sun blinds (awnings) are rolled up, as the sun hadn’t come round looking at the shadows below the vehicles. Roger

  20. Mariette
    | Reply

    Hi there.
    PLEASE can someone send me pictures of the Coogie Hotel?
    I stoll remember the smell of that hotel.
    Good…. GOOOOD old days

  21. Wendy Jackson-Hill
    | Reply

    I am trying to remember the name of a night spot at the Killarney Hotel back in the earl;y 60s not The Monks Inn or The Med, it was before that. Lovely place for Friday and Saturday night dinner dancing. Do hope someone can help my tired old brain!

    • Danny Moodley

      Hello Wendy, I think you are talking about the ELPASO
      or it might be the Zanzibar Room
      some of the Musicians would have been Colin Penn
      Billy Forrest, Jody Wayne with Little Joe and the Travellers
      this is in the 60s. It was a Big Green Painted Hotel
      hope I helped

  22. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Wendy Jackson-Hill,
    The only night spot I can find associated with the Killarney Hotel is the Golden Cage. This from a 1958 Directory.

  23. Yvonne Marais-Horak
    | Reply

    Good Morning, Does anybody know what Happened to the Old Torquay Hotel and what is now on that site in Durban which was then North Beach/Snell Parade I think?

    • Gerald Buttigieg

      Hi Yvonne
      The Torquay Hotel no longer exists as it was demolished in the rejuvenation of the Beach front when many of the old and small hotels that lined the Marine Parade and the Snell Parade were systematically replaced with the new giants to satisfy the then burgeoning tourist trade. The coranavirus has put an abrupt halt to this for the time being. But back to the Torquay. You can do a SEARCH for the Torquay Hotel on this site as it has come up for discussion. But here are a few pictures to revive your memories. The Torquay Hotel as it was
      Torquay Hotel

      It situation on the Beach front virtually opposite the Amphitheatre
      Snell Parade before

      And a later picture with the changes that stated happening.
      Snell Parade later

      I hope this helps.

  24. Yvonne Marais-Horak
    | Reply

    Good Morning,
    I have not been back in Durban now for many years.
    I believe is has become dirty, dilapidated and dangerous. Previously decent suburbs now dirty and rundown. No more walking around . Lot of foreigners, also many syndicates involved in Crime., drugs, illegals and squatters? Even Hotel staff warning Guests on Beachfront.. not safe to venture out after 5? and to be careful of pickpockets and cellphone snatchers etc,
    Is that true?

  25. Roger Wright
    | Reply

    Was ‘The Captain’s Table’ dinning room in the Edenroc hotel? In the 1950-60s

    • Wendy Jackson-Hill

      Yes it was

  26. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Yvonne
    I wont go into a long discussion of what Durban was like and what Durban is now. The demographics have certainly changed and the whole of the beach front, that is what was the lower Marine Parade has now been transformed into a bricked walkway from the Point area right down to the end of the Snell Parade. This walkway is seen as an excellent rejuvenation of the beach front and is attracting Durban families back to the beach front. The CBD has certainly changed and is a sad reflection of what it once was. The new Durban is now Umhlanga. Re your fears; sadly certain areas are no go and the freedom of stepping out on your own to take in the sea air or going walkabout in town is not advisable. Your surname Horak rings a bell but I cannot place it. I am of the old Durban.

    | Reply

    DURBAN IS NOT THE SAME AS IN THE 70s the good old days are over

  28. Yvonne Marais-Horak
    | Reply

    Now with Coronavirus etc, it seems It is going to be some time again before a visit. Will stay in Umhlanga as it has very good memories for us.
    Will then take a trip into Durban to see the new Promenade and Ushaka.
    So nice getting an update. I knew all those Hotels Danny as I worked for an Airline in Durban at that time. Our offices were near the Corner of Gardiner and smith Streets.. Now all the name changes that have taken place, Friends that holidayed there regularly were telling me they do not know what is where and which street is now what? They now holiday in Cape Town and especially the Garden route.From Mosselbay,George, Wilderness ,Plett to Cape Town They do miss all the facilities that were in the “Old Durban”. Durban has the Most beautiful City Hall and Post Office area in South Africa.

  29. Danny Moodley
    | Reply

    Hi. Yvonne. The. Travel. Agent. Was. Rennie’s. Travel. Agent. In. Gave diner. Street. Not. Far. From. The. Station. And. The. Royal. Hotel. And. The. Municipal. Building. Its. Not. The. Same now

    • Yvonne Marais-Horak

      Danny I was referring to British Airways Not Rennies. A very good friend worked at Rennies. Now you reminded me of her mentioning rennies.Thanks for that Danny.

  30. Roger Wright
    | Reply

    Danny might you mean Gardiner Street, Durban?



  31. Yvonne Marais-Horak
    | Reply

    As you possibly know by now Solly Kerzner died on Saturdays evening in Hout Bay and and all his children were present. Andrea , his daughter() from his first marriage with Maureen with whom he had 3 children during the time he developed the Beverley Hills,) took over the management as CEO of Kerzner holdings after her Brother Butch , his eldest son (also with first wife Maureen) was killed in the Helicopter Crash while flying over a piece of land for a new development in the Dominican Republic in 2006 .They helicopter crashed in a roof of a building selling plants. He as well as Pilot and 2 other Business People. Sol then returned as Chairman and his daughter too over as CEO. He always returned to Hout Bay ! The current development he still planned was on additional land he owned around his home in Hout Bay ,are 200 Plots in Hout Bay with Homes costing from 20 Million to 38 Million Rand each. This Project is still ongoing.
    He also off course established the First One and Only Hotel in South Africa in the Waterfront before that.
    He loved South Africa and his estate in Hout Bay very much and used to return every year. He really was an Entrepreneur, AND with a very short fuse and at times when annoyed Language to Match. He has been very ill for some time and sort of secluded in Hout Bay. ! I Knew Solly personally in the days of the Beverly Hills. One of my best friends worked for him and the other one was the Girlfriend of Lynton Israel from the Torquay. They shared a flat in Wendover flats sort of of opposite the snake Park. Solly often used to drive to Durban himself for business sometimes after a function at Beverly Hills, he used to drop off a big platter of Prawns and Seafood at Wendover Flat.. I was often there in the flat when he popped in.. He used to drive a Silver Valiant in those days with the 5 stars of Beverly Hills Hotel and name on the door.He was very down to earth still in those days.We all then moved on in life and went abroad and away from Durban.

  32. Yvonne Marais-Horak
    | Reply

    danny No I was referring to British Airways.

  33. Danny Moodley
    | Reply

    Yes. There. Were. Many. Airline. Agents. In. Durban. Because. There. Were. Many. Travellers. Including. Me.

    • Yvonne Marais-Horak

      Yes Danny you are right, Rennies was just one Agent of many in Durban. But ALL the Agents still had to book you and all Passengers via the Official Office of BEA/British Airways. They went through to the Official Airline office to book you. as BEA/British Airways OWNED the Aircraft and they needed to get seat allocations and pay over your money for your airtickets. Agents could not see or know how many seats were AVAILABLE per Aircraft but the OFFICIAL BA Office did know and allocated the seats.. Mr Mac was the Manager( He was quite a character) and Jean was the Supervisor there and my closet, friends Lorraine Potgieter was another Senior Consultant that dealt with all the bookings from Agents like Rennies and others. We were a happy team and all very good friends, ALL Consultants were flown to BA Head Office and received their training in LONDON before they return to work either in Durban Cape Town or Johannesburg BA Offices. . Lorraine married Pieter Leviux from Swiss Air later on. She was also a Personal friend of Sol Kerzner.!.

  34. Yvonne Marais-Horak
    | Reply

    Danny yes, He studied as an Accountant after his father refused him to become a Mechanic or a Boxer as he said he had a good head for figures.! Yes he wanted to become a Mechanic loved cars.The family moved to Durban and Sol Kerzner too after graduated. His father bought the building and established the Minora, A Kosher smallishe Hotel, The solly bought the Palace Hotel as well (just behind the Claridges at that time which I think was renamed the Tropicana ) At the Palace they organised a lot of Talent Competitions Friday day nights and had very good Prizes. Then they bought the hotel in Tyzak street, I think it was the Astra. Solly was friends with the son of the people that owned the Torquay Hotel at the time and lot of businesses. Then he moved onto Umhlanga and the Beverly Hills hotel was built. He was still married to his first wife Maureen at that time. They had three children Son Butch(killed in a Helicopter accident in Dominican Republic in 2006 He was CEO of Kerzner Holdings at the time and daughter Andrea She is now CEO and Beverly Kerzner. Hotel in Umhlanga was named after his youngest daughter Beverly.I think they made a draw between the names of the two daughters.Thereafter SOl Kerzner was on his way. Their was talk Lynton from the Torquay/ helped with some funds there in Shares etc and was later bought out.. I do not think anybody ever asked as Solly was straight forward and a bit rough around the edges at times and they would certainly have been told to “Mind their “effen Business” a favourite word of his. It is known that he was very good to his Staff and they were all very well paid. but BEWARE if he did an unexpected Visit,which he often did and found some lapses or something that was not to his standard of service he expected. . A meeting would be called Immediately with the top Management of the Hotel and he would start off the meeting by asking” What the effen hell is going on here “? His friend lynton from the Torquay was the opposite a real Gentleman. sol also had a great sense of humour ! Well there are lot of stories I could tell from those days and the Beverly Hills. Alas NOW, the Elangeni and Maharani Ibelieve, is not what they used to be in those days from recent Guests who have stayed there before MSC Cruises they were booked on. .

  35. Danny Moodley
    | Reply

    Thomas Cook was another well Known Agent. they were in Gardiner Street Durban. give us a get together
    a week before we leave for our Trip overseas. Good Old Days

    • Yvonne Marais-Horak

      At this time it is not wise to travel. we travel about 4 times a year as my Husband is also retired from an Airline Lufthansa and still also has his travel Benefits and Hotel discounts which certainly cuts costs and we both also get generous discounts from some lovely hotels,After 3 years in London, 8 years in Germany and Bavaria ,then USA, Sydney , Islands ,Chile ,then Hong kong ,Thailand and then Singapore and back to Cape Town, we have many friends in all these place. We managed over the years to visit about 131 Countries. So anybody with Travel Questions, feel free to ask.. But now with coronavirus, our cruising and gallivanting has been curtailed drastically and now currently March 2020, virtually totally. So be careful in your Travels ,then Danny and check Schengen and ALL other Visa requiring Countries for South Africans and their Updates and restrictions. Airlines CAN refuse to EMBARK Passengers who have visited certain Countries now with Corona Virus and also for many other reasons Passengers maybe not aware of..

  36. Rex Butland
    | Reply

    Can anyone please confirm the date of the FIRE that destroyed LONDON CHAMBERS in West Street, Durban (circa 1950 – 1955?). Ward & Salmons, Men’s Outfitters were on the ground floor. I’m not sure if their other location in West Street (nearer Ansteys Department Store) was before or after the FIRE (l think it was after the destruction of London Chambers).

    Thank you
    Rex Butland
    Durban (1945 – 1978)
    England (since 1978)

  37. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    HI Rex
    I remember the Ward and Salmons shop being adjacent to Ansteys so that must have been after the fire. There is quite a bit on the fire and comment on this site. Do a SEARCH for “Ward and Salmons fire”. There is no definitive date given but your estimate is good. Between 1952-1959 was indicated. I would say earlier than 59. Hopefully some one comes up with a date.

    • john

      i used to walk to newtons from west street every sunday .On my way i used to buy a packet of fresh chips from the wimpy on west street.what a beautiful place durban was in the good old days.the architecture of stuttafords building at west street drew my attention every time.

  38. Rex Butland
    | Reply

    Thank you for your response Gerald. We meet again: first on Facebook, now this forum.
    My earlier note referred to 1950 – 1955 (not 1959). Key events in my childhood will help to narrow down the dates, so here’s an offering, subject to possible memory loss after so many years (l’m now 75+): we lived in Ellis Park, Durban North until the end of 1956 then moved to Monteith Place (also Durban North) following the death of my maternal grandparents in September and December 1956. I was in England for three to four months during 1957. My parents acquired their first car in 1953/1954 and it was my father who drove us in that car to witness the FIRE that fateful night. Unless my memory is deceiving me, Gerald, that’s my best guess (ie:1953/54).

  39. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Rex
    I prefer this forum to FB as all comments here are archived and accessible, The only problem the subject matter gets mixed up as people respond with odd answers. You need to do a SEARCH. I will try and get a definitive date for the fire as I have been asked before.

  40. Roger Wright
    | Reply

    Every Saturday we’d buy 6d bag of well-salted chips, in Railway Street, outside Pinetown railway station, always wrapped in fresh newspaper, lovely (the chips I mean)! Then walk around watching the fabulous steam trains, and occasionally some shunting, or best of all a loco being reversed on the turning triangle. You might recall the far end buffer stop of the triangle was immediately above the then new national dual-carriageway (M13) highway, and just towards Durban (on the right) was a plot of land boldly signed it would be Aspro’s new factory.

  41. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Roger
    re Aspro (the headache tablet) was it not associated with Nicholas products? They had a manufacturing plant in Pinetown and I serviced their PABX telephone system.

  42. Roger Wright
    | Reply

    Hi Gerald, I am not familiar with the company Nicholas products, quite possibly. My recollection is Aspro were, or soon were, owned by the Beyer group.
    Did you work for Edison Swan in telephones? I did and was sent for comprehensive training by way of a Sandwich course, to their UK factory Siemens Edison Swan in Woolwich, SE London.

    • Gerald Buttigieg

      Hi Roger
      I knew of Edison Swan as the South African Dept of Posts and Telegraphs imported their telephone sets. I worked mainly with ATE Liverpool, automatic telephone exchange equipment basically the Strowger system. Also known as the two motion system, vertical and rotary.

      You do not see Aspro here in SA anymore but Bayer Aspirin still available.

    | Reply

    Hi All
    I am sure that Bayer SA was the producer of ASPRO
    which was good for Headaches—and some other Pains

  44. Roger Wright
    | Reply

    Hi Gerald, yup, the Pre2000, 2000 and 4000 two-motion selectors (with A, B and P wires). However SA went on to use the fast Motor-uniselectors. The ‘stop’ arresting relay was very high speed single-changeover with an operating time of a few milliseconds. I worked on all four systems and finally a little with the Erikson’s crossbar; big heavy ‘switches’, but fundamentally a nice system. Then came the short lived E&M (emerging and merging system) unimpressed with it, and touch tone, and at that time there was an attempt to have video-phone connections . . . bandwidth was the predictable Achilles heel! . Then the very first of the electronic exchanges at Highgate Wood (N London), designed and created in five ‘function’ areas by ‘big five’ manufacturers . . . talk about designed by a blind committee. The five combined elements constituting a 10,000 line exchange was initially a manifest failure, with some good elements! However ultimately our present-day electronic exchanges resulted. I started with Edison Swan in Durban and worked as technician, visiting interesting sites, factories like Lion match, Dunlop (tyres), Castle beer, numerous offices in the upper floors in West, Smith and Pine Street, and some dirty dingy old buildings in the docks/customs. Great time.

  45. Rev Paul Bester
    | Reply

    Hi everyone, Thanks for the memories. I am an old Hillary boy (born 1941). Does anyone remember the super lunch in the Royal hotel basement. Couple of beers and rotating cheese platter with fresh rolls. Eat as mich as you like. I think it was 5 shillings? My violin teacher was George Walker (Civic Orchestra) in the art centre between the bioscopes. Prince street was the home of some family- small tenament houses with a beach sand road. Had a huge fishing family and favourite was the now demolished pier. Councillor Harold Axelsen was our beloved neighbour. Mother was receptionist for Dr Hotz. Sybil was mayoress. I’m jumping years but early memories are still precious. New years eve in front of the town hall was a must. Couple of thousand people- and everyone kissed each other! Last busses home ran at about one in the morning! Umhlanga was mostly bush. Cousin Barry was lifesaver on South Beach. I sometimes shared duties which largely comprised seeing to the protection of young ladies. Holiday seasons you could find entertainment and music up to 2am. Trolly bus on snell parade would stop if sardines beached to let the passengers stuff some into a handbag! Played in the band at the ice shows. What entertainment and of course pocket money for the rest of the year. Played in concerts for the naval base on Salsbury island. Joan Brickhill & Louis Burke were in the troupe and very kind to me. What about the beauty of the old Durban Railway station. Father built steam engines in shop 5. Trains were ON TIME! Ulundi curry restaurant at the Royal. British Sporting and Dining club for Persian curries. Saltories restaurant above old mutual offices cnr of West and gardiner. El matador for late night snack. Yacht mole for lunch. Litlle lads changing comics on Prince’s bioscope steps on Sat morning(double show). Roxy and Oxford tearoom bioscopes. Tobacconist opposite station.(was that Tennysons?). Fishing in a rowing boat in the bay at night (think that was illegal). Grandpa was diver inspecting the wharf underwater. You have all enriched my memories – thankyou. Paul

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