HMS Durban

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As part of the research for the book Facts About Durban I collected details on a number of ships which were named after Durban and I posted them on the site here. A little while later I not only discovered that HMS Durban had visited Durban in 1926 but managed to buy a copy of the souvenir booklet produced by the Durban Publicity Association in honour of the occasion.

It was packed with interesting information about the Durban of those days and I posted a page with some of the details. A little while ago a reader asked if I could provide the entire contents of the booklet for some research they were doing so I scanned the whole thing and uploaded it to this site. The download link is on the visit page if anyone is interested.

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3 Responses

  1. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    That is a real collector’s item, Allan and I have down loaded it to add to my collection of Durban memorabilia. What I find interesting about these type of publications is that within them you get clues about what was current at the time. My particular interest is in the telephone exchanges of Durban and here we are given that two exchanges had just been opened on the Berea. In addition it states that the Central Exchange had not yet been automated by 1926. As there were only 6 telephone exchanges ever built by the Durban Corporation Telephone Department, the information in the booklet gives a timeline. No doubt somewhere in the archives there could be found when all 6 exchanges were commissioned but that type of information is not readily available. However what can be deduced is that the Stamford Hill Exchange in Windermere Road has the year “1923” on the facade which must be one of the exchanges. The only other exchange on the Berea was The Toll Gate exchange (in Berea Road near Hunt Road) which means it was commissioned in 1925/1926. The Stamford Hill Exchange code was “3” (all numbers began with 3) and Tollgate’s code was “4”. So what of the other code digts then? Well “2” was used in Central so all Central numbers strated with “2” but as the booklet states not automated yet meaning calls were put through by operators. In the 1930’s a new exchange was installed at Central Exchange which had exchange code “6” and was used to service the Durban North area. Also in the mid 1930’s another exchange was commissioned called Congella at the corner of Francois Road and Bartle Road (now a pre primary school) with exchange code “5”. So by the mid 30s, codes 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 were in use. In the early 60s, due to the expansion of the network, a new central switching exchange was commissioned and coded “Central 31”. This exchange necessitated that all the satellite exchanges working off it had to add an additional code digit added and codes 3, 4 and 5 became “33”, “34” and “35”. In April 1969, the Durban Corporation Telephone Network was taken over by the Dept. of Posts and Telecommunications due to the introduction of National Subscriber Trunk Dialling (NSTD) which saw the demise of the “Number Please/ Nommer Asseblief” with telephone subscribers being able to dial trunk calls themselves.The exchanges “2” and “6” were earmarked for decommissioning and these were replaced by two new exchanges built at the Beach Telephone Exchange Complex, Seaview Street, namely “Beach 37”, followed by “Beach 32”. Beach 37 was my “baby” as I was posted to the complex building whilst it was being built and then was involved with the installation of the exchange itself followed by its commissioning in 1975. Both exchanges were built to full capacity that is they could each serve 10 000 subscribers. They were Siemens EMD exchanges.

  2. Mike
    | Reply

    Some rather nice photos of the crew in Durban (expand the picture by clicking on it).

    Also click the following for some more photos….from the first page as above.

    see HMS Durban, China Station 1926-28

  3. cheryl tebbutt
    | Reply

    named JENNIFER ADENDORF, think she lived on the Berea. (this was after 1968

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