Reader Ken Rigney recently sent in some memories of his early life in in Jacobs and hopes we could help with photos and other information to add to his stock of information.
My name is Ken RIGNEY. I was born in the Jacobs area of Durban in 1930. I left South Africa in 1956 to live in Southampton, Hampshire in the UK. I’m now in the process of writing my life story for my great grandchildren to read one day.
Can anyone help me obtain photos of the Jacobs area during the 1930’s. I’ve tried all avenues including Durban’s newspapers libraries, factories and developers to no avail.
When we lived in Salisbury Road, later renamed Paisley Road there were no houses, roads or factories. My granddad Albert STOFFLES built the first five houses where we lived. He also built roads and sold properties for the big business owners in Durban. Sadly I don’t possess any photos of the area before firms such as Ropes & Mattings and another firm called Malcomess arrived.
I would love to see any photographs or newspapers cuttings from the motor cycle grand Prix races which took place in the 1930’s to 1939. I recall that after the Grand Prix’s finished the big Naval base was built across the old race track on the hill. During the war I recall many British and Australian military personnel being stationed in the area. After the war the area was re-developed again into private homes. I remember names such as Chick HARRIS, Dave WARE amongst others. We would go down to the start of the race at the Bitumen factory, run up the hill , then watch them descend down to where the oil refinery is now and then up to the Bluff.
Then there was the Voortrekker Celebrations with the Afrikaner ladies in their long dresses and bonnets and the ox wagons, and that’s when the Voortrekker Street was named. I’ve seen on google earth where my old home once stood, it’s now all factories. The Voortrekker cemetery is just a waste land except for the names of those that were buried there. The place is now surrounded by wrought iron fencing.
During that time and an Entrepreneur brought a group of bushmen to Durban and with nowhere suitable to house them, he asked my grandfather if he’d have them at Sunningdale where he had his work headquarters. People from all over the Durban area came to see them. Any photos of them would be much appreciated.
Sunningdale was between the old oil refinery (before it was built) and Isipingo. Guava trees grew wild there and during the riots in 1949 the only Indian who wouldn’t leave his cattle to go for protection was called Punchum. He looked and dressed like Ghandi. As children we’d go to him for the milk which was boiled before being used. At milking we’d get under the cow, pull its udders and milk would squirt straight down our throats, what good memories, and I’m writing it all down.
Please leave a comment below if you can help Ken.