Fire guts old Durban Building

A fire gutted an old Durban building on Saturday night, 14th April 2018. Buchanan’s Building on the corner of West Street and Russell Street was completely gutted. Those who know Durban will remember the two storey building had a gable facing West Street. The building’s location was roughly diagonally opposite West Street Cemetery and Cathedral Road. I checked my 1938 Durban Directory and the building is listed so it was an old building. I recall in the 60s on the ground floor was a furniture shop and I had to check on the name. It was was Hayden Furnishers. Sadly another oldie reduced to rubble.

I know nothing of the fire in the Lonsdale Hotel mentioned in the cutting. Maybe someone who reads this and knows can comment.

Click on picture to enlarge.

I found a picture of the Buchanan’s Building showing the building as it was. Click on picture to enlarge.

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7 Responses

  1. Mark Norman
    | Reply

    Think there have been quite a number of small fires in Lonsdale seeming started by students as it is a dorm

  2. Gerald
    | Reply

    Added a picture of Buchanan’s Building as it was.

  3. Karen
    | Reply

    The Hillary Sports Club cnr Sarnia and Stella Road in Hillary was gutted by fire 2 weeks ago.
    It would be interesting to know the origin and history of this iconic building.

    • Gerald Buttigieg

      Hi Karen
      Not being a Hillary boy I do not know much about the Hillary Club so hopefully some one will add to this. I played soccer at the Hillary Soccer Ground as an Under 16 and took wedding photos for a Hillary couple back in 1964 so at least I have been there. Tragic loss of an old suburban club building. Not sure what the cause was but I hear that an unattended gas stove was to blame. Hillary Club fire

      Hillary Club Fire 2

  4. Karen
    | Reply

    What I did find was that the building was built in the late 18th century. There appears to be a rumour that it was a building used for the children. The Sports Club utilised the building since 1910 to present. There is nothing more than that which I could find on the internet. Would you have any idea who owned the land pre 1910, alternatively what does your old building / business directory say it may have been?

  5. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Karen
    In the 1938 Durban Directory there is no specific reference to the Hillary Club building but there is a reference to the Hillary Assembly Hall at 1407 Sarnia Road. One needs to find out what the street address of the Hillary Club is. One must remember that up until circa 1935, Hillary and all the surrounding areas Malvern, Mount Vernon etc., actually every thing beyond the Umbilo River, was regarded as outside Durban and called Districts. Hence you have the name Durban and Districts. It was only when the out lying areas were incorporated into the Borough of Durban and Durban took on city status that these suburbs became part of Durban. From what I have read most of the area beyond the Umbilo was originally set out as large farms.

  6. Karen
    | Reply

    It is in fact 1407 Sarnia Road. I checked it on Google Maps. Thank you.

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