it had been a long time since I last sat down to add to the
site but even I was amazed that the last addition was back
in August, nearly three months ago. Apart from my usual bread
and butter earning activities, around that time I was asked
to restart my long-running computer column in the Sunday Tribune
and that takes up quite a bit of time; much more than you'd
expect from a mere 400 words a week. There is an archive of
the columns here.
never stopped collecting information, however, and it is probably
a reluctance to tackle the growing mountain of stuff which
has so often led me to find other pressing jobs to do, such
as bottling fruit and redoing my photo albums. I once even
washed the car but, finally, there are no more excuses left
and so here goes...
items on the agenda are two requests for information from
readers. I have reproduced them on the research page where
you will find a number of other requests as well. The latest
requests come from Theresa Finnan of The South African Red
Cross Society, who wants to know about the arrival of the
vessel Duchess of Bedford in Durban in 1942, and Henk de Winde
wants to know about some whale catchers bought by the Union
Whaling Company in Durban in 1937. Full details on the research
I am indebted
to my informant Milandie Birch for who alerted me to the fact
that Durban was probably where the third (or televison) umpire
was first used in a game of Test Cricket to decide whether
a player was out or not.
the superb Cricinfo website,
on that match confirmed the the story. The game in question
was played at Kingsmead between India and South Africa from
13-17 November 1992.
with the third umpire took place on the second day when Sachin
Tendulkar was given out leg before wicket (LBW). The report
does not say definitely who the third umpire was but does
list the three umpires who officiated at the match. They were
Steve Bucknor, Cyril Midgely and Karl Liebenberg, who, I would
think, would most likely have been the third umpire.
is an amazing website which has literally everything you might
want to know about cricket. I did a story on the site some
years ago and, at that point, it had a match report for every
test match ever played and they were aiming at putting up
one on every first class match ever played. The site also
provides player biographies, records and stats, and the latest
news and live commentary on test matches.
page about aerial
incidents and accidents in and around Durban, I mentioned
a crash in which two sisters, Marie and Lorraine Mills, died
in 1952. I have since heard from their niece, Marie Tomlinson,
who sent me some pictures which I have put up on the page
ago I received a query from Howard Galloway in the UK about
woment taxi drivers in Durban in the 1960s. I quizzed my informants
Gerald Buttigieg and Dodo on what they could remember from
the period and I also asked them about the Bats pop group
and the Little Top.
always believed the Little Top was the bright orange ball
on the beachfront near the Mermaid Lido, which functioned
as a mini-stage. I noticed a report some time back in the
papers that it had been demolished and I wanted to know more.
new page The
way we were.
did some research to write an editorial on the current state
of the ship building and repair industries in Durban. See
the new page A window
of opportunity opens.
my informant Dodo on The
way we were page I put up a few days ago. I have now put
up her own page
with some other stuff from her, including some very evocative
old pictures of Durban, mainly of the beachfront.
haven't already visited Dodo's
page, I'd recommend that you do so. Since putting up the
page, I have added a contribution from Gerald Buttigieg, which
has to do with LM
Courtesy Gerald Buttigieg
I have the story of a floating dock which was built in Durban
durinng WWII. There are pictures and newsclippings which give
a great insight into how well things operated here despite
wartime shortages of skills and material, which had to come
from the UK. It also gives a perspective on just how important
Durban was to the allied war effort. Click here
to view the page.
just thought to take a look at the statistics for the site
and I see that we've had more than 6000 unique visitors every
month since July. In October, we had 8291 visitors who viewed
13802 different pages. Click the image below to see the graph.
that I'm surprised and pleased would be a radical understatement!!
we take a look at an article on the Port of Durban which appeared
in Shipping Wonders of the World in 1936. Click here
to view the article.
a long time since I added to the site but, as usual, it was
personal slackness and not a lack of material. Today I have
a couple of things including a picture of the Little
Top on South Beach. It was demolished last year. I have
also put up a contents
page for all the material on entertainment and beaches
during the 1950s and 60s.
courtesy Gerald Buttigieg
- click image to view enlargement -
2007 saw, for the first time, more than 10000 visitors to
this site. See the latest graph here:
added a long article on Durban's aviation history which orginally
appeared in an aviation magazine in 1956. It is pretty long,
but interesting and I thought it would be worthwhile scanning
it into the computer and converting it into text for this
site. I hope that, in the interests of making the information
available, the publisher won't mind too much. View the
often get interesting pictures sent in by readers but I sometimes
battle to figure out what to do with them if they don't belong
on an existing page. So, I have added a vintage photo album
page where I'll post the pictures together with whatever detail
I have about them. Check back often, you'll never know what
you'll find. See
the page here.
a picture of the old Cuban Hat and Nest which were beachside
roadhouses, long passed into history, where many Durban youngsters
would spend happy hours socialising and having refreshments.
I've put the picture up on our new beach
/ entertainment page.
a couple of comments about the Cuban Hat and Nest picture
I put up (see diary entry for Feb 23) and so I have moved
it to its own page together with the comments. The new
page is here and here is the beach
/ entertainment page.
Buttigieg has contributed a news clipping from his father
in law's albums on the collision, in 1962, between an SAA
Skymaster and an SAAF Harvard. View the clipping on our air
accidents and tragedies page here.
again. This time, prompted by the building of the new soccer
stadium in Walter Gilbert Road, he sent in clippings to do
with the original stadium which started out in life as New
Kingsmead and ended up as King's Park Soccer Stadium. View
the page of the two
King's Parks here.
sent in five great pictures of old Durban and I've put them
up in the photo
we have the story of Marist Brothers St Henry's first soccer
team, which must have caused quite a stir with Rugby being
second only to religion as far most were concerned in those
days. The story was contributed by Gerald Buttigieg, who was
here to view it.
there's a story contributed by Terry Hutson to the effect
that work is about to begin on the widening
of the harbour mouth. The story first appeared in the
Natal Mercury on 28 February 2007 and said that North Pier
had already been closed to the public. Two weeks later, I
decided to go down and see if I could sneak in for a last
visit. I managed to get in and now I've also put up a page
with some pictures I took on the occasion.
the two pics below at separate times over the Easter weekend.
On the left is the QE2, a regular visitor to Durban, and,
on the right, HMS Enterprise, a survey ship of the Royal Navy.
Click images to view enlargements.
number of readers are contributing their memories of Durban's
past to the site. I'll admit to not being a model of consistency
when it comes to filing, but I am trying. All readers' contributions
are [hopefully] linked from the main
contents page and a separate contents page especially
for reader's contributions.
addition to the collection are Rose Enstrom's reminiscences
of Durban in the 1950s & 1960s. I had hoped to get her
page up in time for her 50th wedding anniversary on 23 March
and I'm pleased to say I'm only a month and a day late; not
bad at all for me.
here and let the nostalgia roll.
a slight update for you on the North Pier page. It's some
photographs I took earlier this month. The North
Pier page is here and the new pictures are at
the bottom here. I would appreciate hearing
from anyone who knows the names of the restaurants I've
out that a new printed version of Facts About Durban is expected
soon, probably by early-mid June. So that's what I've been
doing, mostly. I see that March was quite a high point in
terms of visits to the site, with over 12000 unique visitors
viewing 21000 pages. Click to view
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