Watering holes

posted in: New Articles 11

My friend David Baird has contributed a long article on his reminiscences of the bars, pubs and hotels that he used to frequent in Durban from the mid-1970s. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have been in a lot of the places he mentions and, quite likely, at some of the same times.

And talking of the entertainment scene and the things that Durbanites used to do for fun, I’d like to direct the attention of new readers to a page which lists a lot of the entertainment-related articles housed on this site.

Happy reading!

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Municipal Band

Durban Municipal Band badge
Durban Municipal Band badge

Reader Alf Boyley  has sent in a picture of a Durban Municipal Band helmet badge and wonders if anyone knows anything about the band. He wrote:

Hope you are settled in Brisbane and that all is well. I came across this helmet badge ( three lugs) which I purchased on auction and don’t have much info on. Have you seen this or heard about this from anyone. Please feel free to publish a pic of it when you start up the site again. Some thoughts tend to put it either pre-1914 or between the great Wars.

One of the projects I began just before packing up in South Africa was to start a Music in Durban page. It’s only an infant page at the moment, but I’ll be adding to it when and where I can.

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Info requests

posted in: InfoRequests 8

I think I’ve got most of the diary housekeeping issues out of the way in the last few entries and so I thought I’d make a start on some of the piled-up requests for information.

Frikkie Buys wrote:

Do you perhaps have any knowledge about a restaurant that used to be on the Beachfront in Durban, called the ‘Pick and Shovel?’ Who were the owners? Where can we get a recipe from that time?

Piet Kruger wrote:

Like most of the Bluff community I grew up here, saw and mingled with the Indian shrimpers at Fynnlands and saw a lot of changes throughout my stay here. { 1949-Till date } I am looking for a photo or photo’s of the old Harcourt hotel and or a photo of a view from the cliff overlooking the sea.  Or even a photo of the coastal view from the bluff point towards ToTi. Any photo’s will be appreciated. I do not mind to pay or make a donation to this site. I had a complete set of photo’s in the 1960, but when I was called up for military purposes my parents moved and all, and I mean all, my stuff was lost. Years of research!!

Dayle Lee wrote

I was very excited to find this website as I have been trying to find some means of contacting  Howard Carpendale in Germany, I knew him well from my school days and would be so grateful in anyone has any means of making contact with him, either through friends or family of his. We were very good friends and sadly lost touch over the years and I have a lot of catch up news to share.

I look forward to hearing from you in this regard and good work on the website, I enjoyed going through it all immensely and seeing all those familiar names and remembering the places.

Please leave a comment on this post if you can help, or contact me in the usual way.

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The diary feed

posted in: Housekeeping 0

All sorts of interesting things become possible after having migrated the Diary over to the WordPress blogging program. One of these is the ability to comment on entries and another important one is that it is now also available via RSS feed. This means that you can subscribe to the Diary with any RSS-compatible feed reader and new diary entries will automatically be downloaded to your computer to read at your leisure.

All you need to do is give your feed reader the address https://www.fad.co.za/wp-rss2.php and it will take care of the rest for you.

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How the new diary works II

posted in: Housekeeping 1


Visitors to the site can now comment on diary entries or on other comments. It is a powerful and easy way for you to get involved in the site by answering people’s questions or throwing more light onto a topic raised in the diary. I am not known as the fastest responder in the world, so it would be quicker to leave a comment on a request for information, rather than e-mail it to me and wait. If you have a longer story on any subject to contribute to the site, you should still e-mail it to me.

NOTE: Your comment will not appear instantly the first time you make one. First comments need to go through an approval process but, after that, the system should recognise you as one of the good guys and your comments should go up immediately.

It’s very simple to leave a comment:

  • Click the ‘Leave a comment’ link at the bottom of the entry or comment you want to comment on.
  • Fill your name, email address, website, if you have one, and message.
  • Click the ‘Notify me of followup comments via e-mail’ tick box if you want to be notified when anyone responds  to your message.
  • Click Post Comment.


Why not practice by leaving a comment on this post? If you can’t think of anything to say, Hello would do.

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How the new diary works I

posted in: Housekeeping 0
The Old Diary Pages, dating from the founding days of the site but still chock-full of interest, are archived and can be accessed through the Old Diary Pages option under Diary on the navigation menu at the top of the page, or by clicking the link in top right-hand corner of the page.

Two important things

  • The terms Diary and Blog mean the same thing for our purposes.
  • The terms Diary Entry and Blog Post mean the same thing for our purposes.

One of the important changes which have been made to the Facts About Durban site is that the diary page is now published using the WordPress blogging program and the pages are not created manually as I used to have to do. This will make it easier for me to update it on a regular basis, but it also means some layout changes and some new features.

The diary (blog) is organised so that the 10 most recent entries are displayed on the front page, with the most recent at the top, but you can still access older entries in a number of ways:

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page, click the Older Posts link, and the system will display the previous 10 posts, and so on.
  • The Recent Posts listing at the top on the right-hand side of the page offers quick links to recent posts.
  • The Archive listing below Recent Posts allows you click a year or month and access the posts made in that period.

If you can’t find the post you want, you could also use the Search Page (also accessible from the navigation bar at the top of the page) to search by word or phrase. It will search the all pages in the site, but should give you the diary entry, or post, that you want.

What to do if you can only see one post on your screen

Multiple posts are usually displayed but each post or entry actually has its own unique page, which you can display on purpose or by accident. Getting back to normal can usually be achieved by clicking the ‘Back’ button on your browser but, if that doesn’t work, you can select Diary from the navigation bar at the top of the page.

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Making good progress

posted in: Housekeeping 0

Some frantic thinking and typing has taken place since the last post and (touches wood) it seems that all pages are working as they’re supposed to. There are a good few tweaks that still need to be made but we’re almost there. In the next couple of posts I’m going to cover some of the changes that have been made and then I’ll be on to new Durban stuff in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

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We’re off

posted in: Housekeeping 0

It’s been a long hiatus but the transfer of the site to our new host is nearly complete and we’ll be off and running again just as soon as a few teething troubles are ironed out. Normal service will be resumed in the very near future.

Please drop me a line if you find any broken links in the site.


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