Durban xxx

In the late 50s I well remember that every Saturday morning, there was an elderly blind gentleman who would set himself up, sitting on a box outside the OK Bazaars in West Street, playing a saw fiddle with a small bowl at his feet. His shop, always busy, was a small outlet in Smith Street sandwiched between a shop that sold oak furniture and I think Durban Leather.Then there was Claude, a blind switchboard operator who worked for the Department of Posts and Telegraphs who you would see in town pushing his crippled wife around in a wheel chair. Then there was the evangelist who every Saturday evening would stand in front of Queen Victoria’s statue in the Town Gardens and ask you to repent before it was too late. This would be on the left going up towards the Berea.Growing up in Durban from the 50s onwards, there were certain individuals one came to meet possibly through the business they had or perhaps they were just well known names in and around Durban.As someone else pointed out to me that in the 50s and 60s, Durban was a relatively close knit community and through a friend of a friend there was this network that existed of knowing people.On this theme I would like to recall three people who I knew relatively well. My mother could speak Italian and once Mr Barnard found this out I well remember that as she entered the shop he would greet her with “ Ah Mrs Spaghetti”.That smallish shop had a distinctive smell not only of leather but also the type of glue that was used.

And then there were those who were just ordinary folk, whom you did not know at all yet knew of them.These would be like Ralph, a simple person, I would say in his forties, who would go around Durban on his bicycle dressed in his Scouts uniform.There were some individuals of those times that everyone knew about but perhaps had never met.Some examples I remember were people like Jock Leyden, the Daily News cartoonist, Ernie Duffield who commentated the Durban July every year, Elizabeth Sneddon the English professor, Archbishop Eugene Hurley of the Catholic Diocese, Majorie Chase and her Ice Shows, David Horner the well known actor, Charlie Barends the champion jockey, Keith Oxlee the rugby player and so on.

Never met the majority of those but see them in the street I knew who they were.In those days mention a name and you instinctly knew who the person was or had an idea of.

terrem43.ru

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