Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Trams in Durban 1900s: did your ancestor ride on one of them?

Electric trams in front of the old Town Hall at right (now the Main Post Office). Behind is the Railway Station.

Opened in 25 March 1880, the Durban tramway network was operated initially by horsedrawn power. From 1 May 1902, the network was converted to electrical power. Beginning on 24 February 1935, this was gradually replaced by the Durban trolleybus system, which was opened on that day.

Note the straw hats worn by men and the long light-coloured dresses and large hats of the ladies. 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Souvenir Saturday: West Street, Durban 1897

The bunting, flags etc may indicate that Durban was busy celebrating 
Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, 22 June 1897. Her accession to the throne was
commemorated throughout the Empire.

Ten years earlier the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria was celebrated on 20 June 1887, the fiftieth anniversary of Victoria's accession on 20 June 1837. A banquet was held to which 50 European kings and princes were invited.

 Queen Victoria died 22 January 1901, at Osborne, on the Isle of Wight. Her reign lasted 63 years and 216 days. She was the longest-reigning British monarch until this record was superseded by the current Queen, Elizabeth II, whose reign now stretches over 67 years and about 99 days.

Queen Victoria in 1897

Queen Eizabeth II has reigned since 6 February 1952.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Smiths of Northumberland 19th c

John and Margaret Smith with son William Dixon Smith
 and daughter Jane (later Surtees)

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Cape Columbine Lighthouse, Paternoster, Cape, South Africa

Cape Columbine is well known for its lighthouse, the last manned lighthouse built on the South African coast. The Cape Columbine Lighthouse was commissioned on October 1, 1936. Both the headland and lighthouse derive their name from the Columbine, a barque wrecked 1.5 km North of the lighthouse on March 31, 1829. 

Cape Columbine Lighthouse is situated on a prominent headland ±5 km from the picturesque fishing village of Paternoster (meaning Our Father) deriving its name from the heartfelt prayers of shipwrecked Portuguese sailors. The lighthouse, built on rising ground at Castle Rock, and usually the first lighthouse sighted by shipping coming from South America and Europe, is about 30 km from Vredenburg on the West Coast.

  • First South African Lighthouse to receive three navigational aids: light, a fog signal and a radio beacon.
  • First lens system designed for use with a 4 kW incandescent electric lamp.

Several ships were wrecked in the area, which is known for its multitude of submerged rocks and reefs.

  • Columbine 1829
  • Ismore 1899
  • SS Saint Lawrence 1876
  • SS Lisboa 1910
  • SS Haddon Hall 1913
  • SS Malmesbury 1930
  • Haleric 1932
  • Da Gama 1979
  • SS Columbine 1944 (Torpedoed)

The Columbine Nature Reserve surrounds Cape Columbine Lighthouse. On the southern side of the lighthouse is Tieties Bay. 5 km away is the fishing village of Paternoster. The coastline is well known for its sea life, especially for crayfish and abalone. Langebaan Lagoon, the West Coast National Park and a Fossil Park.

As the sun sets on the days of manned Lighthouses, Japie Greeff, as Senior Lighthouse Keeper at the Cape Columbine Light, will be one of the last men to follow the rigid routines demanded of them every day, to ensure that the Light is turned on at twilight.

Japie Greef at Cape Columbine Lighthouse

Acknowledgement: Suzanne Jo-Leff Patterson