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Tales of the City
15 Jun 2010
Various Authors

Tales of the City was a series of stories of the people of Pietermaritzburg published during 2000 in The Witness.

Click on the title of an article to download and read the original.

A place where brickies and judges were equal

Any dissertation on Pietermaritzburg in the fifties, writes D.C. DUNTON, would be incomplete without a mention of Twiggie's Pie Cart (24 August 2000).

A life of supper theatre and schooldays, flower shows and a corpse

RUTH PIETERSE records memories of Pietermaritzburg in the eighties and nineties and the transition to democracy.

A seat with a view

Riding a bicycle through Pietermaritzburg can be hazardous, but it is certainly worth the risk writes JOAN BIRCH.

All that we need

BRIDGET KRONE sums up the advantages of living in Pietermaritzburg at the turn of the century.

An innocent happy time

DALENE DICKSON recalls growing up in Pietermaritzburg in the fifties when she lived in Prince Alfred Street.

Boom Street journal

KOBUS MOOLMAN chronicles changes in a central Pietermaritzburg street from 1996 to 1999.

City of closed doors

NINA HASSIM spent three months in detention during the apartheid era for political activities, while her husband Kader was jailed for almost nine years. She describes her ambivalence about the place that holds many painful memories.

Delivering babies, nursing soldiers

N.J. FORBES recalls nursing during the Second World War at Grey's Hospital and her subsequent work as a district maternity nurse.

From bloomers to much better days

Former boarder at Girls' High School, LEANNE WILLIAMSON, describes life at the establishment before the introduction of some 'daring' innovations (5 October 2000).

Great cheer at old Grey's

CLAIRE NEVILL writes about Maritzburg in the late fifties when she trained as nurse at Grey's Hospital (2 November 2000).

Grinding against the system

Harassment and lack of facilities won't stop us from skateboarding, says schoolboy JOHN BOARDMAN (18 May 2000).

Her heart for Sobantu

VERA SIKHOSANA was a schoolteacher who contributed greatly to the development of Sobantu township and educated some of today's leaders (12 October 2000).

Home is where the hills are

STEPHEN COAN takes a run through his life in Pietermaritzburg, which he first glimpsed in 1980 (31 May 2000).

Into the forbidden city

Childish adventures in the sixties belied the grim reality of the city of Pietermaritzburg where black inhabitants were always the outsiders, writes NALINI NAIDOO (15 June 2000).

It may be dull but I like it

SANDRA LAND relishes Maritzburg's apathy and extremes. Probably the most endearing thing about Maritzburg is its perennial failure to support things. Maritzburg goes on losing things. from the legendary ice rink (did it ever really exist?) to our orchestra, and just goes on being Maritzburg (17 August 2000).

Life in a city at war

CYRIL HANCOCK was a schoolboy at Maritzburg College when the Second World War broke out (2 September 2000).

My golden years

ROBIN CROUCH recalls a childhood of idyllic Sunday lunches, lazy afternoons and visits to the Botanical Gardens in the 1960s (7 June 2000).

Sacred space

MICHAEL NUTTALL remembers the building of the Cathedral of the Holy Nativity in Pietermaritzburg, which along with St Peter's Church, was codenamed 'Red Square' by the police during the city's turbulent times. For 50 days and nights from Easter to Pentecost in 1994, with the election on April 27 in the middle, the 'communists' maintained a vigil of unbroken prayer in the cathedral for peace, justice and healing in the land (12 July 2000).

Sharing coke and a splif in Gxa Sthiwa

MBONGENI ZONDI writes about growing up in Dambuza in Edendale near Pietermaritzburg before the days of guns.

Sun, sky, trees and grass

A weekly walking group finds that simple pleasures are abundant in the hills around Pietermaritzburg. REG GUSH describes flora, fauna and other discoveries.

The wounds haven't healed yet

The Seven Days War affected thousands of people in Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas. SIBONELO MBANJWA recalls events at Taylor's Halt (6 September 2000).

The city where I had my baptism of fire

Once Pietermaritzburg was known as 'sleepy hollow' because nothing of note took place. Then violence erupted and the name Pietermaritzburg exploded in the headlines, not only in KwaZulu-Natal and the rest of the country, but around the world. We became known as the killing fields of the Natal Midlands. It taught KHABA MKHIZE vital lessons in conflict resolution and made him a man of peace.

The immigrant's story

Coming to Pietermaritzburg in the October of 1967 from a cold Vanderbijlpark (and an equally cold England some eight months earlier) was a contrast in culture, recalls MARTIN GODFREY. Passage from England to suburban comfort in Africa entailed some hardships.

There's no place like beautiful Blackridge

One of Pietermaritzburg's northern suburbs is a place for people who love plants, but they should also not mind cows and insects too much in the view of KOBIE VENTER.

Walking tall riding high

The emphasis was on an outdoors life when CHRIS PRETORIUS grew up in Walker Street in sixties Pietermaritzburg - stilt-walking, cycling and racing cars.

We fell asleep to the sound of banjos and mandolins

Life in the east of the city of Pietermaritzburg in the fifties, particularly at Christmas time, is recalled by PAULINE GRENDON.

When blocks of ice were delivered by horse-drawn cart

Certain sounds, scents and scenes evoke memories of ANN BRANN'S childhood in the thirties and forties in Pietermaritzburg.

Where the children played

In a little nook of the city, off Fitzsimmons Road, a whole generation of Coloured children grew up. They still view the area known as the village with fondness, recalls ELAINE ANDERSON.

Years that changed my life

University years in Pietermaritzburg in the 1950s were life changing for JACK FROST.

Comments: [Post a Comment]
Posted by Moe Barnard on 15 Oct 2011
Twiggie's Pie Cart

The picture that appears in D.C. Dunton's article is not one of the Pie Cart as most people knew it in the 50s & 60s. The one we knew was one that John Humphrey Branch (now you know where the name Twiggie came from) used to tow from the side of the Market Square to a light pole in the centre where he got his power. The Cowboy we knew was a curried pie with baked beans & gravy. These were served by Sam (a marvellous Indian gent) and Pops (an elderly German gent) who wielded a mean truncheon when troublemakers started arguing with him. It would be interesting to find out if any of John Humphrey Branch's relatives are around.

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