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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.
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).
RUTH PIETERSE records memories of Pietermaritzburg in the eighties and nineties and the transition to democracy.
Riding a bicycle through Pietermaritzburg can be hazardous, but it is certainly worth the risk writes JOAN BIRCH.
BRIDGET KRONE sums up the advantages of living in Pietermaritzburg at the turn of the century.
DALENE DICKSON recalls growing up in Pietermaritzburg in the fifties when she lived in Prince Alfred Street.
KOBUS MOOLMAN chronicles changes in a central Pietermaritzburg street from 1996 to 1999.
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.
N.J. FORBES recalls nursing during the Second World War at Grey's Hospital and her subsequent work as a district maternity nurse.
Former boarder at Girls' High School, LEANNE WILLIAMSON, describes life at the establishment before the introduction of some 'daring' innovations (5 October 2000).
CLAIRE NEVILL writes about Maritzburg in the late fifties when she trained as nurse at Grey's Hospital (2 November 2000).
Harassment and lack of facilities won't stop us from skateboarding, says schoolboy JOHN BOARDMAN (18 May 2000).
VERA SIKHOSANA was a schoolteacher who contributed greatly to the development of Sobantu township and educated some of today's leaders (12 October 2000).
STEPHEN COAN takes a run through his life in Pietermaritzburg, which he first glimpsed in 1980 (31 May 2000).
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).
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).
CYRIL HANCOCK was a schoolboy at Maritzburg College when the Second World War broke out (2 September 2000).
ROBIN CROUCH recalls a childhood of idyllic Sunday lunches, lazy afternoons and visits to the Botanical Gardens in the 1960s (7 June 2000).
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).
MBONGENI ZONDI writes about growing up in Dambuza in Edendale near Pietermaritzburg before the days of guns.
A weekly walking group finds that simple pleasures are abundant in the hills around Pietermaritzburg. REG GUSH describes flora, fauna and other discoveries.
The Seven Days War affected thousands of people in Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas. SIBONELO MBANJWA recalls events at Taylor's Halt (6 September 2000).
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.
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.
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.
The emphasis was on an outdoors life when CHRIS PRETORIUS grew up in Walker Street in sixties Pietermaritzburg - stilt-walking, cycling and racing cars.
Life in the east of the city of Pietermaritzburg in the fifties, particularly at Christmas time, is recalled by PAULINE GRENDON.
Certain sounds, scents and scenes evoke memories of ANN BRANN'S childhood in the thirties and forties in Pietermaritzburg.
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.
University years in Pietermaritzburg in the 1950s were life changing for JACK FROST.
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.