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Old Photographs of South Africa

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I have realised that I have quite a few photographs of South Africa which I can share with you. I am sure that other collectors have similar. If you do not mind other people downloading and using them, please put your photos up here. To kick off, here a few from Roy Baker's photo album. Roy was a dentist and a pilot who was based in Queenstown, South Africa during WW2 as part of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan / Scheme. He flew all over the country in Ansons which he called his "taxis", providing dentistry to the various RAF stations around SA. He also drove through the Transkei and Pondoland to Durban in June 1942.

1]. Queenstown, November 1942 - Native Military Corps with Assegaais and Native Violin.
2]. RAF Ambulance at Noneesi's Nek, Roy Baker centre.
3]. Herschel - The Trading Post, January 1944. (Now find your complementary Bermeister & Co Cover!)
4]. Town Views of Grahamstown , May 1944. Street wide enough to turn an ox-wagon in.
5]. Purchased Souvenir Postcards - Germiston Rand Airport & Brakpan circa 1940

If anyone wants higher resolution images, please email me. I will add more from time to time.

Uploaded files:
  • Roy-Baker-1-Native-Military-Corps-Native-Violin.jpg
  • RAF-Ambulance-at-Noneesis-Nek-Roy-Baker-centre.jpg
  • Herschel-The-Trading-Post.jpg
  • Town-Views-of-Grahamstown-May-1944.jpg
  • Purchased-Postcards-Germiston-Brakpan-circa-1940.jpg

Thanks Steve. Here is my contribution made up of some original press photos from the Prince of Wales' tour in Southern Africa. Below is the content of the labels affixed to be back. All photos bear a rectangular boxed stamp reading 'PHOTO SUPPLY/ CENTRAL NEWS. A couple has lost their labels and the Is ask for help of identifying the locations (is it Zululand??).

Prince Wales Tour  Original Photos (PHOTO SUPPLIES CENTRAL NEWS)

  1. Serowe, Bechuanaland. A devil dancer at the Indaba.
  2. Johannesburg. The Prince and his staff clad in overalls and sou’westers in preparation for their descent of the Crown Gold Mine.
  3. South Africa. Wearing a coloured hankie chief as protection from the sun, the Prince of Wales, mounted on Critic, the property of a local farmer, during his visit to Grootfontein.
  4. Eshowe, Zululand. Three chiefs of Mandhlaganzi section of Zulu dancers. L to R – Silimana (grandson of King Mpande), Siposi, Bagubu.
  5. Ladysmith. The Prince visits old defense positions used during the siege of Ladysmith. H.R.H. …. rough ground towards the summit of a kopje.
  6. Labels lost. ??? Is this from Zululand? Compare to no. 4.
  7. Label lost. ???   Is this from Zululand? Compare to no. 4.


Uploaded files:
  • PrinceWalesTour1.jpg
  • PrinceWalesTour_2.jpg
  • PrinceWalesTour_3.jpg
  • PrinceWalesTour_4.jpg
  • PrinceWalesTour_5.jpg

Here is the rest of the images related to the above. Are they from Zululand??

Uploaded files:
  • PrinceWalesTour_6.jpg
  • PrinceWalesTour_7.jpg

Thanks, Peter, These are great. I am no expert on tribal identification. However, the Zulus were not known as horsemen - and still aren't. In the preceding photo number 4 (Eshowe, Zululand), there is not a single horse to be seen anywhere. The Zulu impis fought on foot.  However, the two photos above show a predominance of horses. The Basuto were excellent horsebreeders and riders which made them superb light irregular cavalry. That is what you see here. Both the above photos appear to be taken at the same place as  both photos show a rider and riders similarly attired in the 'pom-pom' style of headress which is typically associated with traditional Basuto military dress, So, my guess is that the above two photos are of Basuto horsemen in Basutoland (Lesotho).

Johannesburg 1953.
These are from a businessman's trip to SA. I am guessing that he flew in rather than came in by boat. I will try to add a few everyday or so. What I like about many of these photos are the cars. Starting top left and going clockwise:

1]. Jan Smuts Airport from a SAA DC4 during take-off.
2]. Gold mine deposits from the air. SAA DC4.
3]. Eloff Street.
4]. Chrysler Depot.
5]. Eloff Street.
6]. Flower sellers outside John Orr's Store.

7]. Johannesburg Panorama.
8]. Modern blocks of flats.
9]. Eskom House, the tallest building in Johannesburg.
10. Corner of Zoo Lake Park.
11]. War Memorial. Public Library behind palm tree.


Uploaded files:
  • Johannesburg-1953.jpg
  • Johannesburg-1953-2.jpg

Cape Town 1953
These are not particularly great but they do give me a sense of the wonderful old Eurocentric Cape Town that I knew as a child. Starting top left and going down left to right:

1]. Cape Town 2 Part Panorama from building.
2]. Cape Town 3 Part Panorama probably from Signal Hill.
3]. The entrance to the Post Office, possibly opposite flower sellers.
4]. The flower sellers next to OK Bazaars, a place of wet wonderful smells and delight.
5]. OK Bazaars, Adderley Street, another wonderful place, especially the sweet counter.

Uploaded files:
  • Cape-Town-1953.jpg

Cape Various 1953.
I couldn't resist doing a quick compilation of some of these photos with an ad for Robbs Motors. From top left:

1]. Cape Province. Austin A30 near Worcester - Du Toits Kloof Pass.
2]. Cape Town, Sea Point, probably more Green Point.
3]. Ad for Robbs Motors ex. 1956 Union Castle Guide to Southern Africa.
4]. Cape Province. Austin A30 near Paarl. "Note grapes growning on low bushes". Definitely 'n Engelsman!

And again showing enlarged photo with a postcard of Clifton from about 1900.

5]. Coat at Twelve Apostles - Clifton showing 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Beaches. (Photo enlarged.)
6]. Postcard from 1906 - Clifton Hotel with NO holiday bungalows built as yet! (Tents below and to left of hotel.)

I spent a lot of my youth on Clifton Beach, actually Moses Beach, the small one before 1st Beach. I guess it is gone now. I see that Putzel lists a Post Office in Clifton, saying only "Postmark has not yet been reported". Now that would be a find dear to my old heart!

Uploaded files:
  • Cape-Photos-Austin-A10.jpg
  • Clifton-Photo-and-Postcard.jpg

I have had these slides  for maybe ten years since I bought them at a local car boot sale in Oakington, outside Cambridge. There are more somewhere. The slides were not in good condition, dust and dirt having stuck to the film, probably at the time of processing. They were sold to tourists in packs of four. They were produced by "R. Wannerton, PO Box 94, Wynberg, Cape".

Judging by the cars and the Cape Town I knew back then, I think they were produced in the late 60s, early 1970s. Some of you might think that 1970 is not very old, just recent history. But just look at the cars to see how old-fashioned they are and how Cape Town has mushroomed. I've tried to find out when the Pepper Pots (seen in some slides) were built but a quick look only yields "in the 1960s". So, they old enough to be undateable! Nevertheless, these are not very exciting nor important pieces of social history but interesting still.

I have spent the best part of a morning scanning and trying to get them to look half decent. I don't think I've done a very good job but can't afford to spend ay more time on this.  I've had to teach myself how to scan slides to do this and it has not been satisfying! I have only put up these four because many of the others are of Table Mountain and the Cable Car, subjects well-covered elesewhere.

1]. "The Tanks", Paarden Eiland / Milnerton with Pepper Pots (Disa Park). No swell, no surfing. Parking on the beach!

2]. Bellville Beach aka Blouberg Beach. I prefer Blaauwberg. in the 1950s we used to picnic in the dunes on the landward side of the road before there were any houses. Not one. Just these few at Melkbosstrand.

3]. Kloof Nek Road leading to the Lower Cable Station. The VW Beetle suggests the very early 1970s.

4]. Cable Car going up. Cape Town wearing a necklace of white sand beach with Pepper Pots (far right).


Uploaded files:
  • Slides-Milnerton-Beach-The-Tanks.jpg
  • Slide-Belleville-Blaauwberg-Beachtled.jpg
  • Slides-Cable-Car-CT-6.jpg
  • Slides-Cable-Car-CT-2.jpg

I have just joined up and am loving this site. Thought I would kick off with a few of our 1930's family album pics. File 1 Willmore Camping. File 2 Meirings Poort. File 3 Worcestor.  Also have a lovely Southern Africa stamp album from the 30's which stamps my father collected as a boy which I will later photograph and post in the appropriate topic page. 

Uploaded files:
  • MG_8291-Willowmore.jpg
  • MG_8293-Meirings-Poort.jpg
  • MG_8303-Worcester-38.jpg

A postcard my father sent to his parents in Johannesburg. He was on holiday at Cathkin Park Hotel in the Drakensberg and posted at Mont-aux-Sources. I cannot make out a date on the postmark, but guess it was in the 1940's.

Uploaded files:
  • ID-LHD-Martin_0004.jpg
  • ID-LHD-Martin_0005.jpg
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