Eritrean Railway's A manuel Ghebreselassie updated 3rd Junel This did threaten to become the steam story of the 90's with long stored Mallets being put back into service on the rehabilitated mm gauge railway between the port of Massawa and the mountain top capital of Asmara, with its spectacular operation, it just took a little longer than originally hoped. There is a superb 15 minute news clip available on the project http: Ralph Reinhold provided a little more information October Click here for more details.
Roland Beier has provided a loco list and Renato Gaudio 2 classic old pictures. Click here for background information on what was for a long time a railway backwater. Much later 27th February I posted Tom Sherriff's pictures of the railway in its reconstruction phase in including the short lived diesel!! This Italian language website has a lot of material on the Railway including old photographs - http: To help tidy up this page, I have moved the reports of the various trips here to another page latest update 27th Februaryif you need convincing of the photographic rewards of joining one of the regular tours here, then you can check my own report on the 'Darjeeling of Africa' dating from late 1st December Good news for the many upcoming tour groups no less than six scheduled up till November including two at the same time with different itineraries according to their website which should challenge the railway is the return to service of So many tour groups have continued to visit Eritrea that operation is considered routine and does not merit reporting.
However, Mark Carter 27th April has alerted me to news of a significant development carried on RailPage Australia http: Every Sunday there is a regular steam train from Asmara down to Nefasit on km It is still possible to travel Asmara-Massawa km on charter service. Neil Berry tells me 25th July that the steam locomotive pieces at Addis Adaba seem to have been scrapped.
There are several references on the web to a railway museum in Addis Adaba but nothing with any detail, although http: A website dedicated to the Franco-Ethiopean railway http: Thomas was here in March and you can see his pictures of both of them March 16th Now they have been joined by a Decauville T at the "Cie.
It was retrieved from the jungle, where there are still two others left in inaccessible places. There are pictures of all three locomotives on this page - http: Ghana Index Continental Railway Journal reports that all main line steam locomotives were scrapped in the s but narrow gauge steam locomotives are preserved at Nsuta Ghana Manganese Co.
Thomas Kautzor was here in April and sent a full report on the current state of Ghana's railways 25th May Ivory Coast Index There has been no live steam here for very many years, but a single T survives in Abidjan outside a railwayman's club numbered It was certainly here in and was still there in July according to Graham Roberts 25th November It was well worn when it was retired.
Thomas Kautzor reports it was still here in February 29th Februarynew pictures added 15th June Mike Clendining found this small preserved in San Pedro in Novemberit is said to have come from the logging industry 22nd December In fact as Martin Haywood points out 8th May it is none of these. It is thought to be a HK Porter from the local forestry industry.
It was recovered from the river in HK Porter shield worksplate is visible. Apparently dates to or but works number is not yet identified. Photos and details are here: In the vent it was announced that the trips had been cancelled owing to sponsorship issues 16th December I have been given a set of EAR steam and diesel locomotive diagrams and official photographs dating from ca Click here for more information and access to the photographs at reduced size x pixels 23rd September Steamy things are happening in Kenya again.
To whet your appetite here is a picture from 19th May courtesy of James Waite and by way of comparison a classic EAR postcard of almost the same scene - necessarily with a class 29 and not a class 30 26th May !
A lot depends on whether your glass of beer is half empty or half full, Thomas Kautzor has given a blow-by-blow account 2nd June and Geoff Warren has given an insider's perspective 2nd June Nevertheless James Waite was well satisfied by his experience and you can now read his illustrated report 28th May Although not strictly in keeping with this site, Thomas has also reported that some historic diesels have been scrapped including 'Explorer', quite simply this is an inexcusable act of pure vandalism on the part of the railway there.
Below is John Ashworth's picture of stabled in Nairobi station on August 6th ready to work next morning. A series of pictures of the actual excursion are now available on the Friends of the Rail Forum 10th August Kevin Patience tells me 8th September that plans are afoot to run on an excursion on 26th October The preparations can be followed here http: It is now generally accepted that will need significant repairs before it can be scheduled to operate further railtours for a start, its superheater tubes are at least 35 years old ; Kenyan Railways are neither willing nor able to fund these.
Up to half a dozen tour operators are said to be interested and the necessary work will presumably have to be financed by one or more of them if it is to run again.
In the meantime it seems that the railway will concentrate on locally promoted short haul steam trains with the smaller locos thereby building up the necessary experience needed for sustained steam operation in the future 24th June The Railway Museum in Nairobi was established many years ago, its principal exhibits have always been a selection of steam locomotives from the former Kenya Uganda Railway, latterly East African Railways which became Kenya Railways on the break up of the federation.
It was not included in the privatisation of the railways and seems to exist as part of the rump of the original Kenya Railways. Graham Roberts went back to his old haunts in early and he reports on the current scene 7th March From to steam progressively returned to the mainline in Kenya which now has an active fleet of 3 -Nyaturu and Mount Gelai.
However, with the privatisation of railway operation inplans to operate them were put to one side. These pages followed the restoration story and in view of the current break in developments, I have moved that material to a separate page. Pictures of the current scene in Kenya are regularly upload to the Friends of Rail forum Rest of Africa Photo Galleries - various sections including diesel, steam, other rolling stock and infrastructure are offered.
This is particularly relevant at a time when 'Steam Safaris' are being revived 17th May Should that link become inoperative then try the home page - http: At the time of writingand are all tested and available for use. Formerly, John Ashworth reports 2nd May that returned to action for a wedding on 1st May I have uploaded an account of an excursion in August which appeared in the Kenya Daily Nation 17th August Graham Roberts' picture left says it all, on a revenue freight at Ruiru on the Thika branch in July There are so many heroes and a few villains who mostly seem to have lost their jobs on KR it would be invidious to name any.
Liberia Index Not a country which has seen steam for a long time, if ever, let alone many gricers considering its recent history, but Peter Nettleship was here in February and visited the Bong Mine Railway and the account of an out of the way railway 27th April makes fascinating reading. Madagascar Index I believe all the main line steam locomotives were scrapped a long, long time ago, but it seems that a steam locomotive left picture by Mr.
Poussnik - if you read this please get in touch is preserved outside the sugar mill at Djamandjar. The status of the railway which served it on Nosy Be, an island off the north coast 30th June is unknown, it was in use with diesels into the 21st century.
Mike Clendining went to Nosy Be in February and found that the sugar mill was derelict having closed around ; one effect of this is that the condition of the loco has markedly deteriorated 26th February Like the infamous London buses, Thomas Kautzor pitched up here at almost the same time and had a good poke around, finding significant steam remains, on and off the rails.
Read his report which covers a number of other industrial sites in the country 15th March Thomas Kautzor also provided a report on the state of the main line system - no steam at all of course 5th April Malawi Index EA note from Trevor Heath informs me 9th January that Robin Taylor has reported that the two preserved steam locomotives D Class 8 and G Class 49formerly at Lilongwe have been moved to somewhere in Kanengo not far away on the line to Salima.
As far as is known the small saddle tanks remain as before, Thistle at Limbe station and Shamrock at the Museum of Malawi in Blantyre. Elmar Pfannerstill was here in August and confirms that the D class is indeed at Kanengo in northern Lilongwe, it's clearly visible in Google Earth 13 However, he did not see the G class at the same location.
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He also found Thistle at Limbe station all this 22nd October Thomas Kautzor sent this picture of it there in December picture changed 10th June See Thomas Kautzor's report on his December visit for information on the railways here and in Senegal 29th Februaryhe has since been back in late 4th January Mauritius Index James Waite was here on holiday and sent me a report of preserved steam and other gems 14th September Torsten Schneider has since sent a further report which adds significantly to it 24th January Thomas Kautzor has added considerably to this account following his own February visit 23rd Februaryto which I have later added pictures of two preserved diesels at Labourdonnais Sugar Mill 3rd September No steam but Dean Sullivan was here in and found some relics of the Mauritius Government Railway including two coaches under restoration 10th May Thomas Kautzor has added considerably to this account following his own February visit 23rd February Mocambique Index After a long period of silence from here, Simon Collins informs me that the Atlantic at Nampula is now restored and in alleged operable condition.
The picture below is from his friend Kevin Billing who is working in the area and who is trying to organise a trip with it Andrew Jones photographed the loco in the same position in August 24th September To my mind Mocambique was long been a 'destination-in-waiting' for an enterprising tour operator, but somehow it never quite happened.
A national rail museum is being put together in the former passenger coach workshop in Maputo. Most surviving steam locomotives in Mozambique will be relocated to this location. This includes the Atlantic from Nampula still there in mid ; the two s and two Mallets from Moatize still there in mid ; the two Garratts from Beira one definitely still present in August ; two wood burners from Quelimane no news since ; and 2 from Xai-Xai all locos now in Maputo by August CFM is conscious of the impact that this will have on steam tourism - namely, that they are foreclosing the opportunity to develop steam tourism - but does not believe that steam tourism has sufficient economic potential to justify the effort.
The main focus of the museum will be to preserve history as opposed to promoting tourism. There may be a few locos kept operable at Maputo for rail tours if circumstances warrant.
The above is obviously bad news for the railway tourism business, but at least represents stabilization of Mocambique's rail history and preserves the option of, for example, steam tourism in the future.
There are at least 4 locomotives at Inhambane in 'better than derelict' condition and the workshops here are an absolute treasure, http: Nothing steamy moving of course, his report also surveys the 'modern traction scene 21st Julyupdated 24th September This site has carried a number of reports on the steam survivors and even their occasional operation, but in practice with the exception of the Nampula Atlantic none has turned a wheel in anger for some time.
These reports have now been summarised latest update 25th Septembercovering each area of the country in turn including the survival and export of many steam locomotives from the former Sena sugar estates. Many of the reports on this site over the years have been contributed by Paul Ash he is a self confessed Mocambique junkie and it may help to read his historical perspective covering a number of trips which predate most of the other material below March The core cultural precinct containing the internationally famous Market Theatre, Museum Africa and numerous dance and music venues straddles the historic Mary Fitzgerald Square.
The precinct can be divided into the Market Precinct located north of the square which is dominated by the Market Building - home to the Market Theatre and Museum Africa.
The south and northbound M1 freeway overpass dissects Newtown and adjacent Fordsburg in the west, while the railway lines to the north mark the border between Newtown and Braamfontein. In the plans for Newtown the strict grid pattern of the CBD has been adopted.
This involved formalising the townscape, developing infrastructure and strictly enforcing racial segregation. Map of Johannesburg dated in which the Brickfields can be identified. Milner retired as High Commissioner in From to he played a prominent role in British politics. He was a strong proponent of British Empire Federalism and in became Town Clerk of Johannesburg, where he initiated a number of reform projects to modernise the administration of the City.
Under his administration electrical tramways were introduced to replace horse-drawn trams. Curtis also played a prominent role serving on the Johannesburg Insanitary Area Improvement Scheme Commission and was a proponent of the clearance of Brickfields in favour of the redevelopment and industrialisation of Newtown.
Collectively the Arc incorporates four theatre complexes, various dance studios, live music venues, significant museum and art collections, historic sites and monuments, as well as a year-round programme of cultural events. Since a number of public artworks have also been installed in Newtown and Braamfontein. Almost from its founding, Johannesburg developed a reputation for raucous nightlife and entertainment of an often illicit nature sparking ZAR President Paul Kruger to refer to Johannesburg as a "den of iniquity".
BeforeJohannesburg boasted four theatres: Sadly, none of these remain today. The Globe theatre, built inwas the first permanent entertainment venue but was destroyed in a fire after only six months of operation. A new theatre, the Empire Palace of Varieties or The Empire for shortreplaced the Globe on the same site corner of Fox and Ferreira streets in present-day Marshalltown.
The Johannesburg Art Gallery is located in Joubert Park which remained a fashionable neighbourhood until the s — and today includes cultural institutions such as the Johannesburg Art Gallery and the Drill Hall. As African migrants flocked to the gold fields, a distinct musical culture developed in the shantytowns and mine compounds.
By the s Marabi was well established as a unique blend of African and European musical styles and set the foundations for a musical tradition that would develop over the course of the next century - culminating in the great jazz period of Sophiatown in the s and 50s. During the s Commissioner Street was the main entertainment strip of Johannesburg with its theatres, cinemas and other venues.
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In the s the Union of South African Artists established Dorkay House in the CBD which by the 60s had become a notable cultural institution for music, art, drama and dance. For many years — closely associated with artist Cecil Skotnes — the centre was a major gathering space for African artists.
In the s the centre was closed due to apartheid restrictions which banished black cultural institutions to townships. In the s, 60s and 70s cosmopolitan Hillbrow with its eclectic community became the focus of night-time Johannesburg, or a "white Sophiatown". The s also saw the construction of the Civic Theatre recently renamed the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein - with the University of the Witwatersrand theatre and the Alexander theatre built in this consolidated Braamfontein as a theatre district.
Black artists who remained in the country were mostly restricted to the townships, with the result that Soweto and Alexandra developed strong arts and cultural communities. Sadly, the building was gutted by fire in Newtown also provides an understanding of how wider industrial and political forces came to disrupt and destroy poorer communities from racially mixed backgrounds — sometimes carried out in the name of urban regeneration while essentially serving colonial and apartheid racial policies.
Equally significant, the suppression of labour rights became a recurrent theme in the history of Newtown. Early Johannesburg became home to many slums as people flocked to the city only to be met by an acute housing shortage - a shortage that would last for more than a century and is still present in contemporary Johannesburg. In Brickfields, early Johannesburg had one of its worst slums. Although these slums were racially integrated, some communities in particular stand out: The presence of industrial and commercial functions, however, would also mean that Newtown became a focal point for many of the industrial strikes witnessed by the City during the first half of the 20th century.
During the Second World War, manufacturing in Newtown was even redeployed to support the war effort. The decline of Newtown from the mid 20th century came about as a result of several factors, including the waning significance of the Jeppe Street Power Station decommissioned inthe closure of the tram lines decommissioned from the late sthe construction of the freeway system in the s, the relocation of the Market to the new Fresh Produce Market in City Deep in the early s as well as apartheid racial legislation and the forced removal of communities from the inner city, Fordsburg, Pageview, Vrededorp and elsewhere which effectively deprived Newtown of a vibrant community.
The decentralisation of commercial activity to suburban malls and commercial areas like Randburg and Sandton also impacted on trade. Yet the decline also spurred the artistic community to take an increasing interest in the landmark structures of Newtown. Accounts of Newtown often leave out the eclectic mix of architectural styles, including Victorian, Edwardian, Beaux Arts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, modern and international, post modern and contemporary architecture.
A Short History of Newtown Origins 'I come from the newly discovered goldfields at Kliprivier, especially from a farm owned by a certain Gert Oosthuizen I have a long experience as an Australian gold digger, and I think it is a payable goldfield. Of course the history of the area stretches back much further than the early and midth century and the arrival of the first European explorers, missionaries, traders and subsequent generations of settlers and diggers.
While no known traces of either Stone or Iron Age habitation have been found in and around Newtown, major settlements from the Iron Age are known to have existed close to modern-day Johannesburg and the remaining vestiges of some of these sites can be visited at Melville Koppies and Klipriviersberg. The discovery of gold in the s and the subsequent building boom that followed drew hundreds of miners — to be joined by traders, adventurers and a displaced rural peasantry seeking fortunes and employment.
As the town known as Johannesburg formalised into a cosmopolitan centre, workers — both black and white and almost exclusively male — flooded in. As a result of the perpetual shortage of accommodation, slums soon developed around the Fordsburg area. Brickfields 'Let no one attempt a midnight exploration of the Brickfields without a lantern which is guaranteed to throw a light for yards distant, otherwise the chances are that he will not leave that district alive The houses are all right and gardens kept in good order.
I went down as far as the reservoirs, top one empty, lower one full. The Brickfields are a sight. Quantities of bricks set out to dry, some burnt, all work stopped. Adlam during the South African War - ' Narrow courtyards, containing dilapidated and dirty tin huts without adequate means of lighting and ventilation, huddled on an area and constructed without any regard to sanitary considerations of any kind.
In the middle of each slop-sodden and filth-bestrewn yard, there is a well from which people get their water supply and they choose this place for washing purposes and urinals.
These places are dark dens. In the community lobbied the ZAR government of President Kruger for the right to manufacture bricks on government land bordering the Braamfontein spruit. As Brickfields and the adjoining areas of Fordsburg, Vrededorp and the Indian location grew, these mixed slums became known as Poverty Point.
Between and 98, at which point Brickfields was already home to an estimated 7 people, it became necessary for the City to expand its railway capacity. Between and 98 when the last brickmaking activity ceased in the area, a concerted effort was made by the railway company and the Sanitary Board to get the government to cancel the brickmaking concessions and to relocate the brickmakers elsewhere.
The Great Dynamite Explosion 'Half of Fordsburg is practically laid low, and the native locations are simply a heap of iron. The blast caused by a train accidentally ramming into trolleys packed with 55 tons of dynamite could be heard in Klerksdorp km away. The resultant crater was 61 m long, 15 m wide and 8 m deep and claimed the lives of an estimated people.
In the aftermath, most displaced residents moved into adjacent areas unaffected by the explosion. Heyday 'Newtown had become the home of many Litvak retail and wholesale merchants and grain brokers who came to work and competed with one another, and here they formed a subculture with its own idiosyncrasies - jokes, special events and, most importantly, the 'University of Newtown', which awarded a fictitious certificate to all those entrepreneurs and millers who learnt the grain trade on the job.
Following the destruction of the Indian location and the formation of the Union of South Africa inNewtown in the s and 20s became the first area in Johannesburg to be given industrial status. Decline 'The state had developed a whole arsenal of laws to help it achieve the unimaginable: From the early s, various proposals were made for the redevelopment of Newtown. However Newtown continued its steady decline when the power station closed down and the cooling towers imploded in During the s many key sites and buildings such as Turbine Hall were invaded by the homeless, while open areas next to the railway lines saw the rapid rise of informal settlements.
Crime and grime became an increasing problem. As the area technically fell outside of the official mining camp the location was largely neglected by the authorities but provided easy access to town and, as a result, attracted a racially diverse population of a mostly lower working-class background.
Over the next decade the adjacent areas of Fordsburg, Vrededorp, Burghersdorp and the Brickfields became in effect co-joined multi-racial slums - sparking a series of health concerns for the authorities. The destruction of the 'slums' was purportedly carried out in response to an outbreak of bubonic plague which had resulted in 82 deaths in the same year.
This outbreak also led Mahatma Gandhi to establish an emergency hospital on a vacant stand in the area where he treated 14 patients. Inafter the clearance of the Indian Location, Joffe Marks, owner of Marks Limited, bought property in the newly-declared Newtown.
Fordsburg 'I grew up in the s, in a suburb called Fordsburg, located on the western edge of the City. There were even safe places in which to play truant from school. Under apartheid the large Indian community was constantly at risk of forced removals. Fordsburg has, however, remained a centre of Indian culture. Newtown - Soweto 'It is an interesting historical fact that Gandhi was in Johannesburg at the foundation of such places as Soweto Pimville and Kliptown — the story of the development of these communities is linked to the destruction of the mixed Coolie Location in As a result, the displaced African, Indian and Cape Malay communities were relocated to Klipspruit Farm 25 km to the south-west of the City.
Pimville, as the settlement became known, formed the nucleus around which Soweto would grow over the next years. By the s it was already struggling to keep up with demand and by the Orlando Power Station in Soweto came into operation to handle some of the additional burden.
Known as 'Cantonese Quarter' or 'Chinatown', this historic area is located in Ferreirasdorp, south of Newtown. Adjacent to this is the United Chinese Club building designed by German architect, Wilhelm Pabst, and completed in This is considered a landmark Johannesburg building of great architectural significance.
Chinese indentured labourers Following the South African War, thousands of indentured Chinese labourers were brought to the Rand to work on the mines. Many were subject to horrific abuse. The workers returned to China in and as a result of political opposition and repeated protests by the citizens of Johannesburg against their presence. Wilhelm Pabst — Pabst was born in Germany and educated in Berlin where he worked with leading modernists including Mies van der Rohe.
The United Chinese Club building in Commissioner Street is one of his key projects and is considered an architectural landmark.
Ferreirasdorp Ferreirastown Ferreirasdorp or Ferreirastown was one of the first mining camps that sprung up at the time of the discovery of gold in the s. It was named after Colonel Ignatius Philip Ferreira who set up a prospectors' camp prior to the official proclamation of the Reef as mining land. The camp was named Ferreiras Camp. Later, the area was home to a large coloured community and in a site was set aside for a church St. The original wood and iron structure was replaced by the present structure built in and designed by architect Frank Fleming.
In the s, under the Group Areas Act, the coloured community was forcibly moved. Colonel Ignatius Philip Ferreira — Speculator and early Johannesburg pioneer, Ferreira participated in the diamond and gold rushes of Kimberley, the eastern Transvaal and finally the Witwatersrand where he formed the Ferreira Company syndicate and the Ferreira Gold Mining Company. One of the abandoned mines of the Ferreira Gold Mining Company was discovered in the mids.
The old stope can still be seen at the Standard Bank corporate head offices in nearby Marshalltown. It now houses two cultural institutions, the Market Theatre and Museum Africa. The precinct came to life at the beginning of the 20th century when the new British government under Lord Milner set out to transform Newtown from a slum into an industrial hub.
Within months, they transformed the area into an industrial zone that offered a range of commercial opportunities. These ladies would hold hankies to their noses to avoid the fetid smells from the nearby abattoir and tannery. It was easy to start a business but difficult to stay afloat and make a profit. Newtown became a little sub-culture with its own jokes and special events. Business people who had worked and become successful in Newtown were awarded the fictitious 'University of Newtown' certificate given to all the entrepreneurs who learnt the trade on the job.
Newtown declined and the elegant Market Building was threatened with destruction. Preservation enthusiasts and councillors who were passionate about the city also fought hard for its protection. Several possibilities opened up for the redevelopment of the area. In the end, the idea of a cultural precinct prevailed. Amidst the bulldozers and rubble, old buildings found new functions and the face of Newtown slowly transformed.
Fromthe Market Precinct became an arts complex.
Today, it continues to thrive as a space where local talent is nurtured and showcased. Mary Fitzgerald Square 'On May Day,for the first time in the history of the Witwatersrand, there was a joint demonstration of black and white workers on a large scale.
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According to Umsebenzi some 3 Bantu and 1 Europeans assembled at Newtown Market Square and "with cheers for the solidarity of black and white workers", moved off in a procession.
A Political Biography, 'Because of the intransigent attitude of the Transvaal Chamber of Mines towards the legitimate demands of the workers for a minimum wage of 10 shillings per day and better conditions of work, this meeting of African miners resolves to embark upon a general strike of all Africans employed on the gold mines, as from August 12, Throughout the first half of the 20th century, political and labour meetings were held here.
Cultural performances and traditional stick-fighting also took place here and brought new culture fusions to the city. InJohannesburg saw its first major strike by white tram workers.
Steam in Africa
Mary Fitzgerald spoke at a protest meeting while holding a pickhandle that had been dropped by mounted police to break up the strike. She famously led a group of women to lay on the tram tracks and stop the trams.
Inthe square was the site of one of the first large-scale multiracial demonstrations. In the s, the square was the gathering site for striking black mineworkers, most notably the historic strike when J. The tradition of protest continued throughout the s, 60s and 70s. She stood in the Johannesburg Town Council elections, and won a seat inbecoming the first woman to hold public office in the city. She died at the age of 75 in and was buried at the Brixton Cemetery.
She played an influential role in the and strikes. During the tram workers' strike ofshe spoke at a protest meeting while holding a pickhandle that had been dropped by mounted police to break up the strike. At the time of its completion in it was described as the largest building of its kind in South Africa. The structure is supported by elegant steel trusses that are clearly visible inside the main atrium of Museum Africa.
The eastern and southern facades are characterised by classical Edwardian detailing. In the s, a western facade was demolished to allow for the construction of the M1 highway. The original market was located at Market Square in the centre of Johannesburg.
In the market relocated to Newtown where trade took place by auction. Produce on offer varied from meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, dairy produce, tobacco and general greengrocery. Crowds of more than 8 people attended the market on Saturday mornings. At the time of the relocation of the market to City Deep south of the CBD in the s turnover was estimated to be R2,4 million per annum. Today the City Deep market services more than 17 buyers while a million tons of fruit and vegetables pass through the market each year.
It is the largest fresh produce market of its kind on the African continent and the fifth largest in the world. As businesses, shops and banks appeared around the square, the site took on a more official air, particularly after the opening of a market house in and later a series of prominent government buildings notably the Rissik Street Post Office — 7.
He came to Johannesburg in at a time when the City was experiencing the end of one of its great building booms. He worked as an architect and engineer and served as Town Engineer in and and again from until his retirement in During this period Johannesburg doubled both in size and the height of its buildings. Andrews was a founder member of several societies of architects in South Africa.
Today and Yesterday, Museum Africa, originally known as the Africana Museum, was established in around the vast private collection of Dr. Today, it houses around objects and includes significant collections of paintings, manuscripts, African cultural artefacts, Cape silver, ceramics, furniture, photography, costumes, explorer maps and other objects. Inthe old Market Building in Newtown was earmarked for development as a cultural history museum but it took nearly 20 years to realise this vision.
Museum Africa eventually took over the old market buildings that had stood unoccupied for many years and opened its doors in The move gave museum staff an opportunity to reconsider the content and significance of the collections. For the first time, the museum provided an inclusive history of South Africa, focusing on worker and black history. The museum also hosted part of the 1st and 2nd Johannesburg Biennales in andwhich created a dialogue between the global arts community and the previously isolated South African visual art world.
At present only a fraction of its invaluable collection is on display, although certain collections can be viewed by appointment. John Gaspard Gubbins was born in and died in His private collection which formed the nucleus around which the Africana Museum took shape included a fine collection of Thomas Baines paintings as well as early Portuguese explorer maps of Africa and works by naturalist William John Burchell. The Newtown Camera Obscura Housed on the top floor of Museum Africa as part of the Bensusan Museum of Photography visitors can see one of only five camera obscuras in the country.
The founders often participated in the physical labour themselves. The doors opened inin the same week that the Soweto Uprising began. The Market Theatre staged controversial plays that tackled the inequities of apartheid.
It was one of only a few places where blacks and whites shared the stage and performed for non-racial audiences. I have friends who have been arrested. I have friends who have been blown up. One is surrounded by these grotesque biographies. And yet South Africa is an exhilarating place because everything happens in open confrontation. You know where you stand. We're not going to overthrow the government through theatre, but people will understand each other more.
The Market Theatre remains at the forefront of South African theatre, with a focus on the production of new local work. Inthe Market Theatre Foundation was declared a national cultural institution. The Globe theatre built in was the first permanent entertainment venue but was destroyed in a fire after only six months of operations.
In the s while working as a stagehand in Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop in London he became first inspired to create a theatre of struggle. In the s he lived in the United States and was in contact with leading experimental directors including Jerzy Grotowski and Joseph Chaikin. Workshop 71 inspired the founding of the Market Theatre in Mannie Manim Co-founder of the Market Theatre, Mannie Manim has been in theatre sincehaving started his career as an usher at the Brooke Theatre in Johannesburg.
Kippies International Jazz Bar 'The Gauteng Provincial Government acknowledges the significant role that Kippies has played in putting Gauteng on the map as an international jazz venue of note and its importance as a cultural heritage site. Musicians from all over the country have aspired to play there: Moeketsi, born inlearned to play the clarinet at the age of 20 and soon moved onto the saxophone. Inhe toured London as part of the cast of King Kong.
While many of his fellow performers chose to remain in exile, Moeketsi returned to South Africa. Supporters of the Market Theatre Foundation proposed building a music club where local musicians could play and hold workshops as part of the plan to develop Newtown into a cultural precinct in the early s.
The building was constructed in the early s as a pastiche of the original Edwardian public toilet block, dating fromwhich is two hundred metres north of the club today. Jazz musician Abdullah Ibrahim gave the building its name: We have just built on what he has taught us. It was declared an interim heritage site to protect it from demolition.
Inwork on the restoration of the building commenced and a statue of Kippie Moeketsi was unveiled. Kippie Moeketsi Kippie Moeketsi was born in He started playing the clarinet at 20 and soon moved on to the saxophone. In he toured to London as part of the cast of King Kong.
In light of apartheid repressions following the Sharpeville massacre in many of his fellow cast members stayed behind in Europe in exile. Moeketsi returned to South Africa and for a while refused to perform.
He died in A statue of Kippie Moeketsi was unveiled in Newtown in FUBA was founded in in Soweto by black artists, writers and theatre workers. To the outrage of the local art community this collection was sold to an international buyer in to settle outstanding debts. The Railway Sidings and the Potato Sheds The railway sidings directly behind Museum Africa date back to and were constructed by the South African Railway Administration to provide access between the Newtown market and the railway yards to the north.
Around the railway sidings, the fresh produce market, the Market Hall and the Indian Fruit Market developed over time. Most produce was transported to the market by rail.
Originally designed in as open sheds, the so-called potato sheds played an integral part in the activities of Newtown. The site incorporates various structures that were added over a year period for keeping vegetables and fodder as well as for slaughtering poultry.
Bustling activity, dirt and the smell of livestock characterised this area. By the early s, some 2 tons of fresh produce was moving through the market every day. If you look towards the north of the sheds, you will see the extravagant roof of the old Edwardian public toilet block.