Looking back on South Coast history: June 13 to 15

1958: Sardines spread out on the Port Shepstone beach this week made a fine picture for a South Coast Herald photographer. pic: Herald archives

NATURE getting back – and getting back to nature…

June 13

1975
“THERE’S a leopard roaming around Umtentweni once again.”

AND… “Wanted – a beach for South Africa’s first nudist colony.”

AT the same time, it was reported that Port Shepstone and Howick were the only towns in Natal that still created pollution by burning scrap tyres.

1980
“THE damage from the fire which broke out in the Margate Hotel on Monday is expected to top R150 000.”

AND the housing shortage continued. “Despite earlier assurances that 300 coloured housing units in Merlewood would be ready for occupation early in 1980, this is clearly not going to happen.”

pic: Susan Cooke

1986
“DOOMSDAY for the Banana Express is October 1, the proposed date for the closing of the narrow gauge railway line from Port Shepstone to Harding.”

June 14

1935
SOMEONE was complaining about the railway timetable. “Why is it that the railway authorities are the ‘darnedest cusses’ on earth in giving everybody just what they don’t want? What motorist wants their new bridge? And who among the travelling public wants their midnight train? And who wants their present weekend excursion facilities?”

SEEMINGLY unaware that there were actually no trains running at all. “A wash-away on the South Coast line near Hibberdene has cut off rail communication with Durban. The Umzinto line has a wash-away, while the Harding train was delayed for lack of water, the engine apparently not being able to draw supplies owing to a choked pipe.”

MEANWHILE… “The Uvongo river has cut off road traffic with Margate and we understand that the new bridge is now being delayed through a shortage of cement.”

AND the situation was summed up… “Once again the sorry fact is fully demonstrated that an extra few inches of rain has again been the means of isolating the Lower South Coast from the rest of the country.”

AND the poor old tea room hadn’t fared well either. “It was resolved that the council be requested to get expert opinion and a report and specification as to what improvements or alterations are necessary to make the tea room permanently weatherproof and habitable.”

1957
“THE Margate Town Council approved the recommendation submitted by its General Purposes Committee to establish a passenger bus service.”

1968
“A REGIONAL aerodrome and a harbour are just two of the schemes which the Marburg Town Board is at present investigating.

pic: Susan Cooke

June 15

1956
“THE Herald was officially advised this week that the contract for the new road and rail bridge across the Mzimkhulu river at Port Shepstone has been awarded. Work has already commenced at the site and the contractors estimate that it will take them 27 months to complete the job.”

1982
“BAD news for coloured and Indian people in Merlewood and Marburg who are desperately waiting for houses is that the government still does not have money to go ahead with the proposed building development there.”

1984
“MARGATE Brick and Paver was granted an offensive trades licence and a general dealer’s licence to operate on Lot 455 Margate, following a three-day tribunal.”

“THE Port Shepstone Town Council has rejected a suggestion to establish a multi-racial caravan park near Mbango Bay.”

1984

“THE Post Shepstone Town Council is investigating the possibility of establishing a small craft harbour in Port Shepstone.”

pic: Herald archives

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  AUTHOR
Susan Cooke
Features Editor

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Looking back on South Coast history: June 19 to 22

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