I grew up in Mayfair and as a result this gallery is separate from my Johannesburg Galleries. I have also included Fordsburg images here because realistically these were my stomping grounds too. When I grew up Mayfair was a working class area, there was a mix of English, Afrikaans, Lebanese, Portuguese and quite a few others too. It was a blue collar area and often the people who lived there had very tenuous existences. Certainly there were a lot of “poor whites”, although they were often victims of their own propensity towards alcohol. Many look back on Mayfair with fondness, I probably do as well, but I also recognise that often things were not quite all honey and roses. Bullying was rife, the old English/Afrikaans thing was everywhere, and on the outskirts the marginalised suburb of Vrededorp tottered on the edge of extinction and oblivion.
Fordsburg has an interesting history, and it does stand out for the part it played in the Rand Revolt of 1922, Sadly, the remnants of the revolt are not as recognisable as they were as progress is slowly obliterating this piece of history. The sad fact is that Mayfair and Fordsburg do not receive the attention they should get had they been in the northern suburbs of the city.
These images were taken on a few trips I made out there before 2013. I did not hang around to compose images, it was just too dangerous, but I hope they do bring back a few memories.
© DRW 2007-2017 Created 09/06/2014