I had one objective in my mind during this trip and that was to photograph the Rand Revolt Plaque at Fordsburg Square after I first saw it in September 2011. Naturally I was also interested in the coaches that are now used as a restaurant, and I wanted to try get pics of some of the old buildings. However, I had a delivery to make in Northcliff so ended up going through Cottesloe first.
There is a connection between Cottesloe and the Rand Revolt, and there is also the Oud Stryders Monument
that is worth a visit. Unfortunately the area around there has been fenced so access is via a convoluted route, but I soon found what I was after. I never really understood the context of this structure, but I am sure it exists somewhere. It hadn’t changed much since my last visit in August 2007 though.
Oudstryders. Unveiled 3 December 1938
The other interesting structure visible from this point is the Dutch Reformed Church that was built in 1935 as well as the old gasworks and a reasonably good view out towards Johannesburg.
Cottesloe Dutch Reformed Church
Then it was onwards to Fordsburg. I was very familiar with this area as a youngster, living a mere 6 blocks from it. I was also a regular visitor to the Oriental Plaza as it expanded. When I did my apprenticeship our training centre was a mere 2 blocks away across the railway lines, and we were forever messing around in that area. I have to admit it though, this is a beautiful church, something that we see often in the older suburbs, but not in the newer areas that have sprung up to the extreme north of the city. A lot of these churches have also lost their congregations as the demographics have changed around them.
Fordsburg Square became famous because of its role in The Rand Revolt of 1922
. It was on this spot that the trenches were dug and soldiers faced military trained strikers in a mini war. At one point the trenches were outlined in bricks on the square, and the toilets still had bullet holes in them. Sadly the trenches were removed because of safety concerns and somebody patched the bullet holes! However, if you are in the area, pop into the Pappa D’s Mediterranean Kitchen on the square and ask to speak to Dino. And while you are there you can get to admire the 2 ex SAR 3rd class coaches that have been modified into Diners.
The toilets are on the edge of the square, while the 1922 plaque is next to the semaphore signal by the restaurant.
The 1922 era Gentlemens toilets on Fordsburg Square
A quick walk around to photograph some of the older buildings and it was time to split. Many of the buildings were very changed from when I was young, they seem familiar, but unfamiliar. I probably have my identification slightly confused too.
The 1922 Rand Revolt Plaque on Fordsburg Square
Corner of 7th Ave and Mint Road
Another oldie. (Cnr Main and Lilian)
Vastly refurbished former Sacks Hotel (Cnr Central and Main)
Another oldie. Cnr Main and Central
I knew it as Brigadiers.
I had done my photography and now it was time to leave for home. A last pause at the Oriental Plaza, although I skipped the samoosas for once. This structure doesn’t really change, it just seems to shuffle shops around, but I didn’t really stick around because time was not on my side, besides, I kept on being accosted by people insisting that I “come inside, we have a suit/shoes/shirt/trousers just for you.”
© DRW 2011-2018. images recreated 20/03/2016