Johannesburg traffic from 1934

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A quick post while I finish up Troyeville…

British Pathe recently uploaded 85 000 newsreel clips from 1896 to 1976 to Youtube. Here is the link to the entire collection. There are many particular to South Africa and Johannesburg. This one shows Johannesburg traffic in 1934.

So where exactly is this? Considering the footage is 80 years old, I was able to pinpoint the first part of the clip. It’s the old Clarendon traffic circle that was situated at the intersection of Empire Road, Twist Street and Louis Botha Avenue (previously East Avenue). The circle was constructed in 1931 to assist with traffic flow. It was removed in the late 1950s. My guess is that Johannesburg had a much bigger driving population and larger bus network after WW2. The circle became a hindrance and caused major back-ups.

I couldn’t make out the first building in the background. I thought it was ‘Majestic Mansion’ but it doesn’t match up to the pictures I have. The second building seen on the right with the balconies is unmistakably ‘Brenthurst Place’ which still stands today. I lived there between 1987-1990 so know it well.

Clarendon Circle 1938

Clarendon Circle 1938 looking south down East Ave toward the Fort

Clarendon Circle before and after

Clarendon Circle before and after looking north up East Ave (now Louis Botha Ave) with Brenthurst Place on the right

Clarendon Circle in 2011 taken from the top of Brenthurst Place looking south

Clarendon Circle in 2011 taken from the top of Brenthurst Place looking south

The second part of clip is a little harder but I’m guessing it’s Eloff Street only because it was the most popular shopping street in Johannesburg. Just ask anyone who has played the  South African edition of Monopoly.

Tram in Ellof Street

Tram in Eloff Street

I’ll post some more of these with guesses as to where they were filmed over the next few weeks

This entry was published on April 23, 2014 at 9:32 am. It’s filed under Johannesburg and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “Johannesburg traffic from 1934

  1. Anthony Bass on said:

    This picture is between market and pritchard streets with the carlton hotel on the right and katz and lourie onthe left. The tram lines come out of market street from the terminus at city hall.

  2. Fred Craandyk on said:

    Lovely, that short film on Clarendon circle. A pity that it is too short.

  3. I was born in jhb in1939. I remember Clarendon circle during the royal visit of king George, his wife and Elizabeth and Margeret, at which time the circle wa converted to a huge crown emblazoned with coloured lights. I remember more if needed. Leon Bredenkamp.

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