Notes from the underground Feb 2023

Why the underground? Last year I moved my research library into the ‘cellar’ under the house where I also keep my music. Father’s Day brought gifts of desk lights, concrete blocks, and wood, that transformed one section of the space. It doesn’t quite house all the Johannesburg books yet but it is a vast improvement. I may move the music books to another shelf once I’ve whittled down the CD collection…

To the notes then:

The next post is pt.3 and the final instalment of the history of Newtown and I’m aiming to complete this by March or April. I initially wanted to start the history of ‘Fietas’ or Pageview after that, but I’m thinking about adding another non-suburb piece in between: The history of hotels in Johannesburg

I’ve collected some great tourist guides from 1940s – 1970s with detailed listings of the various hotels. The early hotels are relatively easy to research as they’ve been covered extensively. It could make for some interesting ‘then & now’ photos as well as bring back some long-lost memories of the old haunts. So, that’s the rough itinerary for 2023, day-job pressures notwithstanding.

Finally, I get many requests for information via posts, Instagram, e-mail or the Facebook group. I try to assist where I can, but some are outside of my capabilities, especially the very specific genealogical and suburban property questions and requests. Others are doable but require hours and hours of research which I just don’t have the personal time for unless I charge for the work (which does happen occasionally).

This one from a few years ago was way beyond my expertise.

Last year, I received a mail from Chris Steyl who was looking for information on the old Johannesburg Technical College. Here I was able to easily assist and even discovered that the old woman’s residences still stand in Hospital Hill/Wanderer’s View. I also learned that the last remaining house in Wanderer’s View which was for many years the Hotel School was also once the male residence.

Old Hotel School house in Smit Street (Source: Marc Latilla)

Chris was working on a personal history book covering letters from his wife’s aunt when she was studying at the college in the early 1940s. It’s a fascinating account of life in the city by way of postal correspondence. It is written in Afrikaans and is available on Amazon as an ebook HERE

Cover of ‘Met liefdegroete van suster’ by Chris Steyl
This entry was published on January 29, 2023 at 4:49 pm. It’s filed under Johannesburg and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “Notes from the underground Feb 2023

  1. Hello, Just wanted to say thank you for your work shared here about Johannesburg, much appreciated.

  2. Thanks Marc. Good to see you pop up in my inbox again! I think you should have gone looking for the Zambian, man! 😉 – (On reflection, of course, probably a sad backstory). Keep burning the midnight oil!

    • Marc Latilla on said:

      Thanks! Yeah, although funny at the time, they were pretty desperate for any info. Fortunaltey I was able to assist with the relevant contact info. Cheers!

  3. This is incredible! Please keep doing this!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: