YENTA breathlessly chasing mills

Passionata, my enthralment with mills.   I was terribly disappointed last year when I was unable to join the Border Historical Society, in East London as an invited speaker, on the subject of my passion, ‘mills’. 

‘Raised’ in my formative years, in the NE Transvaal, by my beloved grandfather, {and orphan, escapee from Estonia 1917} he indulged my interest, as a true Rabbi  by searching for mills while was away at boarding school. On my return, there would be an adventure to a farm in the district, to visit, that had a mill.

Main picture: Bradshaw’s Mill

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Mill Wheels Grinding: Pyott’s Mill

Mill Wheels Grinding- aka {Yenta searching for mills- like any good Jewish Donna Quixote would do} even if its chasing biscuits.

PORT ELIZABETH EC Biscuits- circa 1862- am copying this here, as I found it whilst looking for mills, and I had saved the mill pics months ago. Not quite the mills I was looking for, however, as fascinating, as there was similar factory, in East London EC.

“Remember PYOTT’S BISCUITS – makers of Salticrax, Romany Creams, Iced Zoo and many other SA favourites? Today they’re all branded under the Bakers label and the Pyott name is all but lost forever. 

Main picture: Original Pyott’s factory in Port Elizabeth

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: King’s Beach over the Years

Prior to the construction of the harbour wall in the 1920s, the beach from the Baakens River to the Shark River was largely unusable for swimming purposes. This is the reason why the first beach south of the Baakens River to gain popularity was Humewood. 

Yet after the erection of the harbour wall, there was a steady accumulation of sea sand against the sea wall to the point where the accumulated sand now stretches along the whole length of the wall. 

Main picture: Sand dunes covering the whole of what was to become Humewood and Summerstrand. Even though it is unclear, there is no beach along the coast

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Mill Wheels Grinding Part 2: Cock’s Mill

Mill Wheels Grinding.  {aka Yenta searching for mills- like any good Jewish Donna Quixote would do}

Cock’s Mill. Circa 1850, a grist mill-big wheel on the side ne? Built as a cotton mill, originally, the need for flour over shadowed this fanciful notion. {William Cock, an English entrepreneur of stature, hurriedly altered the building, to suit, and he was open for business in no time}

Main picture: Cock’s Mill 38 – West Bank (Truscott)

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Mill Wheels Grinding

 {aka Yenta searching for mills} like any good Jewish Donna Quixote would do.

What began as a mild interest, seeing that I live near historical mills, has become an abiding passion. One of amazement and learning, to a degree that has me searching via the internet, physically looking for old mills, and listening to many, many stories, from farmers or ‘mill families’.

Main picture: Horse Mill

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The History of the Pongola 146 Dining Car

The CSAR existed from 1902-1910 and was well-known for its extremely luxurious suburban and main-line trains which were generally regarded as the most well appointed in South Africa and compared well to the best in the rest of the world. One of these four A-17’s was named the Pongola and became car No. 146 in 1911, and saw service until 1926 as a type A-17.
Main picture: Dining car of the Pongola 146 in its heyday

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Two Heroes, Two Divergent Tales but Inextricably Linked

Against of backdrop of sleaze and malfeasance of the 1920s mobster era, two heroes would arise, their tales so extraordinary that one almost judges them as “fake news.” It is not just because of these two men’s undeniable bravery that these tales need to be read. Moreover, it is how these disparate events could be so inextricably linked that is the clincher.

Main picture: Al “Scarface” Capone

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