A blog about what I love….photography and bicycles!

Pietermaritzburg City of Choice (Part 2), in the Station

After having got to the site at 06h15 on Sunday morning and spending an hour wondering around the depressing smelly area of the Station we went to the working part. As noted on the previous post this is a very beautiful old building. Victorian, red brick, intricate facades, lovely finishes all in one building. The grand old place now needs a bit of love, there is rubbish lying around signs need a lick of paint, areas have been excluded from normal traffic by bundling balls of razor wire in the passages, glass panes need replacing and the clock has been stuck at 12h00 for a while. Little care has been demonstrated in the upgrades implemented. It seems that areas need to be more defined to help people to and from the trains. Rather than using barricading that blends in palisade has been used. Apart from all my whining the building is still being used and is in good shape.  There are two large Encephalartos natalensis (Natal Giant Cycad) out the front hidden from view by creepers and trees. What the area could do with is a little love and respect. Here are a couple of photographs taking in the station and along the track.

Before we start I see that Dougs post on the day is up as well so pay that a visit on http://www.douglasimages.co.za/index.php?option=com_blog&view=comments&pid=49&Itemid=2

As you enter you walk passed these old ticket booths, hardwood frames, steel bars and intricate brick work. Did Ghandi walk through here and buy his ticket before being thrown off the train for not being white??  The blue of the bench caught my eye.  The broom and coke bottles are a little reminder of where we are.

Another view of the booths. Notice the work in the brickwork as well as the wood, really lovely.

It has been 12h00 for a while, eternal lunchtime here in Africa.

The signs, a real blast from the past, Platform 1, notice also the old lettering on the information board.

And then there was the scale………

And then the awful pallisade at the Platform 4 and 5 steps.

And finally, a view of the station from the Durban side, this is where the Welcome sign is situated.

The last two posts have been rather negative and for this I apologise. The slow demise and disrespect of our local heritage hurts. I hope that with the new administration in PMB we might see buildings like this saved. Maybe AMAFA can put a bit of pressure on SPOORNET. Who knows??

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2 responses

  1. meggan

    gorgeous pics of the station. It’s really bleak how this beautiful old building has been neglected. I also hope that in time the municipality will get round to refurbishing the place, but only if it is in-keeping with the victorian character of the building. There is nothing more depressing than “improvements” that detract from the history and atmosphere of old buildings. i look forward to checking out doug’s site. thanks very much

    May 31, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    • Thanks Megan and your sentiments are shared, especially the disasterous “improvements” that clash with the beautiful old building. My mate and I are trying to capture a lot of the decay in our city as most people do not see it. I am suddenly reminded of the opening lines of ;ast weeks Friday Natal Witness which read “the ANC has strengthened its grip on the city despite running it into the ground.”

      Have a great day

      Simon

      June 1, 2011 at 7:58 am

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