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Famous Streets in Kimberley

Carrington Road

Carrington Road has always been considered an avenue for the very well-to-do of Kimberley and boasts some truly historic houses, particularly those on the Kimberley side rather than the Beaconsfield side that are more modern. Two of the more outstanding houses are Rockmount and Kumo House, the former being originally owned by Andrew Bennie, while the latter was a Fort during the siege of Kimberley and is now known as Fort Kumo. (Kumo, incidentally, in Setswana, means ‘wealth’).

I digress however. Carrington Road is named after Major-General Sir Frederick Carrington KCMG KCB, who was born in Cheltenham, England on the 23rd August 1844 and died there on 22 March 1913.

The second son of Edmund and Louisa Carrington he was educated at Cheltenham College and entered the 24th Foot in 1864. In 1877, with the rank of subaltern, he raised and commanded the Frontier Light Horse for the Ninth Frontier War in the Eastern Cape and was involved in actions throughout South Africa until 1881. This included the Griqualand West Uprising of 1878 and the Sekhukhune in 1878 and 1879. In the latter he commanded the Transvaal Volunteers.

In 1880 he was appointed Officer Commanding a part of the Cape Mounted Rifles and served throughout the Basuto (Lesotho) Gun War as second-in-command of all forces. Was besieged in Mafeteng but relieved in November 1880, and was wounded in March 1881. In 1884 he raised and commanded the 2nd Mounted Rifles (Carrington’s Horse) in Sir Charles Warren’s Expedition to Bechuanaland when Mafikeng was founded.

In 1885 he raised and commanded the Bechuanaland Border Police, this until 1893. Made a KCMG in 1887. In 1888 his experience was necessary in peace operations in Zululand where he commanded 5000 Zulu soldiers. He assisted in the raising of the British South Africa Company police force and in 1893 was advisor to the High Commissioner during the Matabele War. Promoted to Major-General in 1895 and appointed to a command at Gibraltar. In 1896 was sent to command all forces during the Matabele Uprising. Later that year he married Susan Elwes, the union producing two daughters. Was made a KCB. In 1899 during the Anglo-Boer War was appointed Commander of the Rhodesian Field Force but only arrived there in March 1900, and finally entering the Transvaal in June 1900. Failed in his attempt to relieve Elands River Post in August and in September he returned to the then Rhodesia.

Retired from the army in 1904 to his lands in Cheltenham.

A powerfully built man he was once the amateur middleweight boxing champion of Great Britain. Loud voiced, foul tempered but with a courage bordering on foolhardiness, he was a superb trainer and leader of mounted infantry being a pioneer in this form of warfare. His reputation against African enemies was good but against the Boers extremely poor.

Landella Street

In the historic No 2 section of Galeshewe, it is named after Nicholas Landella who worked for the Postmaster-General. Landella had all mail delivered to his house and he would distribute to the addressees. He was Chairman of the African Cricket Union for a time, played for the Olympic Rugby Club and then formed his own team, the Red Eagles, in 1959.

Tapscott Street

Named after George A. M. Tapscott, the father of ‘Doodles’ and ‘Dusty’ Tapscott, the famous South African cricketers, and of ‘Billie’ Tapscott, the first lady player to NOT wear stockings at Wimbledon. George, a director of the firm Hill and Paddon (and a manager of the same firm), was at one time a City Councillor of Kimberley. Tapscott Street received electricity in 1905 and was tarmacadamed in 1937. Two Springbok rugby players lived on this street, George Crampton (in No 15) and Bertie Powell (in No 17). The street attracted mostly upper middle class residents, illustrated by assistant town clerk, Mr Starkey, living at No 5. One of, if not the most, beautiful houses in Kimberley is No 9, owned by the Switzer family. The Switzer family has lived in this house since 1973 when they purchased it from a Katz family (the Katz father worked at a butchery). The house was used for a setting in the 1980 TV series “Arende”. It was built in 1914 by George Church (Snr), of the firm Church and Maclauchlin, as a wedding present for his son, George William Church (Jnr), and was described in the DFA as being a “handsome, new, freehold villa residence”. The wedding was on 10 November 1914 in St Cyprian’s Cathedral and the newly weds had an “At Home” on 17 November 1914 to “christen” the house. George (Jnr) had married Ethel Gertrude Looney, and were still living at the house in 1924, but by the time George Snr died in 1935 they were living in Springs. The house that the infamous murderess, Daisy de Melker, lived in when she visited her sister in Kimberley was No 9 Tapscott Street. Daisy was married to a Kimberley man, Sydney de Melker, when she was executed in 1932 for murdering her son. Sydney played rugby for South Africa from 1903-1907. Daisy’s sister, Fannie MacLachlan, lived at this house with her husband W.M. (a police sergeant), and their son “Ginger”. Both Fannie and Ginger were involved with Daisy’s trial. Daisy also murdered two of her previous husbands, while the death of a fiancé and four other children were not investigated.

Jones Street

Named after William Thomas Jones, the owner of a pub named the “Old Cock” just off Market Square on the street itself. Jones, himself known as “Old Cock”, saw service in the Frontier Wars of 1846 and 1851 and in 1878 had resolved to go to the Transvaal as the Sergeant in charge of a group of volunteers known as “the Old Duffers”.

Elbow Street

A reminder of the original layout of early Kimberley, and obviously in the shape of the elbow.

Florence Road

Named after Flora Brown who was born in Glasgow in 1855, ten minutes after her twin sister. (Both are buried in the same grave in Gladstone cemetery). They arrived at the diamond diggings in 1871 to join their father. An enthusiastic cyclist, Flora was not averse to playing cricket and soccer, and was a keen amateur actor. She died on 6 November 1930.

Warren Street

General Sir Charles Warren, G.C.M.G., K.C.B., F.R.S., R.E. 1840-1927
Born in 1840, Charles Warren was educated at Cheltenham College, from which he proceeded to Sandhurst and Woolwich. He was gazetted in 1857 to the Royal Engineers.

Between 1867 and 1870 Captain Warren carried out the explorations in Palestine of the topography of ancient Jerusalem and the archaeology of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sherif. This first major expedition of the Fund, in addition to the information it provided concerning Jerusalem, served to raise the public interest in the work of the Fund sufficiently such that £60,000 was raised by public subscription to carry out the great survey of Western Palestine. In addition to his explorations on, under, and around the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sherif, Warren surveyed the Plain of Philistia and carried out a very important reconnaisance of central Jordan.

After this he was sent to South Africa where during the next few years it fell to him to settle many difficult questions in connection with the boundary of the British possessions, which he did with the utmost tact and diplomacy. Returning to England in 1880, he was appointed Instructor of Surveying at Chatham, but in 1882 he again returned to Africa, where he established the claims of Great Britain over the disputed territory known as British Bechuanaland. After holding command of the garrison in Suakim (1886) he was recalled to England the same year to be Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police – a position from which he resigned in 1888 through disagreements with the Home Office. In the following year he went to Singapore, where he commanded the troops in the Straits Settlements for five years.

During the Boer War as a Lieutenant-General he commanded the 5th Division of the South African Field Force. His first failure at Spion Kop was the subject of much controversy, but on the resumption of the offensive in Natal he succeeded in forcing a crossing of the Tugela River and in winning an action at Pieters Hill that paved the way for the relief of Ladysmith. He later held an important administrative post in Cape Colony. He was promoted General in 1904, and the next year was placed on the retired list. He was a keen Freemason and first Master of the First Lodge founded with the aim of conducting Masonic research. There is a Charles Warren Lodge in Kimberley, and a Warren Street as well. Warrenton is named after him.

After his retirement he took a keen interest in the Church Lads’ Brigade and was a pioneering Scoutmaster in the movement founded by his boyhood friend and military colleague, Lord Baden-Powell

Stockdale Street

Named after Richard H. Stockdale, a wholesale/retail merchant of Kimberley and Windsorton (Hebron). In August 1871 he purchased the farm “Vooruitzicht”, also known as De Beers, for Mr Arthur Ebden, from the De Beers brothers.

Giddy Street

The road leading from Market Square to beyond the Police Station was originally named Giddy Street, with Transvaal Road continuing from the Police station. It is not known when Giddy Street fell into disuse or was re-named. Named after either Henry Richard or Orlando Giddy, brothers who were with Fleetwood Rawstorne’s Colesberg Kopje party that registered the first claims in what is now the Big Hole of Kimberley.

Thompson Street

The most popular theory is that the street was named after George William Thompson who reputedly started the first pub in Kimberley. Other theories are that it was named after John Cyprian Thompson, a Cape lawyer commissioned in 1871 to administer the laws in the new province of Griqualand West, and a member of the Legislative Assembly of Griqualand West in 1874; and that it was named after Francis “Matabele” Thompson, a colleague of Cecil Rhodes. Of the three suggestions, the most likely is the second. More notable is that the Prospector’s Lodge building was formerly the Masonic Hotel, famed for spectators watching the nearby executions from the roof.

Bean Street

Named after George M Bean, the middle initial sometimes is sometimes erroneously given as a ‘T’. Hailing from Adelaide, South Australia, George Bean was a diamond digger at Klipdrift (Barkly West) in the early 1870s, his partner being one Robert G Lawrence. He came to the Kimberley dry diggings in September 1871 when, in his words, Kimberley was called Colesberg Kopje AND Number 2 Kopje. He was elected to the diggers committee as the Honorary Secretary – the committee having the wonderful name of “Committee of Public Safety” – and was intimately involved in the build up to the Black Flag Rebellion of 1875. It appears that he was not active during the rebellion as he had left Kimberley and the colony in late 1873 early 1874.

Bean Street was kerbed in 1908 and by 1918 boasted a cosmopolitan collection of businesses owned by all nationalities and cultures including a butchery known as Kamaloodien’s before being sold to Hassan at Number 5, and the Harris Hartley Dairy at Number 9.

Lennox Street

Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox who was an England-based shareholder of the London and South African Exploration Company

Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox who was an England-based shareholder of the London and South African Exploration Company

Lennox Street often referred to as being named after the legendary vagabond Scotty Smith – who was a Lennox – this is incorrect as Scotty Smith only arrived in the Northern Cape in 1878/79 and the street was in existence before that date.

It is named after Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox who was an England-based shareholder of the London and South African Exploration Company who owned the land the street was originally laid. Gordon-Lennox was the 6th Duke of Richmond and lived from 1818 to 1903.

The street housed the offices of the L and SA Company.

Crossman Road

Named after Lt-Colonel (later Sir) William Crossman, Royal Engineers, who was in charge of the Royal Commission into the Black Flag Rebellion of 1875. Appointed by Lord Carnarvon, the commission sat in Kimberley in January 1876. Appointed Lieutenant in 1848. In 1852 Crossman, while a 2nd Lieutenant, was a Magistrate in the Perth, Albany district of Australia, and on 3 March 1855 married Catherine Josephine Morley. He returned to England in 1856 with his wife and child. By 1858 was a Captain and, 1872 a Major, 1873 a Lieutenant-Colonel, and by 1878 was a Colonel. He worked on the fortifications of Plymouth Harbour, and by 1884 had worked in South Africa and Canada, being Secretary for the Royal Commission on the defences of Canada. He was knighted in 1885 and was elected a Member of Parliament for Plymouth (England) the same year, keeping his seat until 1892. The following year he retired from the British Army with the rank of Major-General, and in 1894 was appointed the High Sheriff of Northumberland. He died in Plymouth on 19 April 1901, leaving his wife, sons Robert and Lawrence, and daughters Mary and Alice.

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