30 March 1892, William Shilling of Shilling Bottles fame, dies.
30 March 1955, George Hitchcock receives award for 50 years service in the De Beers Company.
50 years’ service to the De Beers Company
The General Manager of De Beers, Mr WS Gallagher has presented an engraved watch to Mr George Otho Hitchcock (pictured with his wife) in recognition of 50 years’ service with De Beers Mines. The presentation was made at a function in the General Manager’s office in the presence of Mrs Hitchcock and heads of department.
Mr Hitchcock was born in Cape Town but came to Kimberley with his parents at the age of four years. He started work at De Beers Floors as a lad in August 1900 and three years later went on to locos. He has been loco fireman, driver, and boilerman ever since. In January 1948 Mr Hitchcock was placed on the retired list but three years later was recalled and is still working as the boilerman at the Pulsator.
There were two children of the first marriage of Mr Hitchcock in 1907, Mrs E Rosen of Kimberley and Mrs D Laker of Somerset West. There are two grandchildren. After the death of his first wife in 1943, Mr Hitchcock married Miss McKay of Kimberley in 1945. Mrs Hitchcock was an active member of St John Ambulance Brigade and is associated with the Mothwas and the BESL. (British Empire Service League).
Mr Hitchcock was on active service during the Second World War and ius a member of the El Daba Moths Shellhole.
WILLIAM SHILLING OF SHILLING BOTTLES
Collectors of old bottles, as well as many elder residents of Kimberley and surrounds, recall the Shilling bottles, the glass bottles with the “marble” in the neck that preceded the more common Shilling stoneware bottle. These bottles can collect a fine price today.
William Shilling was a native of East Dereham, Norfolk in England and was born on 31 August 1837.
He married Emily Hodges in England and they immigrated to South Africa in 1858, ending up on the diamond fields in Kimberley in 1876 where he started the Shilling Aerated Water Factory on the corner of Southey Street and Stockdale Street. Stockdale Street in the late 19th century/early 20th century Kimberley was a good place to have a business, boasting the De Beers head office, the Queen’s Hotel, the Permanent Building Society as well as the municipal workshops including the Fire Brigade.
William and Emily had eight children, five girls and three boys – Emily (born 1860), George William (1863), Eliza Jane (1868), Ann Louisa (1869), Fanny (1871), Sidney Joseph (1875), James Augustus (1882), and Helena Hester (1885).
Of the above James and Helena were born in Kimberley. Both were born after their elder brother George had married Hester Jackson in Cape Town in 1881, aged 18 years. Sidney did not live long and died in Kimberley in September 1879 aged four years.
William Shilling died in Kimberley on 30 March 1892 and is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery.
Shortly after his death the Shilling factory was sold to a Mr Carrolson in 1892, who in turn, sold it to William Lawrence in 1896.
Pictured are three different Shilling bottles.