I was born in Cape Town South Africa in 1945, just after Adolf had incinerated his Reich but before Uncle Sam did the same to the Japanese. I entered this world at the Leeuwendal Nursing Home – located midway between trackless tram routes 3 & 4! In my formative years, buses vied for my attentions along with railways, ships of the Union Castle Line and the ocean going steam tugs of the South African Railways & Harbours. No apology is made for the idiom of the times – there were no "persons" in the 1950s only real men and beautiful women. To those interested in numbers and technical minutiae read no further; this tale is one of memory with the odd snippet confirmed by the technical press. It is the story of my apprenticeship into the freemasonry of bus nuttery - an affliction of noticing rather than noting as the more advanced form of the disease can take.
Public transport during this decade underwent a period of stable consolidation without radical changes. Growing up in this climate induced a sense of security that the golden age of the half-cab and the trackless tram would last forever. Sadly, it was not to be; this story now belongs to another world in another time. On Christmas Eve 1960 our family sailed away from Cape Town to start a new life in New Zealand.
Regrettably I did not photograph buses when living in Cape Town however I have avidly collected and copied pictures and information about South African buses whenever the opportunity has occurred. These gleanings form the basis for the drawings I have used to illustrate this article.