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Commemorating the first Centenary of Stuttaford & Company Limited CAPE TOWN - JOHANNESBURG - DURBAN - LONDON 1957 Edited and

produced by Fraser Gill, Cape Town, South Africa Printed in the Union of South Africa by Cape Times Limited, Cape Town

CONTENTS INTRODUCTION by R B Stuttaford BOUND FOR TABLE BAY THE PLYMOUTH HOUSE VENTURE A DEAL IN DIAMONDS ADDERLEY HOUSE PEPPER’S GHOST APSEY’S CORNER INVITATION TO INVEST THE WANLESS UNIT EXCHANGE QUOTATION WAR TO END WAR THE YEARS BETWEEN MARCH OF SUPPLIES RETURN TO STABILITY NEW HORIZON SALUTE TO SERVICE TABLES Directorate and Management since the Company was established in 1898 Directorate and Management as at the Centenary Year, 1957 Long Service Personnel as at the Centenary Year, 1957 52 Pensioners as at the Centenary Year, 1957 The Cape Town Store, Sketch showing gradual extension of the Original Property Stuttaford & Company Limited, Extent of the Company’s Properties in Southern Africa as at the Centenary Year, 1957 55 50 51 53 54

11 13 17 19 22 24 26 28 30 33 35 38 41 44 47

Samson Rickard Stuttaford

This is a story of commercial adventure - an adventure in which my family and that of the Thornes with whom the Stuttafords have been associated for the past century, have had the opportunity and privilege of being cast in the principal roles. From beginning to end, our story is intimately linked with the romantic and sometimes dramatic development of South Africa herself. Much of this story extends far beyond my own generation indeed, it actually commences in the reign of King William IV. However, the pace of events, especially in recent years, has increased tremendously since those more leisurely days. In introducing our story to you, therefore, I would like to outline briefly some of the highlights of the generation with which I am acquainted from personal experience, as they have had a very great significance indeed for both South Africa and our own firm of Stuttafords. I was born in 1910 at the commencement of the first of three stages following the Union of the four South African provinces. The first stage was the 1914-18 War, which laid the foundations of many of our present industries. It was a time of considerable hardship to many businessmen, but during it the manufacturing output of the Union more than trebled. The 1914-18 War caused a measure of monetary and price inflation which did not prove permanent, but which was followed by a return in 1923-24 to the gold standard and pre-war price conditions. The return to the gold standard was said to be one of the causes leading to the second important stage, namely the Great Depression, lasting from 1929-32. It was characterised by a standstill in the natural expansion of South Africa’s business figures. However, the Great Depression brought a permanent departure from the gold standard and, ultimately, new prosperity to South Africa. The third stage was World War II, from 1939-1945, which gave a further impetus to industrial development. As in the first stage there was again monetary and price inflation; this did not cease with the end of hostilities and, in spite of some protestations to the contrary, has even continued to the present day — more than a decade later. From the viewpoint of my own generation and especially of those of us who are connected 9

with commerce, the significant fact emerges that all this industrialisation over the three stages of economic ups and downs to which I have referred, did not stifle South Africa’s external trade as our imports between 1938 and 1956 increased five times in value, whilst our exports, of which a considerable portion consisted of industrial goods, actually rose by more than 1,200 per cent over the same period. In this book, which tells the story of the one hundred years since Stuttafords was first founded, you will read a detailed commentary on the tide of events that have taken place during these three vital stages in South Africa’s economic development. You will also, I hope, find interest in that period of our Company’s life which extends back to its earliest days and which is merged, to a not inconsiderable degree, with the fascinating history of our country as a whole. Of those very early days I can only, of course, know from the records in our possession upon which this story is based. As I have already mentioned, those were leisurely days, whereas my own lifetime has been closely concerned with a more eventful period, especially that during and immediately after World War II which presented our Company with many problems. It is when I think of these problems that I am deeply conscious of the staunch support of our customers. Their regular patronage, despite our many shortcomings, has been an inspiration to us in our efforts to improve our stores. Whilst inviting you now to share the story of Stuttafords, I should like also to pay a sincere tribute to the many members of our staff, both past and present, young and old. Without their loyalty and enthusiasm this story would never have been written.


The Duke of Clarence had only recently succeeded his brother, George IV, to the throne as William IV and the Duke of Wellington was still a force to be reckoned with in Britain's public affairs when in July, 1833, in a simple home near the most southerly point of England, at the little town of Helston, Cornwall, a child was born who was later to found one of the great commercial enterprises of the Union of South Africa. His name was Samson Rickard Stuttaford. For generations his family had lived in this craggy corner of the south-west of England, where the sea in the coves is coloured a deep kingfisher blue and where there are still people, even to this very moment, who regard themselves first and foremost as Cornishmen. And so it was a sorry day indeed when Samson Rickard’s father, Samson Pote, died and his wife, Anne, and her son moved to Plymouth in Devonshire. Apart from this, Samson Rickard Stuttaford was desperately anxious to become a farmer but conditions at that time, following the repeal of the Corn Laws and the introduction of the Reform Bill had led to highly unsettled conditions and when the well-known London firm of Shoolbreds offered him the prospect of a job, Samson Rickard decided to accept it. In common with many young sons of successful merchants of the period, however, Samson Rickard Stuttaford, although he was prepared to take on the outward trappings of a counter assistant “destined to greater things in the business if he proved capable’’- continued to cherish his dream of the land or, at least, of a more adventurous existence than London at that time seemed to offer. Deliberately, although not entirely without regret, he denied himself the dubious pleasures which the great city of London offered in the early 19th century. He saved assiduously until eventually he had accumulated sufficient funds to pay for a passage to Table Bay in the Cape of Good Hope. Samson Rickard Stuttaford cared naught that the young country at the foot of Africa was wild, rugged and unexploited. It could not be more rugged than the coastline of his native Cornwall, he considered; and one morning in 1857 he planked down his fare, received his ticket and em11

barked in a small ship of 400 tons on the voyage to the Cape, which he was much later often heard proudly to declare “took no less than two months and ten days”. Little did he know that in the village of Neyland in Pembrokeshire, Wales, a young man only a few years younger than himself was destined to follow the same road and, in later years, to become his close friend and partner. This young man’s name was William Thorne and he was born on January 27, 1839. After a brief schooling in the stern environment of the coalfields, William Thorne started work at the age of 15. Three years later he traced Samson Rickard Stuttaford's footsteps to London in search of his fortune. There he was employed at the outset by White and Greenwell, a firm of drapers in Blackfriars Road. Seventeen working hours daily and a bed behind the counter was his Dickensian entry into the world of London business at that time. The drudgery of his existence was neither less nor more than befell most of his contemporaries but William Thorne, like Samson Rickard Stuttaford, was an individualist and highly enterprising by nature. He endured his apprenticeship for a period then, in 1859, he joined Harvey Nicholls, the famous outfitters of Knightsbridge, where he gained invaluable experience during the twelve short months he stayed with the firm until he, too, decided to set sail for Table Bay. * * * * * The wooden jetty at the foot of the Heerengracht was the only provision for shipping but, despite this, Table Bay was filled with paddle steamers and sailing vessels, travelling to Australia or the Indies. Cape Town, when Samson Rickard Stuttaford landed, had a total population of 20,000. The houses were flat-roofed, the streets unpaved. Only a short while before, the Cape community had been granted self-government, its first parliament assembling in the society rooms of the Lodge De Goede Hoop on June 30, 1854. Looking around him and allowing for the fact that he was 6,000 miles distant from the city of London, Samson Rickard Stuttaford was forced to admit that the town, or “Tavern of the Seas” as Cape Town was popularly called, was by no means as disappointing as he had feared, despite all the bravado with which he had left his friends back home. On all sides, lofty trees shaded the open stoeps of the private homes in and leading off the Heerengracht. By sending a message to a livery stable, a cabriolet could quickly be engaged and additional transport was provided by horse-drawn omnibuses which ran daily from the Heerengracht to Wynberg and to Sea Point. There were many small shops where the more affluent citizens could purchase shoes, hats and suits. There were blacksmiths, bakeries and the workshops of cabinetmakers. There were not a few distilleries. Other than the wares these so-called "emporia" offered, most goods had to be imported, as Samson Rickard Stuttaford was later to find out. The merchants who were already established at the Cape had been attracted to it by a well-publicised development in the local trade, stemming from a virtual share mania which in turn had been inspired by the attractive results of the Copperfields in Namaqualand. Again, huge amounts were being spent by the “Military Chest” in the Kaffir Wars that were raging on the eastern frontier. In fact, the Cape felt itself riding a tide of prosperity. For better or for worse this information spread widely abroad, had attracted Samson Rickard Stuttaford, was shortly afterwards to influence William Thorne and generally gave rise to a tremendous upsurge of economic development, setting South Africa along a road to prosperity which, apart from occasional and inevitable setbacks, she has followed ever since. 12

On his arrival at the Cape Samson Rickard Stuttaford, who had a pleasant and forthright personality, very quickly established himself with the local community and soon, armed with a testimonial from Shoolbreds, he was invited to call upon the shop of Anthony Woodward and William Henry Fletcher, linen drapers, silk mercers and haberdashers in 2, Darling Street. The partners in this firm, later to become known as Fletcher and Cartwrights Ltd., offered him a position as assistant salesman. He accepted it with the wry observation that once again he was bartering his dream of the land in order to become a merchant. Samson Rickard Stuttaford undertook his new post seriously, the period he had spent at Shoolbreds standing him in good stead. He became a partner and he also carefully studied local conditions until, in 1857, he decided to start out on his own. The site which Samson Rickard Stuttaford selected for his first enterprise was at 5, Harrington Street, today surrounded by warehouses and factories behind the Cape Town City Hall but still largely residential in those early days of 1857. The first shops were already beginning to infiltrate and the premises into which Samson Rickard Stuttaford moved he christened Plymouth House, a modest twostorey establishment across the front of which “S. R. Stuttaford”, newly painted, announced proudly to all concerned that the owner was ready to do business. In the following year the Cape of Good Hope directory recorded for the first time the name of the new firm, with the erroneous spelling, “Samson Stutterford, Draper, 5 Harrington Street”. Samson Rickard Stuttaford traded in Plymouth House for a while and then formed a partnership with Stephen Poball of Hof Street, the business being transferred to the address of Woodward and Fletcher, his old employers and partners, whose wholesale trade Samson Rickard Stuttaford now handled. Thus in 1859 we find recorded in the Cape of Good Hope directory the firm name of Poball and Stuttaford, Haberdashers, 2 Darling Street, not far from which Samson Rickard Stuttaford himself lived in Sir Lowry Street, later to become Sir Lowry Road and then a desirable neighbourhood. The partnership was destined to be shortlived. Stephen Poball withdrew and in 1860 Samson 13

Rickard Stuttaford was once again on his own, to be joined in the same year firstly by his brother, William Foot, who came out for the purpose after spending a period in Canada and set up house, later, in Sea Point, and then by William Thorne, who had just arrived after leaving Harvey Nicholls of London. Early photographs show a three-storey block in Darling Street with the name “Stuttaford” running along the roof. An invoice of 1866, still headed “Plymouth House”, describes the firm in curlicued Victorian lettering as “Importers of drapery goods; every description of family mourning”, the printing of the invoice having been done in London. * * * * * The 1860’s were difficult years for South Africa and for a time the new partnership had to struggle. The copper boom was now over, devastating droughts ruined the farmers and hundreds of colonists emigrated, some to the goldfields of Victoria, Australia, and others to California. The Suez Canal had been completed and the enormous shipping traffic to Australia and the East, so far the economic mainstay of the Colony, now by-passed it along the north coast of the African continent. Then a miracle happened. Diamonds were discovered. In 1867 the first stones were found near the northern frontier of the Colony and within a year diggers were converging upon the fields from all parts of South Africa and overseas. The torrent of diggers brought an upsurge of life and business to the streets and merchants of Cape Town. The two Stuttafords and William Thorne shared in the prosperity which followed. The year 1867 proved a red-letter year for the firm in another respect, for it was the year in which Prince Alfred, youngest son of Queen Victoria, paid his second visit to South Africa and Stuttafords were appointed to supply goods to the Royal Party. All advertisements, and there were many of them, now proudly carried the important message “By Appointment to His Royal Highness”, accompanied by a sketch of the lion and the unicorn. In the following year a rearrangement took place in the partnership. For a time Samson Rickard Stuttaford carried on by himself; we find a bright Christmas advertisement in the Cape Argus of December 22, 1868, in which the Royal Appointment is again mentioned and the use of a standardised lettering for the Stuttaford name - white on a black ground - is adopted for the first time. Meanwhile William Foot Stuttaford and William Thorne continued to operate together at 2, Darling Street under the title of “Thorne, Stuttaford & Co., Boot, Stationery and General Fancy Goods Repository”. Then on March 10, 1872, after considerable negotiation, an agreement was signed declaring that “William Thorne and Samson Rickard Stuttaford will in future exist as partners in trade as linen and woollen drapers and general merchandise in Adderley Street and Hout Street, Cape Town, Cape of Good Hope under the style or firm of S. R. Stuttaford & Co....” For, two years earlier, in 1870, Samson Rickard Stuttaford had made a vital decision. The old Colonial Bank at the corner of Adderley and Hout Streets had been put up for sale. The price was breathtaking for those days — £10,000. But Samson Rickard Stuttaford felt certain that within a few years Adderley Street would be the business centre of Cape Town. His financial backers were not unwilling to help and the required sum had been raised. There was much talk on the Commercial Exchange at Cape Town, the meeting place of all 14

merchants, when it became known that Samson Rickard Stuttaford, who now finally ended his connection with Fletcher, had taken over the Colonial Bank building, a block three storeys high on one side and two storeys high on the other. It was the original section of the group of buildings that from then on, right up to the present day, was gradually to spread over the entire block between Adderley, Hout, St. George’s and Shortmarket Streets. The latter part of the contract drawn up between Samson Rickard Stuttaford and William Thorne indicated an important new development, for it stated that the partnership between the two men would operate in London under the name of “Stuttaford & Co.” As very little manufacturing was carried on in South Africa in those days, Samson Rickard Stuttaford had long realised the significance of overseas buying operations and on this account, under the new agreement, he left for England to open up a London buying office, first at 49, Fore Street and later at 11, New Union Street, which he continued to control for the rest of his life, making only occasional visits to South Africa. The contract rejoining William Thorne and Samson Rickard Stuttaford was drawn up on highly conservative lines, bills of exchange having to be endorsed by all three partners, the third of whom was, of course, William Foot Stuttaford. Each partner had an equal share in management, profits and losses. [At a later stage Samson Rickard Stuttaford was also to become the owner of the well-known English men’s clothing business of Isaac Walton (London and Newcastle), being succeeded as its chairman on his death by his second son, Charles. An additional interest was Charles Baker, men’s and boys’ ready-to-wear clothiers of London, Charles Stuttaford marrying a daughter of Mr. Baker. By this time Samson Rickard Stuttaford had married and on June 13, 1870, his eldest son and the future head of the firm was born — Richard Stuttaford — who was not only destined to lead and develop the Company until it had become one of the most progressive department stores in South Africa, but was also later to play an important role in his country’s national affairs. * * * * * From the moment of the re-organised partnership, the firm was never to look back. During the ’seventies customers of high standing increasingly came to patronise Stuttafords. During this period, under the administration of Sir Henry Barkly, Government House provided much valuable custom. “Lady Barkly”, the firm wrote to their London office, “has inaugurated quite a new regime here. Balls and ‘At Homes’ are the order of the day, or rather night. In October there is to be a fancy-dress hall. Lady B. herself told me she had given this early notice purposely for the tradesmen, if so willing, to get a few things from England”. Soon afterwards they wrote again, not surprisingly, to state: “We find we are sold out of opera cloaks and ball dresses". In 1872 a note to Samson Rickard Stuttaford in London told him that “Mrs. President Brand (of the Orange Free State) writes to say her goods arrived quite safely”. Another very important customer of Stuttafords was the miniature standing army of the Orange Free State Republic to whom the firm supplied uniforms which, by request of the authorities at Bloemfontein who had a German advisor, were based on those of the Prussian forces. The records reveal interesting close-ups of the South African businessman of the Victorian era. On September 24, 1872, for example, William Thorne wrote to his London partner: “Yesterday a great gun of a south-easter; no one about and no trade. The ‘Iceland’ arrived in the morning 15

but, on account of the wind, they could not communicate with her until this morning. When the mail was landed it brought ten cases for us.” In a letter to an agent Mr. Thorne wrote: “Our Mr. Stuttaford (William Foot) is out on a trip through Swellendam and Mossel Bay and will probably run up via Prince Albert to Beaufort West and back via Worcester. The silks you sent us last week we cannot match in Cape Town. The American Spider we will enquire about. I think they can be imported at much less than the hundred pounds quoted by you. We have some broughams ordered to arrive next month and we will enquire at home what they can be got at and try to send you a drawing. Goods left Cape Town by Tuesday’s wagon.” Mossel Bay became an important trading centre for Stuttafords who appointed Divine, Gates & Co. as their representatives, through whom a considerable amount of produce came to be handled in the shape of sealskins from the coast and feathers from Oudtshoorn and district. A letter dated October 21, 1876, mentions: “Wild feathers keep up in price because they retain the curl much better in winter, but a party who is well informed told Mr. Stuttaford (Samson Rickard) at London that in a short time they expect tame feathers to be down not 50% but 75%, so that you had better let the shipments stop and sell any future lots at Algoa Bay.” The 1877-78 report of the Chamber of Commerce observed that the export of ostrich feathers showed a large increase during 1875-76, whilst ostriches increased greatly in number. In 1880-81 exports were valued at £883,000 but an entry in Stuttafords’ correspondence book in 1885 shows how speculative the trade proved: “It is really difficult to say when feathers will reach their lowest. We expect that they will again go up as fast as they have run down.” The appointment of Divine, Gates & Co. as their representatives in the ostrich feather business was an interesting illustration of how Stuttafords sometimes chose to remain in the background and to operate through affiliates. A typical arrangement was made in 1878 with George Packham & Co. who, for the sum of £300 per annum, rented an area in Stuttafords' Adderley Street, Cape Town, property. The initial agreement was for five years and gave the two Stuttafords, William Thorne, George Packham and the firm of Stuttaford & Co. itself proportional shares in the profits from “a partnership in Trade as Clothiers, Outfitters, Gents’ Hosiers and Mercers”. George Packham managed the business full-time, the agreement being varied periodically later and adjustments made to his minimum income and profit guarantees. An advertisement card notes the firm’s address on the Adderley Street frontage of the Stuttaford block as “Packham & Co., Standard Stores”. In common with other businessmen at that time, the two Stuttafords and William Thorne experienced frequent misgivings with regard to the stability of the concerns with whom they banked. Until the consolidation of South Africa’s banking business in the hands of a few firms of world repute and resources, there were frequent alarms about the solvency of the private banks. A crisp entry in Stuttafords’ correspondence book in 1876 refers to a bank failure at Stellenbosch and concludes: “The cashier is in gaol; the chairman has committed suicide.” 16

Over 600 miles inland across the empty Karroo a tin and canvas shanty town had sprung up, which was called after Her Majesty’s Colonial Secretary, the Rt. Hon. the Earl of Kimberley. In the early ’seventies Samson Rickard and William Foot Stuttaford decided to journey to the diamond fields to investigate. Their conclusions were favourable and they decided to operate. Opposite the famous “Big Hole” there was a shack and one day the folk of Kimberley saw that across it had been painted the name “S. R. Stuttaford & Co.” over that of the former agents, Hazell, Ballam & Co. This unusual venture of Stuttafords into the diamond business occupied much of the firm’s time. However, no South African business house worth its salt during the ’seventies failed to seek its share of this fantastically profitable trade. A letter dated July 4, 1872, stated: “We are not aware whether Mr. Dixon has anything to do with diamonds. If he has, we should be glad at any time to receive any small parcels you may wish sold here in Cape Town or will send them to our London partner for sale. We think it would pay you to send us splints of diamonds - if you can buy them at from 10/- to 15/per carat and ‘boart’ (an industrial diamond) at about 6/9 or 7/6." A covering note to Mr. F. Crowder, New Rush (later renamed Kimberley) gives an idea of the speed of letter transport: “The goods have left Cape Town and you may expect them in about 24 days from this date.” In other words, the average rate of travel from the coast inland at that time was just over 25 miles a day! On another occasion William Thorne wrote to Mr. Kossuth in Kimberley: “Our Mr. W. F. Stuttaford and Mr. Levenberg have just left Cape Town by transport wagon to visit the diamond Fields. Our Mr. Stuttaford has samples of a large portion of goods we have in stock and will call on you in a day or so after you receive this letter and will be glad to receive orders or commissions for any goods from Cape Town.” Then, in a letter to Mr. Kossuth, William Foot Stuttaford refers to his trade in diamonds: “We shall be glad to receive diamonds as a remittance. We occasionally buy a few small stones, only perfect specimens, weighing from half carat to five 17

carats each - or if you sent us a few, we would sell them either in Cape Town or forward them on to England to Mr. Stuttaford (Samson Rickard) and sell them there.” Although at the outset the Kimberley house operated as “S. R. Stuttaford & Co.”, it was later handed over to Hazell, Ballam & Co. which had become a subsidiary of the rapidly-growing firm. Needless to say the profitable, free-for-all days of the diamond fields were not to continue indefinitely and by April of 1875 a slump was indicated when the service of passenger wagons to the diamond fields was reduced because of insufficient traffic. In 1881, however, a record boom once again struck the fields and prosperity was further stimulated by the native Wars in Natal, Basutoland and the Transvaal. The following year the market once again crashed heavily and thousands of diggers were without work. “Customers' returns for the first half of this month", wrote Stuttafords to Samson Rickard in London on March 20, 1883, “show tremendous falling off in the market. Port Elizabeth seems to be in a worse plight than Cape Town.” Farmers reported a drop in the price of wool, there was a failure of the wheat harvest in the Western Province and a vine disease destroyed every vineyard throughout the country. * * * * * Yet again, the tide of fortune turned. At Kimberley powerful forces were at work to rationalize the diamond industry by a process of co-ordination and amalgamation. This was followed by the discovery of gold in the low Country of the Transvaal, culminating in 1884 with the finds at Barberton. Two years later major discoveries were made on the Witwatersrand and William Thorne now decided that it was high time to investigate the position up there. Early in 1887 he took Gibson’s coach to Kimberley and travelled from there to Pretoria and Ferreira’s camp. The first successful stand sale had taken place and thousands of diggers were already at work, but William Thorne felt uncertain of the prospects of the fields and decided, at least for the time being, to postpone any investments. The Transvaal government seemed to share this policy — they considered leases of 9 years and 11 months quite sufficient for standholders in the new, first section of the township. Cecil John Rhodes himself was doubtful in the beginning about the genuineness of the Rand. He plunged, nevertheless, and his company, The Consolidated Goldfields of South Africa, soon rivalled those of Wernher, Beit & Co., Herman Eckstein & Co. and the Barnato Brothers. There was gold. It was beyond doubt. Shares soared and the stream of immigrants from Johannesburg turned back towards the Highveld. Bankrupt storekeepers took courage. Coastal firms were told that they might once again give credit. This was indeed a remarkable period in South Africa’s history and the firm of Stuttafords was soon to share in the excitement and prosperity which developed. 18

At the time of South Africa's discovery that she possessed gold in vast quantities and for some years afterwards Stuttafords, despite their various outside interests and enterprises were, as they had been from the outset, essentially a Cape Town business. The original Adderley Street building had come to be known as Adderley House — and is still so called today. On the Adderley Street frontage there were half a dozen gaslamps with white shades. They were never lit for some reason that nobody has been able to explain. Lifts, of course, had still to be introduced and the wholesale entrance in Adderley Street was served by a portable staircase of generous dimensions, which was raised and lowered mechanically. After the close of an exhibition of colonial industries and arts held at Kimberley in 1892, Stuttafords bought the showcases and made a great impression in Cape Town by placing the black frames in their upstairs fashion floor. During the fruit season it was usual to have baskets of grapes on the counters from which customers were invited to help themselves. This privilege, needless to say, was freely exercised. Only the cleaners objected. Organised mail order business flourished and for over half a century Stuttafords used it extensively. They brought out highly elaborate catalogues in the later ‘eighties which grew in bulk with each issue. A typical catalogue from Stuttafords dated 1894 ran to over 700 pages. It was handsomely bound in cloth with the firm’s coat of arms embossed upon it in red and gold. On the outside ran a slogan: “We have only one price, all goods are marked in plain figures.” The “Post Order Department”, as it was called, was based on the principles formulated by similar business houses overseas, particularly in the United States where the mail order trade had already been brought to a high pitch of efficiency. The range of commodities was quite astonishing and many of the articles would be difficult to identify today. Amongst some of the curiosities were, For example: “Champion beetle trap 1/9; iridescent bead braces - a beautiful novelty; children’s bamboo cars; elastic-sided boots; Dorcas’ thimbles; carpet bags; hoods and fascinators evening wear (worn over the head); furniture grimps; fencing helmets; mourning umbrellas.” 19

Corset busks were guaranteed “twin steels, unusual strength, 6½d. per pair”- particularly recommended was the “Parisian spoon shape”. Then there were “leather garters for ladies’ wear, 6d. per pair”. And a new “breeze hat" grip: “This novel little invention ladies will recognise as a distinct boon.” Not to mention “skirt grips. Nothing is more unsightly than a gap at the back between the bodice and the skirt and ladies will therefore be glad to know that a useful little article designed to prevent this can he had at a slight cost. The single ‘Leopold’ skirt grip, easily adjusted - once worn, always worn, 3½d. each”. A singularly vital part of Stuttafords’ business was devoted to the occupation of mourning. Widows' costumes ranged in price from 3½ to 4 guineas and they could be trimmed with light to heavy crepe from 4½ to 5 guineas. Mourning materials chiefly used were nun’s veiling, cashmere and crepe cloths. Children’s mourning costumes were a speciality as also was complimentary mourning -“This department is always well stocked with suitable materials in woollen and cotton. Black cashmere costumes ready-made, in plain and crepe-trimmed, always in stock. Prices ranging from 35/- to 72/.” * * * * * Along came the safety bicycle in the ’eighties, which gave women the chance to take to the open road, Stuttafords being among the first firms in South Africa to provide suitable attire. Apart from the divided skirt, there were decorously feminine patterns and, for the youngsters, “children’s riding habits, also cycling costumes and petticoats” and the “special light knicker skirt”. This was a period when little Lord Fauntleroy was the model for many fond mothers when clothing their boys. Besides “them sashes, curls and things”, as the poets said, there were an outfit for a small toreador, complete with miniature cloak for throwing over the bull, a Tommy Tucker ensemble (50/-) and a Dick Whittington Outfit (cat not included). Price-minded modern mothers will be interested in a typical layette Offered by Stuttafords at that time for the inclusive sum of 3 guineas: “Four cambric shirts 2/10d., two woven swaithes 1/5d., two flannel swaithes 1/5d., two night flannels 6/6d., one day flannel 4/3d., three night-gowns 5/9d., two day gowns 5/6d,, one dozen Turkish napkins 9/-, one flannel pilche 1/6d., one waterproof pilche 2/6d., two long slips, plain tucked 4/6d., one long slip trimmed 2/6d., one head flannel 3/11d., two pairs wool boots 1/9d., four bibs 2/2d., one robe 7/6d.” Novelties were quickly seized upon and Stuttafords were early in the field in catering for the amateur photographer. Half a century ago the firm was offering the Stopit, a new hand camera. More advanced photographers were offered the Instantograph - an apparatus “useful for all kinds of work, instantaneous pictures, portraits, groups, landscapes, architectural and engineering subjects, etc. and etc. The lens is a most rapid type and has a patent, instantaneous shutter, working with the greatest rapidity, also our patent adjustable diaphragms, showing at a glance the precise aperture by divided scale and the relative times of exposure with different apertures. “The camera is beautifully made and folds up into the smallest possible compass. Fine adjustment is obtained by rackwork. The bellows in the Instantograph are made of leather and the apparatus of which, by the way, over 60,000 have been sold, is pronounced the sine qua non of the amateur photographer. The stand is of polished mahogany with a brass top. Each set consists of camera, slide, lens, shutter and stand, half-plate at 8 guineas. Extra double dark slides £1. 5. 0.” 20

There were also the Omnigraph, Le Meritoire and many other types of cameras, all of which were stocked and sold by Stuttafords. In 1893 a completely new photographic age was inaugurated with the Kodak hand camera. Stuttafords promptly advertised it as “a complete Kodak on a small scale. Not a plaything. For pictures 2" by 1½". Size of camera 2⅜” by 3⅞". Weight loaded with 12 pictures, 7 ounces. Loaded and unloaded in daylight. Is fitted with rotary shutter which is always set, three stops for the lens and rectangular viewfinder. Price loaded with 12 exposures of film and book of instructions, £2.” For youngsters there was the “Boys’ Own Set”-“having been repeatedly asked for a cheap camera for boys at school which is of guaranteed quality, we have therefore made up a set as above which consists of polished mahogany camera with single dark slide, achromatic lens covering the plate all over, ruby lamp, printing frame, dishes, plates, chemicals for negatives and prints, sensitised paper, etc., all fitted in travelling case with straps. Price complete, quarter plate, 2 guineas.” Stuttafords also had a flourishing optical department which sold reading glasses, microscopes and many kinds of spectacles besides field glasses, binoculars and telescopes. Country customers were able to have their orders made up from prescription. “Eyeglasses and spectacles. Persons residing at distance are requested, in order to facilitate the despatch of orders, to send a pair previously used with instructions as to requirements and to state age, or if wanted convex for reading or concave for distance, with any other information they possess. We undertake no responsibility for damage in delivery.” And, of course, we must not forget the Premier Cycle “as ridden by His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales”, which was a most valuable Stuttafords agency. During the height of the cycling boom the makers in Coventry announced that they had disposed of 33,000 machines in a single season. As for the Primus stove, for which Stuttafords were also quick to build up a tremendous sale, this was described as an important invention-“You can fry, cook or boil three dishes at a time quicker than on a coal fire, on a Primus cooking range.” The 20th century brought a gradual decline in the mail order business but for many years the annual catalogues sent out by Stuttafords were to be found on thousands of South African farms. And still today this aspect of Stuttafords’ trade is by no means extinct. 21

Here we digress for a moment and recall a remarkable branch in the field of entertainment which had a related and temporary, but unhappily pronounced effect upon Stuttafords or, at least, upon their premises, in common with those of their contemporaries. One of the greatest novelties produced at the Cape in the latter half of the last century was the presentation of Pepper’s Ghost, a stage trick performed with the use of mirrors. Professor Pepper, the inventor, was a member of the London Polytechnic in the 1860’s when he first devised a system of mirrors by means of which the most uncanny effects could be achieved on the stage. These were put to illusionists, who provided such horrifying programmes as “The Haunted Castle" or “The Curse of the Baskervilles.” Skeletons, headless spectres and rattling chains were raised up for the hideously delicious entertainment enjoyed by the public at that period. Any announcement in the playbills that a Pepper’s Ghost show would be presented never failed to draw a full house to the theatre. All of which brings us to Charles Freeman, who came to South Africa in the ’seventies in charge of Pepper’s Ghost. He did very well, but, after a while, he became discontented with the show business and decided to change his calling. Opening an office in Cape Town, Charles Freeman marketed the products of MacFarlane’s Ironworks in Glasgow, Scotland. This famous old concern thereupon helped Charles Freeman in his selfappointed task of changing the face of Victorian South Africa. The results of his work had to be seen to be believed. It is an unfortunate fact that many of them still can be seen. Those innumerable curlicued verandahs and ornate metal stairways which still astonish us in the older streets of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Pieterrnaritzburg came to this country mainly through the exceptionally convincing salesmanship of Mr. Charles Freeman. During the 1880’s and ’nineties MacFarlane’s ironwork was considered the most up-to-date and attractive form of decoration ever devised by man. Stuttafords themselves fell for the new 22

mode hook, line and sinker, investing in some stupendous balconies running along the whole of their Adderley Street frontage and around the sides. Then Freeman, a gentleman of bounding enthusiasm and ambition, no longer content to sell his metal curlicues, blossomed forth as an architect in his own right. Needless to say, he embodied as much ironwork as he conceivably could in all his designs. Amongst Freeman’s achievements was a huge metal sign, “Thorne, Stuttaford & Co.”, overhanging Adderley Street. This sign was so heavy that for a long time there was a genuine fear that the roof would give way, so the trusses had to be strengthened from below. Freeman next exercised his talents on the Rand. His magnum opus was Apsey’s Building. Its lofty, mansard roof and elaborate wroughtiron cornices made this corner of Pritchard Street occupied by Stuttafords an immediate landmark to all and sundry for many, many years to come . . . 23

In 1893 Samson Rickard Stuttaford, his son Richard and William Thorne decided once again to investigate business prospects on the Rand. This time they bought a site in Pritchard Street, one of the main shopping thoroughfares of the city. Shacks and houses of corrugated iron lined the street, and stretches of veld lay between Ferreira’s camp and Market Square. After business hours the shopkeepers lit their windows and on Saturday nights when the miners hit the town to spend their wages, Pritchard Street blazed with oil lamps. At every corner of central Johannesburg stood a bar. It was invariably packed to the doors. The site the three businessmen from Cape Town had selected consisted of two stands, numbers 58 and 60 Pritchard Street, the combined area of which was 100 feet square and the cost — £8,000. This site was, however, only their second best choice as actually they had wanted to buy the premises next door, a two-storey block of shops with a roof extending over the pavement which stood at the corner of Pritchard and Rissik Streets. It belonged to the draper, J. T. Apsey, and it was known as the Colonnade. This site the Stuttafords and William Thorne considered to be the most suitable position for their future branch store in Johannesburg. But Apsey was by no means an easy man to deal with and for the time being they had to be content with the two adjoining stands. D. Garrow and F. Prynn were appointed resident partners for Thorne, Stuttaford and Co. in the Transvaal, the firm describing itself as “Drapers, Milliners, Dressmakers, Tailors, Bootstore and Furniture Warehouse.” A tremendous boom was now sweeping the goldfields. A series of successful borings and development works had shown that the deep levels were much greater in extent than all previous estimates and the problem of recovering the gold from the ore was being successfully solved through the MacArthur-Forrest cyanide process. An important event that had just been concluded was the visit to South Africa of a very 24

eminent engineer and geologist, Bergrath Schmeisser of the Prussian Ministry of Mines. Commissioned to make an independent report for the Kaiser’s government, Schmeisser spent several months examining the mines which he did with typical Teutonic thoroughness. In 1893 his report was made available to the general public and it completely staggered the few remaining sceptics. “Nothing,” said Schmeisser, “so far discovered, can compare with the goldfields of the Rand." Needless to say, the mining boom soared to greater heights than ever. The Rand now had an output of over 100,000 ounces of gold monthly and its life was completely dominated by the mining fever. Every Friday evening the miners were paid and Saturday was shopping day. As the men were unable to get into town early the stores remained open until 11 o’clock at night and even later. To make up for this, however, there was early closing on Wednesday. The frenzy of the share market tended to put the solid basis of the Rand's gold output in the shade. In London, Paris and Berlin the excitement rivalled that of the Johannesburg stock exchange. In 1894. the mining house of Herman Eckstein & Co. alone made a profit of £4, million and in the same year the opportunity which Stuttafords had been awaiting at last occurred when Apsey’s Corner came into the market. They bought it promptly to round off their block, the plot measuring 50 feet square and costing £40,000. Although it was only seven years since the discovery of gold the investment from the very outset was entirely justified. Stuttafords had secured what was the busiest shopping corner of Johannesburg. They installed a modern shop-front and imported fittings. Electric light, the telephone and even pneumatic tubes for conveying cash and cash slips were ordered. Occasionally Stuttafords were able to attract customers through the universal interest in mining problems. At a time when laymen and experts were battling with the increased metallurgical difficulties of the goldfields, one ingenious soul offered to demonstrate on Stuttafords’ roof a method that would supersede the cyanide process altogether. Gold bearing rock was to be smelted by an intense concentration of the sun’s rays. A ribald curiosity drew large numbers of mining men to watch the experiment. But an eye-witness wrote: “The only success attending the process was the disappearance of a gold half-sovereign which an onlooker had placed among the pieces of ore.” On a Wednesday in February, 1896, Stuttafords’ new branch in Johannesburg suffered an unfortunate setback. A terrific blast of cracking and disintegrating steel shattered the shopping district. Across the tin roofs of the mining camps poured earth, brickwork, steel, timber and humanity. Thirty-five tons of dynamite had caught fire, and the greater part of what is now Kazerne and the suburb of Braamfontein disappeared into a roaring cloud of destruction. Lying in splinters on the pavement was the entire section of Stuttafords’ shop-front which faced north and west. Had it not been a Wednesday afternoon and the store closed, there might have been a more severe loss of life. The possibility of obtaining new plate glass locally was out of the question as nearly every shop in town needed windows. Urgent telegrams were sent by Stuttafords to Head Office and eventually twenty-one sheets of glass each measuring 9' by 7' arrived from the Cape. The boxes containing them were dumped by the Netherlands Railway Company just outside the store and every sheet of glass they contained was smashed into fragments. For two months Stuttafords’ fashionable new store presented to the Johannesburg world a pathetic front of corrugated iron plastered with posters. 25

A printed prospectus lay on the counters of the Union Bank in Princes Street, London, and the Standard Bank of South Africa at Cape Town. It was November the 18th, 1898, and Stuttafords had entered the realm of public Companies. Few flotations of that year had a sounder proposition to offer. The title page of the prospectus stated that the enterprise had enjoyed “a record of 28 years of steadily increasing prosperity. The last three years’ profits amounted to over £140,000.” The title of the new enterprise was announced as “Stuttaford and Co. Ltd., late Thorne, Stuttaford and Co., Cape Town and Johannesburg, and Stuttaford and Co., New Union Street, London, E.C., Wholesale and Retail Drapers, Clothiers, House-furnishers, Importers and General Warehousemen.” The share capital was £350,100, the flotation involving the issue of £200,000 in debentures of £100 each bearing interest at the rate of 5 per Cent. The trustee for the debenture holders was Mr. Lachlan Maclean of the Castle Mail Packet Co. in Cape Town, with E. R. Syfret of Cape Town and Josolyne, Miles and Blow of London as auditors. The directors of Stuttaford and Co. Ltd. were mainly members of the firm. William Foot Stuttaford had latterly withdrawn from the former partnership and returned to England, so that in the chair was William Thorne, with Samson Rickard Stuttaford as London director, W. Thorne, as managing director in Johannesburg, Richard Stuttaford, who was just 28 years old, managing director in Cape Town, E. S. Steytler of J. G. Steytler and Co., Cape Town, and H. F. East of Eaton Robins and Co., also of Cape Town. The firm’s progress was impressively set out in the prospectus which stated: “This Company has been formed to purchase as a going concern, to carry on and extend as from the 1st August, 1898, from which date the whole of the profits will belong to the Company, the well-known and old-established business of Thorne, Stuttaford and Company, Cape Town and Johannesburg, and Stuttaford and Company, New Union Street, London, E.C. . . . The premises to be acquired 26

occupy the best positions in Cape Town and Johannesburg, and in each city command a larger retail trade than any other in South Africa.” A detailed statement of assets showed a total of £550,100, a sworn valuation of the properties giving £165,000 (by Messrs. O’Flaherty, Grant & Co.) for the freehold premises in Adderley and Hout Streets, St. George’s and Loop Streets, Cape Town; £112,200 (by Mr. R. Currie) for two leasehold properties at Pritchard and Rissik Streets and Doornfontein in Johannesburg; and £4,000 (by Messrs. Jones Lang & Co.) for the leased London offices and warehouse. The average net profit on the basis of the past three years was given as £46,693. The prospectus also stated that, “notwithstanding the very serious commercial depression throughout South Africa during the last two years and the extensive rebuilding operations at Johannesburg and consequent disorganisation of departments, there has not been any appreciable decrease in the sales, and the directors confidently anticipate that with the revival of trade the business of the Company will very rapidly increase". It pointed out that the existing managing partners, W. J. Thorne and Richard Stuttaford, had signed an agreement to act as managing directors for a period of five years, and “the continued connection of these gentlemen with the business will be a guarantee of the success of the Company”. The contract for sale of the business was dated November 16, 1898, and was made between Samson Rickard Stuttaford, William Thorne, William John Thorne and Richard Stuttaford, of the one part, and T. E. Lawton on behalf of the Company, of the other part. * * * * * Thus a new era for the House of Stuttafords had begun — an era which was, however, to commence with the end of the gold-mining boom, for the notorious Jameson Raid had been ignominiously dispersed leaving a trail of political discord and economic uncertainty in its wake, and although for a short while it was followed by a revival of trade, the shades of the Boer War were rapidly closing down upon South Africa. 27

The period of tension which followed the Jameson Raid ended abruptly on October 12, 1899, when at long last the inevitable happened, and the Boer War burst into flame. The Johannesburg branch of Stuttafords continued to trade but with a skeleton staff and on a very modest scale. An old photograph shows a horse-drawn van painted “Stuttaford and Co. Ltd., Drapers and Clothiers,” and marked with a large red cross, as it was serving as an ambulance on the Elandslaagte battlefield. Whereas on the Rand Stuttafords led a Robinson Crusoe existence, down in Cape Town the store had to cope with difficulties of its own. Many of the staff were lost and their places were filled by women. As the Boers plunged deeper and deeper into British territory and the fearless guerilla leader, General C. Smuts, brought his horsemen within sight of Table Mountain, a sense of universal urgency spread throughout the civilian community. The military leaders of the Colony established the Town Guard of Cape Town and Stuttafords contributed towards it by forming their own unit, which was equipped by four of the directors. It consisted of over a hundred men and was commanded by Richard Stuttaford. Instructor to the unit and its horsemaster was Sergeant James Wanless, a highly picturesque and unforgettable character. Every evening after business hours shooting practice took place in the basement of Stuttafords’ premises in St. George’s Street. Occasionally route marches were organised and every so often Stuttafords’ company - the “Wanless Unit” - went into camp and took its turn at guarding vital points in and around the city. Commercially, the large influx of troops benefited Cape Town. A distinguished Stuttafords customer was the Commander-in-Chief of the British forces, Lord Roberts, who paid several visits to the store. After the relief of Mafeking, General Sir Robert Baden-Powell was driven to take shelter in Stuttafords’ store from an over-enthusiastic crowd of admirers in Adderley Street. It was not without considerable difficulty that the Stuttafords sales ladies rescued him! In 1901 bubonic plague from the East swept the Cape Peninsula. Vigorous measures were adopted by the Plague Commissioner, Sir Thomas Graham, and as a larger employer of labour 28

Stuttafords were called upon to play their part in this campaign which involved, amongst other measures, the rat-proofing of their warehouses. Although material construction was mostly postponed it was not abandoned altogether - in fact, on the very day the Boer War began Stuttafords installed Grinnell’s Sprinklers in their cabinet factory in Loop Street at a cost of £75, which was one of the First occasions when this important safety device was put into use in South Africa. In 1901 sprinklers were installed by Johnson and Company in the rest of Stuttafords’ Cape Town premises at a cost of £993. 10s. 0d. Typewriters, duplicating and adding machines were brought into use and on March 7, 1901, enquiries were made into the cost of erecting the pneumatic cash-carrying system in Cape Town. The versatile architect of Pepper’s Ghost made estimates for internal alterations. * * * * * Throughout the war years, consolidation of the firm continued. The Company’s Adderley Street property had been purchased in 1898 from S. R. Stuttaford & Co. at a cost of £10. 8s. 0d. per square foot and henceforth, one by one, the adjoining premises in the block bounded by Adderley, Hout, St. George’s and Shortmarket Streets were gradually bought up, with the exception of the property on the corner of St. George’s and Hout Streets. At this time Stuttafords’ chairman, William Thorne, was Mayor of Cape Town. In the ’eighties he had held the same office in what had been the Liesbeek municipality, comprising Wynberg, Claremont and Rondebosch. During the period of his mayoralty from 1901 to 1904 he represented the city on such important occasions as the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, later King George V and Queen Mary, when they touched at the Cape during their world cruise in the Royal Yacht Ophir, and at the landing of Lord Roberts, Lord Kitchener and other important War leaders. In his official capacity he laid three wreaths at the funeral of Cecil John Rhodes on April 3, 1902. He was later knighted and in 1904 Sir William Thorne was elected to the Cape Parliament. 29

The slump that followed the end of the Boer War was felt more acutely by Johannesburg than by Cape Town, where in 1902 Stuttafords’ shares were quoted on the Cape Town Stock Exchange for the first time. The directors arranged for the purchase of the management shares, according to the memorandum of association, which gave the ordinary shareholder the right to the balance of the profits after payment of the preference share dividend. The issue of 40,000 ordinary shares was successfully carried through and resulted in a substantial premium of over £34,000. The complete reorganisation of the Company was accomplished, and Mr. S. Guard was installed as manager at Cape Town. Early in 1902 the first secretary of the Company, Mr. W. F. Silkstone, had left and been replaced by Mr. T. R. Morgan. Occasionally the steady pace of business expansion at the Cape was interrupted by some interesting or unusual event, such as occurred on the Tuesday morning of June 13, 1905, when great excitement prevailed in the streets of Cape Town. The mailship was in and the streets were crowded when at twenty past ten central Cape Town shook with the force of a terrific explosion. There was a violent crash. Then came two further crashes. Hundreds of people poured out from the shops and offices and, according to an eye-witness, they found that the tramway track on the right side of Adderley Street had been ripped open. An immense torrent of water burst through the roadway opposite the General Post Office and rose to a height of from thirty to forty feet. “The overhead tram cables came clattering down with flashes and flame,” reported the eye-witness. “The tramway track from the railway station to the Standard Bank had been practically destroyed — a distance of 150 yards. The greatest damage appeared to have been caused at Cartwright’s Corner where the force of the explosion was so great that the massive crossing pieces were fractured. The blast is believed to have been caused by a leakage from the gas mains, which created what officials described as an underground gasometer." It was a moment which the citizens of Cape Town were to recount in vivid detail for several years to come. 30

The rounding-off of Stuttafords’ Cape Town premises continued apace during these early post-Boer War years, until in 1907 Sir William Thorne was able to state that the Company’s new building — Adderley House — at the corner of Adderley and Shortmarket Streets had now been completed. “We entered into effective occupation about June last,” said Sir William. “The building has quite reached our expectations and the offices and shops are packed, well-lit, hold an unrivalled position, and are gradually being let to substantial tenants.” Meanwhile, in Johannesburg, conditions were at first much less favourable. The streets were stalked by depression and many excellent properties unobtainable before the Boer War were now offered at very reasonable prices. However, Stuttafords were husbanding their resources and were obliged to let several profitable opportunities go by. All their available money then went into a block which was to dominate the skyline of Johannesburg and which was, in fact, the Golden City’s first skyscraper, ten storeys high. Stuttafords’ courage in building these huge premises in a mining camp barely sixteen years old was visible confirmation of the optimism of their directors and helped to bring huge sums to the goldfields for fresh investment. Their confidence was shared fully by Lord Milner, Governor of the two newlyannexed republics, the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, who had great faith in Johannesburg. To prove it he set up his office of administration in the city and made his home at Sunnyside in Parktown. At a public banquet he spoke of the day when Johannesburg would have a million inhabitants — a figure which, interestingly enough, was reached and passed for the first time just before Stuttafords had completed their first century. * * * * * The preliminary announcement that Stuttafords were to put up their new building was made on July 3, 1903: “The building is to be erected on the American steel girder system and will contain a basement, ground floor and eight upper floors, i.e. ten floors in all. It will be arranged in the most modern style as regards fittings and general equipment.” Quotations were called for and on January 12, 1903, it was resolved to accept a tender from R. C. Brown for £35,997, with a total cost of £66,000 to include fireproofing the building throughout. The project placed such strain on the resources of the Company that Richard Stuttaford went to London to raise extra capital, but fortunately revenue was increased with the expenditure and in the same year, 1903, the amount of profit available for distribution to shareholders totalled over £85,000. Various new amenities of civilisation were now coming gradually to the goldfields and rough and ready traditions in the matter of land title were passing away: "It was reported that a Bill had been brought before the Transvaal Legislature relative to the conversion of stands, which are at present leasehold, into freehold.” That was in 1907 which was also the year in which Mr. S. Guard, who had been manager at Cape Town since 1904, was appointed resident director at Johannesburg where he took the place of Mr. W. Thorne who now returned to Cape Town. The Stuttafords arcade running across the corner of Pritchard and Rissik Streets will be remembered by few old Johannesburgers. “Certain alterations,” said the Company’s 1908 report to shareholders, “have been effected in your Johannesburg premises and were completed about May last, the result of which has been to form an arcade greatly increasing the window space and giving access to the upper floors through a separate entrance. This has made available 31

several floors for letting purposes which were not required for the business and satisfactory leases and agreements have been entered into which have quite justified the outlay." The immediate subsequent years were used to further consolidate the greatly enhanced position in the commercial life of the country which Stuttafords had by now achieved. This process continued right up until 1914, in April of which year a long and vital link with the past was sadly snapped when Samson Rickard Stuttaford, the founder of the firm, passed away in London at the age of 81. He was succeeded as London director by Mr. H. S. Hatton the former London secretary. Within a few months South Africa was once again plunged into the maelstrom of another war which this time, however, involved most of the nations of the entire world . . . . 32

The first World War was declared on August 4, 1914; and right from the outset the London branch of Stuttafords had to face many grim difficulties, which would have been even harder to bear had they known that within less than a generation history was to repeat itself with much greater distress and devastation for the citizens of London. A letter from the London branch dated September 10, 1915, refers to the Zeppelin raids which considerably alarmed the populace. Back on the home front members of the South African staff of Stuttafords enlisted in the South African overseas contingent. Several were later decorated, including Sergeant Thomas of the Johannesburg branch who received the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Following the Battle of Delville Wood, news was received that Lieut. S. Guard, resident director at Johannesburg prior to his joining the forces, had been taken prisoner. In all, twelve Stuttafords’ men sacrificed their lives in the desperate struggle - “the war to end war” as some political optimists saw it - which raged during the next four years. They were R. Baird, S. H. Beales, S. Carley, E. W. Graham, A. Hazell, W. Hale, G. Hall, A. Herbert, F. J. Hutchinson, W. M. Nurse, E. Reynolds and V. Heeger. The outbreak of hostilities found Germany with a very large merchant fleet, much of which was captured by the Allies or escaped to non-combatant harbours. Chaos resulted in regard to their cargoes and some 2,000 South African consignees were affected by the escape of ships to neutral ports. The records of the Cape Town Chamber of Commerce over a period of several years contain references mainly to one German vessel, the Rauenfels, which had fled to Bahia. The interruption of normal shipping also caused congestion in London and other harbours. South African maize exports were often held up. Difficulties arose from the ban on trading with the enemy; and the confusion was not helped by the release of interned Germans, who were allowed to return to their businesses, only to be re-interned in 1915 after disturbances in the cities. With an eye to the peacetime future, bearing in mind the pre-war experience of South African merchants, Richard Stuttaford moved resolutions in the Chamber of Commerce as early as March, 1916, against enemy dumping and subsidised shipping and railing. He asked for a surtax on the importation of enemy goods. 33

By this time it was recognised that the Union’s industries would continue to be an increasing factor in the country's prosperity. They had been helped during the war by an inflation of prices expressed in, for example, a premium on gold which caused many experts to write complicated articles on why the pound was still the same pound. The word “inflation" was not yet a familiar one. Meanwhile in 1917 Stuttafords had suffered a severe loss with the death of Sir William Thorne. He was the first chairman of Stuttafords and an ex-Mayor of Cape Town, a member of Parliament and one of Cape Town’s most distinguished and respected citizens. He was succeeded as chairman by Richard Stuttaford. The closing weeks of World War I were aggravated in their misery by a fearful epidemic, the Spanish Influenza, from which over 100,000 persons died in South Africa. During “Black October”, 1918, about 20,000 deaths were reported in Cape Town alone. The activities of the city were completely dislocated, shops and amusements were closed for weeks in succession. During this period the late Sir William’s son, W. Thorne, followed in his father's footsteps by becoming Mayor of Cape Town and it was largely due to him that the very essential relief work was swiftly organised. His excellent public work and that of his wife, the Mayoress, was never forgotten. * * * * * The poor living conditions of so many of the town’s citizens and the frightful influenza epidemic at the war’s close, made a deep impression also upon Richard Stuttaford. He became convinced that most of the ills of mankind were due to bad housing and he felt the urge to find a long-term remedy. Shortly after the end of the war, on a visit to England in 1919, he began to study the Garden City movement and when he returned he interested E. R. Syfret, the well known accountant, R. W. Close, K.C., and members of the Union Government, from whom he not only received encouragement for his ideas through the offer of suitable land, but also financial facilities under South Africa’s first Housing Act. Through his initiative the first Garden City was born near Cape Town and given the name, “Pinelands”. To start matters Richard Stuttaford personally made a substantial contribution. Colonel Hendrik Mentz, then Minister of Lands, agreed to transfer the former State forestry plantation at Uitvlugt on the outskirts of Cape Town to the Garden Cities Trust and in 1921 the first house was built. Today Pinelands is an independent municipality, with the highest average standard of architectural beauty and comfort in the country. Its growth has been especially rapid since the end of World War II; in the ten years between 1946 and 1956, for instance, the population of Pinelands more than doubled from 4,000 to 9,500 and the rateable valuation more than trebled from £2½ million to over £8 million. Pinelands remained very close to Richard Stuttaford’s heart until his death and Garden Cities, which has now almost completed Pinelands, is still an active interest of the Stuttaford family, being presided over today by R. B. Stuttaford, elder son of Richard Stuttaford. The Company is currently busy on the third Garden City (for the Coloured community) to be established by the original Trust, the second Garden City at Meadowridge having already reached an advanced stage. For Pinelands was never intended by Richard Stuttaford to be an isolated venture but rather as a preliminary step in the fulfilment of a far-sighted housing principle. 34

The most marked Stuttafords’ development during the relatively uneasy peace period between the end of World War I and the commencement of World War II, was the Company’s decision in 1922 to buy land in Durban for the establishment of a branch in that city. This important decision was made at a time when economic conditions generally looked most uncertain. The immediate post-war boom had led to overstocking and a business decline was followed by unemployment soon after the prevailing inflation had forced industry to concede sliding wage scales to its employees. The authorities were hard put to find necessary revenue, which led to several years’ struggle at the Cape about a Sales-tax in the Province which commerce refused to accept. On October 25, 1923, confidently ignoring seemingly apparent trends, the Board of Stuttafords purchased stands, numbers 23 and 24, at the corner of West and Field Streets in Durban for the sum of over £61,000, a section being later sold to the Yorkshire Insurance Company Limited. Messrs. Street, Wilson and Paton were instructed to prepare the building plans. Almost exactly eighty years earlier, in 1842, George Christopher Cato, auctioneer and first Mayor of Durban, had held a sale for the British Government of the identical stands which had gone for £35. 12s. 6d each! Meanwhile commercial men, Richard Stuttaford amongst them, continued to speak strongly in favour of dumping duties. In 1921 the Government had set up the Board of Trade and Industries with customs questions as one of its principal occupations. There were many applications to the Board for relief from import duties. Industry had suffered severely from the Depression as output declined from £98 million in 1920-21 to £79.5 million in 1921-22 and obviously such a large vested interest could not be sacrificed by the country. However, a period started during which many industries were set up for the sole purpose of evading duty by putting the finishing touches on goods not yet quite ready for sale to the consumers. To the complaints of commerce, industrialists retorted that the tariff should be adjusted to changing conditions, as industry was “outrunning the pace at which the tariff had been altered”. 35

Then came an Economic Conference which introduced the important principle of Imperial Preference, but its unanimous decisions were upset to some extent by the defeat of the Conservative Government in Britain. In London a British Overseas Trade Association was formed to promote Empire business. The Durban branch of Stuttafords had now been in operation for a little more than a year, under the able management of S. Guard. The actual opening ceremony was performed by the Mayor of Durban on May 26, 1926, of what was then widely acknowledged to be the most modern store in South Africa. The Natal Mercury described it as “a mine of interest”. The paper said that the “new store in Durban would grace Oxford Street or Regent Street in London. Stuttafords’ building will undoubtedly be a landmark in the history of Durban’s progress”. Stuttafords helped to make history on another occasion around this period. This was when the first regular broadcasting stations in the country started operating in 1924 and the Company provided accommodation first in its Johannesburg and then in its Cape Town premises. The installation in Johannesburg was owned by the Associated Scientific and Technical Societies and was run free of rental from a studio on Stuttafords’ ninth floor, while in Cape Town a group of enthusiasts with municipal and private encouragement found a home in Stuttafords for a number of months until the expanding scale of broadcasting activities led them to move elsewhere. * * * * * Throughout this between-wars period Richard Stuttaford, although always at the Company’s directing helm, not only found the time and opportunity to constantly apply his fine brain to practical ideas for assisting the community of Cape Town, but he extended his already large range of interests to even wider fields. A director of the Cape Times, he concerned himself closely with establishing the Cape Times Endowment Trust which at the time of its inception was recognized overseas as well as in the Union as a model profit-sharing scheme. He later introduced a similar scheme at Stuttafords. Meanwhile, in 1921, Richard Stuttaford had embarked upon wine and fruit farming at Stellenbosch on an extensive scale. He had always been interested in viticulture and ‘‘Stellenrust’’, a two-thousand acre farm on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain, became a model wine farm at that time. This farm is today owned and operated by Richard Stuttaford’s younger son, jack. At the same time Richard Stuttaford was also proving his mettle in the realm of national affairs. In 1924 he was elected to Parliament as a member for Newlands, Cape, and in 1925 he was honoured with a dinner held in London at the Hotel Cecil by the Incorporated Association of Retail Distributors. On this widely-publicised occasion he put forward a plea for more active measures to stimulate interCommonwealth trade. His speech aroused much discussion and was not ignored at subsequent meetings of official delegates. It accordingly caused little surprise when some years later, in June, 1932, Richard Stuttaford was appointed Commercial Adviser to the Union Government at the Commonwealth Conference on Customs held at Ottawa, Canada. This conference gave new impetus to Commonwealth trading in the following years and its results were immensely beneficial to South Africa, for after a relatively good trade interval in 1928 and 1929 she had begun to feel the effects of the Great Depression which shook the world to its very economic and, needless to say, its political, foundations. At the end of 1932 the Union decided to follow Britain in leaving the gold standard. Before 36

that happened £15 million of floating capital left the country and caused a severe shortage of money, which returned in 1933 when the gold price had risen from 85/- to 125/- an ounce. Monetary troubles were therefore very much in the foreground when in 1933 Richard Stuttaford was invited to join the South African Cabinet, an appointment which was popularly acclaimed. In the new Coalition Government headed by General Hertzog and General Smuts, Richard Stuttaford served firstly as Minister without Portfolio, after three years becoming Minister of the Interior and Public Health. The Department of the Interior presented him with highly complex problems in such fields as the immigration of refugees from “Hitler’s Europe”, Indian affairs and the huge National Roads programme. With the currency relief brought about at the end of 1932 and the forming of the Coalition Government in February, 1933, South Africa now entered upon a new wave of prosperity. The United States of America followed the devaluation moves of other countries and in 1934 fixed the gold price at 35 dollars, where it has remained up to this moment despite the pleas of South Africa and other countries which repeated their devaluation moves on several occasions. Meanwhile, since Richard Stuttaford’s entry into Parliament much of the onerous work connected with his position as head of Stuttafords had devolved upon Mr. P. B. Shearing, who in 1935 was appointed managing director. In the preceding year, 1934, Richard Stuttaford’s elder son, R. B. Stuttaford, came into the business and during the immediately following years until he succeeded Mr. Shearing as managing director, R. B. Stuttaford was responsible for the plans that were evolved and put into operation for the rebuilding of the Cape Town store. On the distant horizon the clouds of war were now again beginning to darken. There followed an anxious period about the moves of Germany until finally in September, 1939, just as the first section of Stuttafords’ fine new premises in Cape Town were occupied, Hitler unleashed his armies and South Africa joined Britain and the rest of the Commonwealth in retaliating with the declaration of World War II. 37

To a greater extent than in any previous war, supplies were of paramount importance for the opposing forces in World War II. At the outset food, munitions, fuel and all manner of strategic raw materials were of almost even greater concern to the Allied leaders, with their far-flung outposts scattered throughout the globe, than the availability — or otherwise — of fighting manpower. For this reason, in order to successfully organise and hasten the march of supplies, prominent business administrators were called in by various Allied governments at an early stage, so that they could apply their expert knowledge of commercial affairs and methods on behalf of the anti-Nazi cause. In Britain such outstanding figures in peace-time private enterprise as Lord Beaverbrook and Lord Woolton were entrusted with the task of waging warfare from the vital production aspect. In South Africa, promptly on the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Richard Stuttaford became Minister of Commerce and Industry in the South African Government. Under his purview fell the vast structure of import and price control which was later painstakingly built up, and Richard Stuttaford was personally responsible for evolving the basic system which enabled South Africa to cope with the economic upheaval which followed. Within a short space of commencement of hostilities 124 employees of Stuttafords were in the forces, amongst them R. B. Stuttaford, who had become a director in 1939 on the retirement of P. B. Shearing, and W. J. Thorne’s son, W. E. Thorne. Meanwhile the London office of Stuttafords was once again right in the very thick of it. The night of December 26, 1940, was the last in the existence of the Stuttafords’ premises at 11, New Union Street. As the sea of flames spread by the German bombers raced through the tangled streets of Cheapside, they closed in on the building where Stuttafords were quartered. A direct hit completed the devastation and for days the site remained a red-hot heap of ashes. Fortunately no lives were lost and members of the staff, searching diligently, eventually found the sales far beneath the rubble. 38

Temporary offices were offered Stuttafords — a gesture of kindness that will always be remembered — by G. E. Hudson and Sons of Covent Garden, until premises were finally obtained towards the end of January, 1941, in the West End of London at Great Portland Street. In South Africa itself, experience gained with currency controls and other measures went far towards preventing many of the blunders made during the First World War. The main difference was that foreign residents, except those thought to be actively hostile, were not treated as owners of enemy businesses, and many other forms of control were organised on a residential basis. "Unjust profits” were condemned immediately and price Control was followed by the re-introduction of an Excess Profits Duty in 1940. With imports hindered, the war cooperation between commerce and industry became much closer and, strengthened by the “closed market”, the Marketing Boards became more powerful. In June, 1941, import priorities were introduced to secure essential supplies and in the following August Mr. A. B. Macdonald, who was controlling the prices of War Supplies, was appointed Price Controller, whilst Mr. G. H. Starck, a director of Stuttafords, became Controller of Mechanical Transport. On November 25, 1942, while the flames of war still raged, W. Thorne passed away in Cape Town. He was a man of great public spirit and an extremely popular citizen. The son of Sir William Thorne, he had entered the business in 1887, becoming Managing Director at Johannesburg and ViceChairman in 1898. For two years from 1918 he was Mayor of Cape Town, serving the city with great ability. He was also chairman of the Board of Trustees of the South African Museum. In his earlier days W. Thorne had been a member of the City Council of Johannesburg, established there by Lord Milner after the South African War. * * * * * Only a few weeks after the return of peace another sad event befell Stuttafords when on October 19, 1945, Richard Stuttaford died . . . In a leading article recalling his achievements the Cape Times said that thousands of people in many parts of South Africa would regret to learn of the death of Richard Stuttaford, who had served South Africa in so many different ways. “He was, in the first instance, a great figure in the commercial life of this country. The firm which he controlled for so many years and in the building of which he was such a paramount figure, was always conducted on lines of strictest integrity. This aspect of his commercial work was recognised when he became President of the Cape Town Chamber of Commerce, then President of the Association of Chambers of Commerce of South Africa — the highest honour which commercial men in this country may attain — and by his appointment as Adviser to the Union Delegates to the Ottawa Conference.” In the House of Assembly, where his parliamentary career started in 1924, Richard Stuttaford had been regarded as its principal commercial critic, continued the Cape Times. In 1933 General Hertzog had invited him to join the Fusion Cabinet and in 1939, in General Smuts’s Cabinet, he had held the position of Minister of Commerce and Industries, one of the most exacting positions in the circumstances of the war. His handling of the manifold problems that presented themselves had won for him a very general appreciation; for, even when his decisions were not wholly acceptable to the commercial community, it knew that behind them was the integrity which had always 39

characterised his dealing with the public. The Cape Times pointed out that forty years previously Richard Stuttaford had been elected to the city council of Cape Town, and that even in those far distant days he had been applying his fine brain to thoughts for the Community of Cape Town and of the Union. “Thus it came to him to visualise a system under which at the various urban centres, public trusts would assist urban dwellers to live in their own homes, not too far from their points of employment, where they might enjoy the amenities of garden Cities. He originated the Garden Cities Trust, which was to develop so admirably at Pinelands, and he showed his confidence in the system by himself most generously allotting large funds to place it on a sound footing from its very beginning.” The Cape Times concluded: “Always he hid his lights — and they were many — under a bushel. His life has been one of great public service, and his good works will not be forgotten by his friends or his country.” Elsewhere in the same issue of the Cape Times its columnist paid a tribute to Richard Stuttaford’s efforts with the Afrikaans language in the House of Assembly. On one occasion, when he was Minister of Commerce and Industries in the Smuts Government, his pronunciation led to considerable good-natured merriment. He was doing his best with a reply in Afrikaans to a question put to him by Mr. Eric Louw, then a member of the Nationalist Opposition. Even visitors in the galleries could see that the members were impressed by his originality of pronunciation. “In view of my honourable friend’s lack of clarity in Afrikaans, would he mind repeating the answer in English?” asked Mr. W. B. Madeley. “As the honourable member does not understand Afrikaans, I shall repeat the reply in English," was Richard Stuttaford’s prompt rejoinder. However, another question from Mr. Eric Louw brought Mr. Stuttaford to his feet again. This time he asked the Nationalist member in which language he would like the answer.” “English, please,” replied Mr. Louw smilingly. * * * * * Richard Stuttaford was succeeded by his elder son, Richard Bawden Stuttaford, as chairman of Stuttaford and Company Limited, Chairman of Garden Cities and Pinelands Development Company, and as a director of the Cape Times Limited. An important era for the Company now began, at a time when South Africa herself was standing on the threshold of a tremendous upsurge in her economic development. 40

When R. B. Stuttaford took over the reins of office from his late father he was confronted by the inevitable problems which immediately emerge in any post-war period, after the disruption caused by years of man-power shortage, commodity control, scarcity of stocks, re-establishment of ex-service staff and engagement of new staff from overseas to cope with renewed customer demand and other factors. The task which faced the management was to accomplish the essential readjustments as quickly as possible, and then to develop and expand once more upon the excellent foundations which existed. At the same time they had to bear in mind that the price and import control system would have to remain in force for a considerable period yet and that, however much one might need and wish to introduce expansionist measures in one’s business, the strong arm of government restriction in innumerable spheres would only be removed very slowly. However, R. B. Stuttaford was well equipped to achieve the aim he now set himself. Born at the Cape, on March 9, 1910, his early childhood days had been spent in the Peninsula and on his father’s farm in Stellenbosch. He was educated at St. Andrew’s College, Grahamstown, and at Brasenose, Oxford, graduating in law in 1931. In the following year he was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple, London. Paternal navigation steered him in another direction more in line with the careers of his forebears and he joined Bourne and Hollingsworth, the famous London department store, for training. Here he remained for two years, starting in the basement packing parcels and selling behind counters in all major departments. Joining the Company in Cape Town in 1934, R. B. Stuttaford instituted modern methods of merchandise control until in 1937 he was entrusted by the Board of Directors with control of the rebuilding of the Cape Town store. Accompanying his father, R. B. Stuttaford returned to England where Louis Blanc was engaged as architect. Louis Blanc was the architect of Harrods and had just completed the new D. H. Evans store in Oxford Street. By 1939 he had fulfilled 41

his new task so successfully that the Cape Town store of Stuttafords was acknowledged to be the premier store in South Africa. In the same year P. B. Shearing retired and R. B. Stuttaford succeeded him and was appointed director. In 1940 the Prime Minister, General C. Smuts, selected R. B. Stuttaford — then a private soldier — for six months’ special duty as a member of the South African Mission to the Eastern Group Supply Conference at New Delhi. On his return R. B. Stuttaford went on active service in the Middle East. Following his demobilisation and assumption of the managing directorship as his father’s successor at the helm of Stuttafords, R. B. Stuttaford had as resident director in Johannesburg, W. E. Thorne. Born in Rondebosch, Cape, on November 21, 1905, W. E. Thorne was likewise educated at St. Andrew’s College, Grahamstown, completing his studies at Cambridge University. He received his early training for business at Harrods, London, joining Stuttafords in 1929 and becoming a director ten years later. At the outbreak of war he signed up with the Second Anti-tank Regiment, returning to Stuttafords in 1943 when his father, W. Thorne, died, and settled down to business at a time when the shortage of experienced executives was at its peak. The three Stuttafords stores were now reorganised on a post-war basis. The physical appearance and facilities of the Johannesburg and Durban stores were gradually modernised and in 1957 the main store in Cape Town was extended in Adderley Street over the site long known as Standard Buildings, together with a portion of the old Central Hotel. By the end of that year these extensions had been completed, providing an unbroken frontage of 217 feet in Adderley Street and consisting of a completely new section with a basement, ground and upper floors. Another important post-war development at the Cape Town store was the replacement of the existing escalator system with new and additional equipment from the United States and of a type hitherto unintroduced in South Africa or even the United Kingdom. At the time of the installation in 1947 the Cape Times referred to the project as “an engineering work of major proportions”. Today, Stuttafords in Cape Town operate ten of these escalators. With their thin, streamlined nickel-silver and stainless steel balustrading they constitute the finest escalator installation in the country. The Cape Town store and its departmental layout as a whole are, in fact, greatly admired by visitors — particularly those arriving from Britain, who immediately recognise the handiwork of Harrods’ architect, Louis Blanc, as did the Queen Mother herself when she paid a shopping visit to Stuttafords during her tour of South Africa in 1947 with the late King George VI and the two princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret. * * * * * A highly significant feature of the post-war period has been the spectacular reversal of the pre-war buying situation when Stuttafords relied mainly on imported goods to conduct their business. Today imports from overseas countries represent only 28 per cent of Stuttafords’ total purchases, valued at some £2 million annually. Needless to say, along with their contemporaries, Stuttafords found it by no means easy in the early stages to adjust themselves to conditions which induced them to use more and more goods made in South Africa. Moreover, protection of local 42

industries became increasingly involved, and still remains today a problem of concern to retail distributors that is likely to be perpetuated for along time to come. Whether intentionally or not, import control has helped secondary industry along to such an extent that its net production is now exceeding the total of merchandise imports, a valuable factor fundamentally for it means that the wealth of the Union has been substantially expanded. Another result of import control was its encouragement to distributors to become interested in manufacturing and to branch out in other directions, as in the case of Stuttafords who have greatly expanded their road transport undertakings. This has involved them in even more contacts with the Government and other public authorities than before as besides imports, shop hours, wage awards and other problems they now have to deal with legislation affecting factories and transport. In all these and countless other directions of a business-building nature, Stuttafords are as deeply engaged with new plans and projects for the future under the alert leadership of R. B. Stuttaford and his colleagues as was the founder of the Company himself, Samson Rickard Stuttaford, when he stepped ashore in Table Bay just over a century ago. 43

Undoubtedly one of the most spectacular advances which has taken place in the operations of Stuttafords during the post-war years has been that side of the business which is concerned with moving, storing, packing and shipping. Known today as the Stuttaford Storage and Van Lines Division it is the largest organisation of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. However, its origins date back over a considerable period as for many years, in conjunction with their furniture department, Stuttafords had always undertaken a certain amount of storage and removals for their customers. A printed folder of 1898 illustrated Stuttafords’ first important Cape Town venture in this field — a warehouse in Loop Street with a 68-foot frontage, outside which stood two horse-drawn vans bearing the inscription, “Furniture removed by Thorne, Stuttaford & Co, Complete House Furnishers”. The same folder showed the Doornfontein warehouse of the Johannesburg branch, 3,000 square feet in area on a 50 by 100 foot stand, with plenty of room for expansion available on its three adjoining fenced-in stands, each measuring another 50 by 100 feet. Yet for a long time the business was regarded as merely a sub-section of the furniture department and the firm’s policy remained very conservative with regard to its activities. * * * * * Around 1905 the removal and storage department in Cape Town imported from London what was probably the first horse-drawn furniture “pantechnicon” in South Africa. It was used together with two or three horse-drawn carts. The pantechnicon was drawn by six horses and the carts were two-inhand. The pantechnicon had sides only; consequently, in bad weather the furniture had to be covered over with a large tarpaulin. When steep gradings were encountered additional horses, or “chain horses” as they were called in those days, were hired at different points. There were occasions when great difficulty was experienced with the pantechnicon, as it was very heavy when fully loaded. Roads were not tarred during the early days and when they were 44

sodden or when washaways occurred the wheels of the pantechnicon became mud-bound. All the furniture had to be taken out so that the horses and men digging trenches could get the van on to more solid ground. The horses, incidentally, were hired from a Mr. Soeka — a Malay. Nearly all the cabs were owned by Malays at that time and they possessed some very beautiful animals. It was a fine spectacle to see these animals drawing Stuttafords’ pantechnicon. The first mechanical vehicle used by the Company is believed to have been a ‘‘Johnny Walker’’ electric van, used for town deliveries and purchased about 1909. Similar work during this period was carried out in Johannesburg by a cartage contractor who hired twelve carts and horses to Stuttafords. The forty-mile journey between Pretoria and Johannesburg used to take four days for the return trip, Half-way House being the overnight stop in each direction. The use of horse-drawn vehicles was discontinued in Cape Town around 1919, but was maintained at the Johannesburg branch until 1925. The Johannesburg branch then hired motor trucks from a Mr. Hartstein whose share of the turnover was 80%, leaving 20% for Stuttafords. And in the same year Cape Town purchased a De Dion flat truck with a canvas canopy and hired other vehicles at 7/6d. per hour to carry on its activities. In 1935 the Cape Town branch bought a large repository warehouse in Bree Street and in 1937 it acquired the Company’s first motor furniture van. Meanwhile in Johannesburg the furniture storage section had also grown so extensively that it was decided to expand the warehouse facilities in Doornfontein, and by 1957 the total storage area available at Johannesburg amounted to 144,000 square feet, with facilities for loading and offloading, garage and parking. * * * * * From 1948 onwards, the major roads of the Union now being rapidly macadamised, long distance moving was undertaken on an ever-increasing scale. In 1954 the Company extended its activities to Durban, where Stuttafords purchased the entire share capital of the old-established business of Challenor’s (Pty.) Ltd. who had been specialising in storage and removals at Durban since the turn of the century. In the same year new Ordinances were drafted to co-ordinate the motor ordinances in all four provinces. These envisaged vehicles of greater carrying capacity, with lower axle loadings to ease wear and tear on the roads. In other words, operators who wished to construct larger vehicles would be able to do so, providing a train of vehicles with a maximum permitted length of 72 feet was constructed with at least five axles. Stuttafords thereupon embarked on a large rebuilding programme. The Company became pioneers in the field of mechanical “horses” towing 36-foot semi-trailers and 20-foot second trailers, with a total load of 3,600 cubic feet or approximately 3½ complete households. Then, in order that better co-ordination could be achieved in long distance transport, a separate Removals Fleet Division, with headquarters at Cape Town, was established as a branch of its own in 1956. In the following year Stuttafords acquired a very large warehouse property in Searle Street, Woodstock, Cape Town, at a purchase price of £65,000. Here it was planned that all operations at the Cape, with the exception of a certain amount of storage continued in the Bree Street warehouse, would be conducted, including all motor vehicle maintenance. In the same year 45

a warehouse of approximately 20,000 square feet was purchased in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, thus providing Stuttafords with storage facilities enabling them to expand still further their already extensive services in the Federation of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland. By 1957 Stuttafords’ Storage and Van Lines fleet had reached the stage where it totalled approximately ninety units covering an average of well over a million miles annually. The Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Salisbury warehouses could provide a total area of 324,000 square feet for storing household furniture in clean, modern concrete buildings. In other words, throughout the Division the furniture of some three and a half thousand households could be stored at a single time. Needless to say, the influence on turnover of all this development was as marked as it was rapid — from £5,780 at the Cape Town and Johannesburg branches in 1932, turnover increased to £384,000 at the Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban branches in 1957. Today Stuttafords’ Storage and Van Lines Division is the only South African concern of its kind with operational depots and warehouses in all three main centres of the Union, running a continuous shuttle service between these three cities at one-way freight rates. Regular Stuttafords Van Line services also run from Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban to the Federation where the Salisbury depot is a focal point. With the clockwork regularity of a mailship line Stuttafords fleet keeps to a rigid time-table on all routes, with an efficiency and on a scale that are large enough to keep costs at a most reasonable level. Now a vital enterprise in its own right, the Storage and Van Lines Division is a highly specialized organisation which constitutes a valuable accompaniment to the wide department store business conducted by the House of Stuttafords. 46

Throughout the years Stuttafords have maintained a traditional policy of enlightened staff welfare, not only during but after working hours. As far back as 1901 the Company founded a sports club known as the Oriel Athletic Club in which running, jumping and hurdling were encouraged and a cricket team played at Newlands and Mowbray. In 1912 Sir William Thorne and Richard Stuttaford each gave one thousand preference shares as a personal gift towards the setting up of a Staff Pension and Benevolent Fund, the capital of which through regular grants had, by the end of 1957, reached the total of £230,000. This Pension Fund is non-contributory by the staff, the entire cost being borne by the Company. Approximately seventy Stuttafords pensioners are today benefiting from this Fund. In 1918 the Company purchased about six and a half acres of land between Observatory and Mowbray which in 1925 was passed by deed of transfer to the Stuttaford Recreation Trust. The terms of donation stipulated that the ground must not be used for purposes other than recreation unless replaced by other land suited for this and that, if sold, the proceeds must be applied to recreation purposes. On this property, in addition to a full-sized playing field suitable for hockey, soccer and cricket, there are six tennis courts, four of them floodlit. There is a club house with full catering and changing facilities. The entire venture is, in fact, the envy of many other business institutions who have experienced great difficulty in securing any ground as convenient and extensive. To supplement the Company’s Pension Fund a Group Life Insurance Scheme was instituted by Stuttafords in 1954 to cover both Europeans and non-Europeans. Already in 1949 the Company had sponsored the formation of a Medical Aid Society which in 1953 was extended to embrace all members of the staff, regardless of age or race, and which included dental benefits. In all branches and including the London office, the staff by 1957 had reached a total of more than 2,000 of whom 993 employees were in Cape Town, 647 in Johannesburg, 431 in Durban and a group of key men and women in the buying office at Great Portland Street, London, W.1. 47

A happy co-operative family spirit is encouraged throughout this large, widespread organization with the publication of a staff magazine in which the employers’ and employees’ views and news are published regularly. When long service awards are made to employees, the event is made an occasion for a special staff function. Mention of Stuttafords’ long-service employees is a reminder that in these closing pages it is only fitting that tribute should be paid to a number of talented and loyal members of the organisation, without whom the success of the Stuttafords enterprise could never have been realised. The men who actually founded Stuttafords had themselves started right at the foot of the commercial ladder. Their foresight, courage and ability enabled them to take the Company to a high level of business achievement and on their way they were quick to appreciate and help develop the same qualities they found in any of those who served them. It would be an impossible feat to mention all the many Stuttafords employees who have served the Company so well over exceptionally long periods, but a special tribute should be paid, for example, to S. J. Guard who was a director of Stuttafords for 40 years. Joining the Company from London in 1899 he was appointed Cape Town store manager in 1904, becoming resident director in Johannesburg in 1907. After serving in the First World War during which he had been taken prisoner at Delville Wood, S. J. Guard returned to Cape Town and in 1926 became resident director of the newlyestablished Durban store, in the planning and design of which he played a prominent part. Other leading personalities who became directors in Cape Town were P. B. Shearing (1896-1939), Cape Town store manager and later managing director; H. Shaw (1932-1944), who took over the onerous post of general manager during the Second World War; W. T. Woodburn (1909-1955), Cape Town store manager from 1944 to 1955; and W. Herbert (1901-1950), secretary from 1913 to 1950. In Johannesburg there was J. MacFarlane (1908-1950), Johannesburg store manager from 1942 to 1949; whilst in London we do not forget H. S. Hatton (1872-1931), London manager from 1898 to 1919; W. C. Watling, London manager from 1919 to 1936; and R. H. Laws (1891-1945), London manager from 1936 to 1945. * * * * * With this passing salute to Stuttafords' veterans whose inspiring example of service the Company will ever remember with gratitude, our book now draws to its close. In a country as relatively young as South Africa, one hundred continuous years of successful endeavour by any business organisation is more than a reasonable achievement, as it also happens to span the growth to maturity of an entire nation. Behind the House of Stuttafords lie three generations coloured by all the human drama of South Africa’s eventful history, enriched with all the excitement that has marked the spectacular changes that have taken place in South Africa's economy. Stuttafords have grown up with South Africa until they have become a vital element in the country’s business life, and if the trend of current events everywhere is such that no one would venture to predict what even the immediate future for South Africa might hold, one fact at least is certain . . . the pages of a remarkable century may have ended, but the story — the Stuttaford Story — goes on. 48

TABLES DIRECTORATE & MANAGEMENT Since the Company was Established in 1898 CHAIRMEN: Sir Wm. Thorne Hon. Richard Stuttaford R. B. Stuttaford 1898-1917 1917-1945 1945-

DIRECTORATE & MANAGEMENT Since the Company was Established in 1898 CHAIRMEN: Sir Wm. Thorne Hon. Richard Stuttaford R. B. Stuttaford DIRECTORS: S. R. Stuttaford Wm. Thorne R. Stuttaford W. J. Thorne E. S. Steytler H. F. East S.J. Guard C. Stuttaford (London) H. S. Hatton (London) P. B. Shearing W. C. Watling (London) R. B. Stuttaford W. E. Thorne H. Shaw W.J. Herbert A. B. MacDonald J. MacFarlane R. H. Laws (London) W. T. Woodburn G. H. Starck 1898-1915 1898-1917 1898-1945 1898-1942 1898-1947 1898-1929 1907-1947 1915-1935 1915-1931 1929-1939 1933-1938 193919391942-1944 19421943-1953 1944-1950 1944-1945 1947-1955 1947-1957 1898-1917 1917-1945 1945-

W. E. A. McBride F. C. Ritson A. McGregor SECRETARIES: W. F. Silkstone T. R. Morgan J. Lowe W. J. Herbert H. H. B. Desebrock STORE MANAGERS: CAPE TOWN: G. Packham E. Lewis S. J. Guard D. Williams P. B. Shearing G. W. Frost H. Shaw W. T. Woodburn W. E. A. McBride JOHANNESBURG: F. Prynn M. Parkin A. A. Waterrnan G. W. Frost J. MacFarlane F. Thatcher F. H. Johns D. N. Westcombe DURBAN: F. G. Mayers C. J. Duffett W. E. A. McBride


1898-1902 1902-1910 1910-1913 1913-1950 1951-

1898-1899 1899-1904 1904-1907 1907-1910 1910-1929 1929-1933 1933-1940 1940-1955 1955-

1898-1899 1900-1913 1913-1933 1933-1942 1942-1949 1949-1951 1951-1954 1954-

1926-1932 1932-1935 1935-1951

J. M. Panton LONDON MANAGERS: H. S. Hatton W. C. Watling R. H. Laws W. S. Seagrave F. Thatcher G. H. Thornton J. L. Miller LONDON SECRETARIES: H. S. Hatton R. H. Laws E. W. Scott 50


1898-1919 1919-1936 1936-1945 1945-1946 1947-1948 1948-1949 1955-

1898-1918 1919-1945 1947-

DIRECTORATE & MANAGEMENT As at the Centenary Year, 1957 DIRECTORS: R. B. Stuttaford (Chairman and Managing Director) W. E. Thorne W. J. Herbert W. E. A. McBride F. C. Ritson A. McGregor SECRETARY: H. H. B. Desebrock STORES: CAPE TOWN: JOHANNESBURG: DURBAN: STORAGE & VAN LINES: CAPE TOWN: JOHANNESBURG: DURBAN: LONDON: Manager: Secretary: 51 J. L. Miller E. W. Scott Manager: Manager: Manager: F. E. Porter J. G. Benzie E. V. D. Kay Manager: Manager: Manager: W. E. A. McBride D. N. Westcombe M. Panton

LONG SERVICE PERSONNEL As at the Centenary Year, 1957 40 YEARS AND OVER Penso Brandes Hudson Mustard Mushedi Bremer Biddles Matthews Calmeyer Van der Spuy Sims 30 YEARS AND OVER Bosch Hill Morisson Bremer Bryant Sanders O’Donoghue Abrahams Mays Witten Corona Gaven Klink Brice Gapad Horsley Adams Garvie Maggott McKellar Scott Tindale Dorling Hales Paulse

Miss Mr Mr Mr Mr Mr Mr Miss Miss Mr Mr


Cape Town Cape Town Cape Town London Cape Town Johannesburg Cape Town Cape Town Cape Town Johannesburg Cape Town

48 47 46 46 44 43 42 42 41 41 40


Mr Miss Miss Mr Miss Mr Mrs Mr Miss Mr Mr Mrs Mr Mrs Mr Mr Mr Mrs Mr Mrs Mr Mr Miss Miss Mr


Cape Town Cape Town Cape Town Cape Town Head Office London Johannesburg Cape Town Cape Town Cape Town Cape Town Cape Town Johannesburg Cape Town Cape Town Cape Town Durban Cape Town Cape Town Durban London Cape Town Cape Town Durban Cape Town

39 39 39 37 37 37 36 35 35 34 33 33 33 32 32 32 31 31 31 31 31 31 30 30 30

Woodman 20 YEARS AND OVER Finlayson Harcombe Stone Thorne Blair-Brown Geiss Lombaard Mseliki Cochius Du Toit Mtubela Skokana Greyling Heinrich McGahey Mosibi Peake Ceyiceyi Gessler Moshoele Trieloff Berrange Buxton Chambers Doyle Leyden Stuttaford Vincent Greybe McBride Prince Truter Brand Davies Dolby Mairs Panton Simana Tahoredi Westcombe Williams Bell



Cape Town


Mrs Mr Mrs Mr Mrs Mrs Miss Mrs Mr

Mr Mr Mr Miss Miss Mrs Mrs Miss Mr Mr Mr Mr Miss Miss Mr Mrs Mr Mrs Miss Miss Miss Mr

Mr Mrs Miss

G J H WE G F V Nicolaas K W Jundu William J A MJ Andries V Bekker J Ephraim E S D J F JP RB M E WEA M H G PC D S JM Sampson Daniel DN JE H

Cape Town Cape Town Durban Head Office Durban Cape Town Cape Town Durban Cape Town Cape Town Durban Cape Town Cape Town Cape Town Cape Town Johannesburg Cape Town Durban Cape Town Johannesburg Cape Town Cape Town Cape Town Cape Town Cape Town Durban Head Office Johannesburg Cape Town Cape Town Durban Cape Town Cape Town Cape Town Cape Town Johannesburg Durban Cape Town Cape Town Cape Town Durban Cape Town

28 28 28 28 27 27 27 27 26 26 26 26 25 25 25 25 25 24 24 24 24 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 22 22 22 22 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 20

Bleay Chokoe Fanyani Ford Hearne Lipsett Maguire Mfuku Moore Williams 52


E Michael A Mr L C Mr J Miss A Mr S Feti J J HH

Cape Town Johannesburg Cape Town Durban Cape Town Cape Town Cape Town Durban Cape Town Johannesburg

20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20

PENSIONERS As at the Centenary Year, 1957 CAPE TOWN: Men E. Brookes T. H. Camm A. H. Copeland H. F. Dekenah R. C. Dekenah C. Evans G. Hannernan S. P. Hendricks W. J. Herbert H. Maggott H. Nomdo R. Opie W. Reague A. E. Renouf D. Rudolph J. Shasha L. G. Smart E. Solomon J. F. Yuill WOMEN: Mrs. A. Attwell Miss L. G. Blatherwick Miss D. Cranna Mrs. E. Davies Miss L. Dreyer Miss M. Downie Miss G. Dudley Mrs. R. Fortuin Mrs. F. Jenkin Mrs. G. Karriern Mrs. M. McFall Mrs. I. Ripner Mrs. J. Scharffenorth Miss A. Stewart Mrs. P. Swartz Mrs. I. P. Weiss JOHANNESBURG: MEN: W. Dayson

Sam Dube W. M. Edgar C. Glover George Kabelo J. MacFarlane Jonas Maken Isaac Malepane Andrew Maseka Carl Mendal Jacob Moerane George Ndabelita Amon Muuyana Willie Solomon WOMEN: Miss M. E. Black Miss C. Booth Miss E. Hallyburton Miss D. Viall DURBAN: MEN: A. Ablett L. C. Benson Charlie Mhlongo Dick Mtayi David Nzama WOMEN: Mrs. J. Nipper Miss E. Priestley Miss R. Redpath LONDON: MEN: F. E. Driver W. Midgley 53

STUTTAFORD & COMPANY LIMITED Extent of the Company’s Properties in Southern Africa as at the Centenary Year, 1957 DEPARTMENTAL STORES Site Area sq. ft. Floors CAPE TOWN JOHANNESBURG DURBAN SALISBURY 40,000 16,000 15, 500 Nine Eleven Eight 94,000 130,000 80,000 20,000 WAREHOUSES Storage Area sq. ft.