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Custodians of Memory

Decades ago, when I was about six years old, my parents and I spent a night at the Plough Hotel in Longmarket (now Langalibalele) Street in Pietermaritzburg’s city centre. To my great excitement, in the early hours of the morning the sprawling, corrugated-iron-roofed building across the street came to life. As I remember, standing at the window in my pyjamas, out of the half-light emerged a noisy armada of small trucks and horse-drawn carts loaded with fruit and vegetables.
Years afterwards, the Plough Hotel became a retirement lodge named Ken Collins House, which later was demolished to make way for the parking lot of City Square Spar. Later still, Nando’s and Boxer outlets were built on part of the footprint of the vanished hotel.

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