This article first appeared on Lennie's personal blog on 20 September 2020. Click here to view. The main photo was taken by Lize Botes on the night of the fire.
Once Natal became a British colony in 1843 there were opportunities for British immigrants to come as settlers, farmers and craftsmen. Over time thousands of such hopeful people arrived by sailing ship to start new lives, establish families and make their fortunes on farms and plantations and estates in Natal from about 1850 onwards or to populate the principal towns, Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Ladysmith.