At age 6, while riding on the top deck of a bus to the German school I attended in Edith Cavell Street, Hillbrow, I noticed a white cylindrical post with black vane on the east side of Oxford Road just after crossing Glenhove Road.  I asked my older sister and father what it could be but they had no idea. Although seeing it daily intrigued me then, I thought no more of it and, in time, forgot about it after our family had moved premises.

Rosendal is a townhouse complex in the heart of Rosebank, designed by the Johannesburg architect, Michael Sutton, in 1988. With only 16 units in two rows of semi-detached double storey houses, the complex is quintessentially understated. It nonetheless represents a significant contribution to the architectural heritage of Johannesburg, being both a refined example of Sutton’s townhouse typology, and also an elegant synthesis of a South African style and postmodernism.

Today I browsed my recipe book collection and randomly pulled out a thin paper cover recipe book called The Caltex Recipe Collection (published in about 1983 by Caltex). The book is a compilation of recipes from the Caltex Recipe Calendar series over the period 1979 to 1982.


Charles Thrupp arrived in South Africa from the United Kingdom in 1882 and made his way to King Williams Town to take up a job with a local wholesaler. As the gold fields of the Rand began to boom, the firm called on Thrupp to open and manage a store in Johannesburg. After a few years of solid trade, the branch hit hard times and had to close its doors in 1892. For most employees this would have meant looking for another job but Thrupp saw Johannesburg's potential and acquired the grocery side of the ailing business.

These sketches were drawn in 1966 as part of a first year student project at Wits. It involved taking a walk through a familiar built environment and documenting the various textures and vistas that one encountered. I was still struggling to develop a drawing style of my own, and the kind of clean pen-and-ink drawings that mark my later work were yet to evolve.

His name is immortalised in one of Johannesburg's most well-known streets, it is inscribed on the foundation stone of the landmark Johannesburg Library and it is painted on his old office which is now home to the popular Arts on Main in the Maboneng Precinct. But who was D.F. Corlett? The following article, published in the South African Builder in September 1923, gives some insight into the man.


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