Wednesday, 9 December 2015

BizNews picks up my opionion piece on Economic Exclusion

Alec Hogg's website BizNews publishes my opinion piece this morning - it appeared on this blog a few weeks ago but in case you missed it you can read it here.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

A desperate appeal for justice - the City of Joburg must hang its head in shame and cough up!

This morning I was copied on an email from Tshepo Kguaudi, whose tale of woe I wrote about on this blog some weeks ago - click here for the post.

Mr Kgaudi's business was destroyed by a combination of factors, chief amongst which was general inaction and negligence by the City of Johannesburg. The Public Protector issued a report in December last year detailing the remedial action expected from the City. To date, the City has done nothing and continues to obfuscate and delay.

This is typical of an institution which arrogantly ignores the welfare of its residents. The City says it supports small businesses, but this is just one more example that disproves this claim.

Any assistance readers of this blog can give to putting pressure on the City to reach a settlement with Mr Kgaudi will be welcome.

Read his email below:

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Chance Brothers - Lighting the World

During a visit to the UK in July I recorded an interview with broadcaster Graham Fisher, who lives in Birmingham and specialises in the history and heritage of the West Midlands. The interview was arranged by Mike Gibbs, publisher of History West Midlands Magazine, who has done so much to revive interest in what became known as the Black Country, the heart of Britain's industrial revolution.

In the interview I relate some of the factors leading to Chance Brothers becoming a major industrial enterprise from its founding in 1824 by my great great great uncle Robert Lucas Chance to the final closing of its doors in 1981. You can listen to the interview here.

Much of the interview focused on arguably the firm's best known product - lighthouse lenses and associated equipment - which can still be found lighting sealanes and harbours around the world. This is the subject of my book Lighthouses: The race to illuminate the world, published in 2008. For more info on the book you can visit my website here.

Listen also to this interview with Ray Drury, the last Chief Engineer at the Chance Brothers factory in Spon Lane, Smethwick. He reminisces about his experiences from being an apprentice draftsman in 1949 to his tearful locking of the gates of the flat glass plant for the last time in 1976.