The secrets of the Globe

The Globe Hotel in 1938, with the Daily News building behind it.

The Globe Hotel in 1938, with the Daily News building behind it.

Published Aug 12, 2023


The old picture this week features Durban’s Globe Hotel, which was at the corner of Field and Pine streets, today Joe Slovo and Monty Naicker. It was the hotel that was also the hangout for many Daily News journalists because the newspaper offices were next door, at 85 Field Street.

The old picture has no caption but was shot in 1938. The advertising board for The Daily News can be seen clearly in the background.

The Globe had a pub called the Silver Quill on the first floor, a pub frequented by journalists. Older Daily News staff, from press people to reporters to photolithographers, were frequently heard reminiscing about the “secret passage” from The Daily News building into the bar, allowing them a quick nip in between deadlines…

One correspondent on Facts about Durban writes: “It did not take us long to suss out the Silver Quill. Ronnie, I think, was the name of the Indian barman. That became the Friday watering hole where most of the Daily News folk would bring in a variety of celebrities and exciting times for us.”

The old Daily News building and the site of the Globe Hotel in Joe Slovo Street today. Picture: Shelley Kjonstad/ African News Agency (ANA)

Historian Gerald Buttigieg remembers that section of Field Street containing the “ABC shoe shop on the corner of West and Field and then a shop called Natal Hatters, then another building with an exclusive furrier shop, Manock’s. Also there was Gerays Studio, the photographers, then the Natal Daily News Building, and then the Globe Hotel. I recall you could look down into the basement of the Daily News building on the Pine Street corner and watch the printing presses in action,” he wrote.

News editor Lindsay Slogrove says the hotel had been demolished by the time she joined The Daily News in 1985, but its bar was legendary among many of the old timers on the subs desk. To this day, the functions room at the Independent Media building is still called the Silver Quill.

Today, the new building houses retail outlets and office space as Shelley Kjonstad’s picture shows.