from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban
KwaZulu Natal Bureau
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – THE Mini Town, a replica of some of the buildings in Durban, gives tourists and locals a good impression of some of the city’s landmarks.
It stands on a scale of 1:24 to the resort city and has been around since 1969.
Found along the Golden Mile, North Beach, it gives great detail on the buildings.
The buildings reach just above knee height and provide a perspective that could never be appreciated when walking through the city.
There is a mini Spar and a liquor store, a harbour with boats, helicopters, wildlife, a school, a replica of the Southern Sun Garden Court Hotel and model working trains.
There is also a party venue which is small but covered, with some chairs and tables provided. There is a small tuck shop on site.
Manager Desmond Deonarain, said the harbour at Mini Town contains 212 000 litres of water.
“This has to be replaced each time it is drained for maintenance,” the official said.
The power system for the railway is 32-volt direct current.
“All mechanisms are operated from a control tower by trained staff,” Deonarain explained.
Model buildings in Mini Town have been constructed from various materials.
“Marine ply was used at first, then fiberglass was found to be more durable. Today most buildings are made of ABS plastic and perspex with framing timber,” Deonarain said.
Copper, brass and aluminum are main materials used on the railway system and great care has been taken with insulation to avoid deterioration due to electrolysis.
Many of the models are sponsored by companies.
A woman (38) said she was not aware the place still existed.
“I was at my primary school doing grade 4 about 30 years ago when we came to visit the area on a school trip. I was not aware that it’s still open,” the woman recalled.
She pledged to bring her kids along next time.
– CAJ News