Early 1900s

The passing of the age of the horse is well illustrated in this interesting photo from 1915 which also typifies the empty nature of the land then found north of Salisbury.

Colonial model Napier on the Golden Stairs, Mazoe district c 1914-15

A colonial model Napier owned and driven by Mr A.C. Henderson of Mazoe.  The picture was taken during one of the weekly journeys which Mr Henderson had to undertake to a spot on the then famous Rhodesian hill known as the "Golden Stairs", in those days many miles from the nearest habitation. The hill in question is over a mile in length, with an average rise of 1 in 4 and, in parts, steeper.  The picture was taken some time in early 1915 or possibly in 1914.

The Napier was a high quality car comparable to a Rolls Royce or Lanchester.  VCC experts have identified the car as most likely a 4 cylinder 2.9 litre model from 1911 or 1912 .  In those days of rough unsurfaced roads, such as can be seen in the photo, many better makes of British car offered a colonial model which had a high mounted chassis giving greater than normal ground clearance.  Some makes, such as Sunbeam, also fitted thicker radiators to handle the warmer conditions found in many parts of the British Empire.

Possibly, more recent, residents of Salisbury may have wondered where the Golden Stairs Road through the northern suburbs actually led, well, this is it!  Originally the main road to Mazoe ran via Mount Hampden but there was an alternative track which went from Mount Pleasant to fall steeply into the Mazoe valley by way of the Golden Stairs, a series of rough descents about 16 miles, or 26 km, from Salisbury.  This slightly shorter route is, more or less, that followed by the main road today. 

(Click on the picture, and then again, to get a closer view)