Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cockney Liz, Legendary Barmaid of Barberton – Hans Bornman

According to legend, Cockney Liz, the famous barmaid of Barberton, arrived in Africa in January 1886 in search of her fiancé. After following his trail to the bustling gold rush town of Barberton, her dreams were shattered when she discovered that he had died. Without a penney to her name, Liz had no other choice than to take a position at the Red Light Canteen as an entertainer and barmaid.

Liz’s charms soon had diggers flocking to the canteen and she quickly became famous - or is it infamous?  - for being auctioned off to the highest bidder at the end of the evening. Her most famous auction was the occasion when an unfortunate digger offered 96 Kimberley Imperial shares, worth over £800 at the time, to spend the night with her.

Before long, Liz had enough money to buy the Red Light Canteen, then to build the Royal Albert Hall. Once again, she became the talk of the town - this time for her shrewd business sense. Cockney Liz disappeared from the Barberton gold fields as suddenly as she appeared, leaving many questions behind. Now, for the first time, the real story of Cockney Liz can be revealed.

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