From the other Balls

Magda Ball and Lil Chaplin (née Ball), Anchusa Court, Plumstead

My sister and I read with great interest the article about the history of Mrs HS Ball’s chutney (“The legacy of the great Mrs Ball,” Bulletin September 27). Our family name was also Ball and our father’s name was Herbert William Ball, and we lived in “Firfield Road”, Plumstead.

The Chutney Balls lived in Southfield Road, Plumstead, a stone’s throw away, and Mr “Chutney Ball’s” initials were HS Ball while our father was obviously HW Ball, and we clearly remember mail often being delivered to the incorrect Ball family.

What really amused us was when our house in Firfield Road, Plumstead, was up for sale a few years ago (our parents had purchased it in the early 1920s and lived there until 1960). We were both anxious to see what alterations had been done to the house in the intervening years.

We discovered the property was once more up for sale and that there would be a show house during the weekend. We arrived at the house on “show” day to be presented at the front door with a leaflet by the estate agent in charge of the sale stating, “this was the house where Ball’s Chutney had its beginnings”.

Despite telling the estate agent that we had both been born in the house in 1928 and 1929 respectively and they were publicising the wrong facts, the agent was not in the least put out and in fact left all prospective customers with the impression that the facts they had stated were true.

We are now 89 and 90 respectively and remember as children having to walk through Port Jackson bush to reach Plumstead Railway Station.

Our memories stretch back many years and Ball’s Chutney is certainly one which sticks in our memories.

Brian Hoare, Plumstead

This is an email I sent to (our ward councillor) Carol Bew on Tuesday September 25.

As of this morning (Thursday September 27) I have had no response.

If the underpass is flooded pedestrians are forced to walk to the Victoria Road bridge. This isn’t acceptable. And, as I have pointed out, it has been a problem for many years, and nothing has been done about it.

“Dear Carol. Well, the Southfield underpass at the railway line is flooded again, making it impassable for pedestrians.

“This has been an ongoing problem for at least 10 years now. It must be possible to find a permanent solution.

“The City logo, ‘this City works for you’, isn’t at all accurate, as the City only works for special interest groups like the cyclists. Pedestrians don’t count.

“Also we never hear from our councillors, even at election time. They have become just too complacent and expect to be re-elected without any effort.

“PS I am so fed up that a copy of this will go to the Bulletin, where I am sure you will have some excuse for not doing your job, as usual.”

Councillor Carol Bew responds: It always amazes me to see how people can go to all the trouble to report service-delivery needs to the media thinking they will get a better and quicker response. They can’t wait to express their discontent and often get personal (so unnecessary). Delays could be so avoided by having residents become active citizens by logging a simple service-delivery request on the City’s service notification system.

The City’s electronic reporting system will provide residents with a reference number so they can track the progress of the request that they has logged. Residents can use one of the following options to log notifications:

Mobi site: Residents can use the mobi site to report faults such as flooding, bush clearing needed, mowing, potholes, water leaks, electricity failures and illegal dumping, among other service requests. The mobi site can be accessed via one’s smart phone at: or SMS: Residents can send an SMS to 31220 for electricity technical faults and 31373 for water technical faults.

Phone: The contact call centre’s number is 0860 103 089


If residents have not had any success regarding their service request within a reasonable time, they must please get in touch with their ward councillor, supplying the relevant reference number so that the matter can be followed up on the resident’s behalf. Hereby actioning the City’s motto of “Making progress possible together”.

Regarding the issue at hand, Mr Hoare first contacted me by email in late August, and no reference number was supplied. The complaint was forwarded for intervention and replied to on the same day.

On Tuesday September 25, my office followed up with the head of district roads, and I was copied in on correspondence between the head of district roads and his maintenance staff as to whether the matter had been attended to.

At this stage, there was a reference number (9105912603).

On Thursday September 27, at 9.53am, a further email from Mr Hoare was received and was forwarded for follow-up intervention at 10.06am.

Further information received is that the pump was stolen from the subway, for the second time.

A new pump cannot be installed until the door housing the pump has been replaced.

Until such time as the required quotes from vendors are received and the new door and pump have been installed, the water needs to be extracted manually as and when necessary.

The department is aware of the situation and is doing something about it.