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Cockney Liz, the famous barmaid of Barberton, arrived in Africa in January 1886 in search of her fiancé. She followed his trail to Kimberley and then to Barberton, without success. Without a penny 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 a digger offered her 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 shrewd business sense.
Cockney Liz disappeared from the Barberton gold fields as suddenly as she appeared, leaving many unanswered questions.
Now, for the first time, the legend of Cockney Liz, and her fiancé, is revealed.