According to Mrs HS Ball's great-grandson Desmond Ball, it all started in 1852 when Hanry James Adkins married Elizabeth Sarah Spalding in King William's Town, settling in the nearby village of Fort Jackson to run a general dealership. He was a pretty humble man. Sarah Adkins started making chutney commercially in about 1870. But she was no great shakes at brand-building, burdening her delicious condiment with the label "Mrs Henry Adkins Senior, Colonial Chutney Manufacturer, Fort Jackson, Cape Colony." The Adkinses had seven sons and four daughters, one of whom was Amelia. Amelia married Herbert Saddleton Ball, a superintendent on the railways, and they moved to Johannesburg - taking her mother's chutney recipe with her. On HS Ball's retirement the family moved to Cape Town, where Amelia started producing her mother's chutney on a home-industry scale. The Balls moved to the pretty coastal town of Fish Hoek, where Mrs Ball started increasing her production. Over time the sales improved so much that production could not be accommodated in the Fish Hoek house. The factory was moved three times, each time to bigger premises, eventually ending up in Diep River. Amelia Ball died on 11 November 1962, at the age of 97. But her name lives on - on the millions of Mrs HS Ball's Chutney labels.
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