Visitors to the Old Railway Museum in Uitenhage will find an old yellow railway trolley hooked to the rolling stock at the museum. The trolley belonged to James “Jumper” Wide who was a signalman at the Uitenhage Station when the line to Port Elizabeth was established in the late 1800’s. Jumper lost both his legs when he slipped and fell under a train. One day he saw a baboon lead a team of oxen into town and Jumper bought the baboon from its owner. He taught Jack the baboon to push him to work on his trolley every day. Jack was a fast learner and Jumper taught him how to work the signals at the station. Jack eventually died in 1890, but his skull is on display in the Albany Museum in Grahamstown and his legacy will live on.
Read the whole story of Jack the Signalman.