Camps Bay Trails launched to walk the history of Camps Bay


Jane Bodin, a resident of Camps Bay, is to be commended for establishing the Camps Bay Trails.  Having researched the history of the suburb, she compiled the trials, to share the Camps Bay historic gems with others, reports the Atlantic Sun

The Trails start at the Camps Bay Library, at which steps is a  plaque of Philly, a large white horse which roamed the suburb between 1932 and 1967 with Nellie, his friend the donkey.   Then the Trails move to the War Memorial, on the corner of Link Street and Victoria Road, and built after World War I. The Memorial honours those from Camps Bay who fought in the First and Second World Wars.   In fact the road running along the sea was named in honour of Queen Victoria’s 1887 Golden Jubilee.  

The Theatre on the Bay building was the original building for the powerhouse of the trams that ran between Sea Point and Camps Bay from 1901 onward.  The building has also been used as a cinema and a church.   The stone cottages on the bottom end of Geneva Drive were built over 100 years ago, as homes for the tram drivers.  In Crown Crescent, around the corner, wooden historical Swiss cottages imported from Norway were established.

The oldest church in the suburb is the St. Peter’s Anglican Church, for which building commenced in 1905, but completed in 1929, as was the Dutch Reformed Church completed in that year.  The Fairways in Camps Bay was once the grounds of a nine hole golf course, a Kramat and a synagogue.   The Roundhouse, leased to the restaurant, is the oldest building in Camps Bay (built in 1786), followed by The Retreat (1857), now used as a boutique hotel. The Rotunda behind the Bay Hotel was built in 1904.

The promenade of Camps Bay has 35 palm trees, planted by James Riddel Farquhar in the 1900’s, who wanted Camps Bay to look like New Brighton!   Camps Bay is also recorded in the Guinness Book of Records, for having the longest serving chemist (of 70 years) in the world, being Phillip Isaacs.

For more details about the Camps Bay Trails, see

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio:

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