Focus on the museums in Muizenberg, Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town

FISH HOEK VALLEY MUSEUM

Telephone: 021 782 1752  Central Circle, Fish Hoek  

The Fish Hoek Valley Museum displays the history of the area from the San to the present day. Illustrated local history talks, schools programmes and research material are also available.Open Tuesday – Saturday 9.30-12.30  

Click here to read about the prehistory of the South Peninsula  

THE HERITAGE MUSEUM, Simon’s Town

Tel: 021 786 2302 heritagest@eject.co.za  

Housed in Amlay House, King George Way, Simon’s Town, was set up in 1998. The Amlays were the last residents to be forcibly moved from their home in Simon’s Town as a result of the Group Areas Act of 1966. Artifacts, displays and photos recreating the lives of the vibrant community are on show.The Museum details more specifically on the history of the Muslim (Cape Malay, Indian) of the Cape- their traditions, culture and religion. We do genealogies, especially for the people of Simon’s Town. Visiting hours: Tuesday-Thursday 11am-4pm, Sunday 11-4pm. Entrance R5.  

SOUTH AFRICAN NAVAL MUSEUM, Simon’s Town

Tel: 021 7874686

The South African Naval Museum is located in the historic precinct of the Simon’s Town’s Navy dockyard.  It is open to the public, but visiting hours vary depending on the time of year. In summer the museum is open from 9:30 – 15:00 Mondays to Saturdays.  If you are planning a visit phone to confirm the opening times.

SIMON’S TOWN MUSEUM

Tel: 021 786 3046 Fax: 021 786 2391  

Our exhibitions include: The People of Simon’s Town; Early History of Simon’s Bay; The Boer Prisoner-of-War Camp; Simon’s Town’s Participation in the World Wars; The Dockyards; The Royal Navy in Simon’s Town; The Just Nuisance Story; The Gaol Cells. Open weekdays 10am-4pm, Sat 10am-1pm and Sun 11am-3pm. Entrance Donations: Adults R5, Children R2.Visits by groups and Schools welcome! Book a walk along the Historic Mile with Audrey Read Ph 021 786 1805.
Email: stmuseum@mweb.co.za
Website: http://www.simonstown.com/museum/stm.htm  

Project ASSEGAAI – The Submarine Museum

The SA Navy acquired its first submarines in the early seventies – three Daphne Class boats built in France. These were operated with great success until the late nineties when their maintenance became more difficult due to age. With the acquisition of the Type 209s, the Daphnes were withdrawn from service and disposed of by scrapping. The last to decommission was SAS Assegaai on 23 November 2003.  

SAS Assegaai was commissioned as SAS Johanna van der Merwe in 1972 under the command of then Lt Cdr Theo Honiball. She is 57.8m long with a beam of 6.8m and a surface displacement of 870t and 1045t when dived. She carried a complement of 6 officers and 45 crew members. With 12 x 550mm torpedo tubes, she could also carry sea mines.  She was renamed SAS Assegaai in the late nineties  

Through the efforts of a small group of serving and retired members, the SA Navy agreed to keep her as a museum exhibit on condition that these enthusiasts funded her preservation and display as an exhibit ashore. In order to achieve this Assegaai has been converted into a floating museum in Simon’s Town harbour for a period not exceeding two years in order to raise the necessary funds from public donations. The ultimate aim is to promote technology and the sciences amongst the youth through visits and projects aboard.  

The boat is well preserved and open to visitors for guided tours on a daily basis (closed Christmas and Boxing Day) from 10:00 to 15:00.  

TOURS to SAS ASSEGAAI MUSEUM SUBMARINE

Over 10 000 visitors from more than 40 countries have visited the SAS Assegaai in the short time that it has been moored between the Navy Harbour  and Simon’s town Yatch Club.  Going on board a working submarine, albeit a retired one, is a truely out of the ordinary experience and one that is on our doorstep in Simon’s Town.   It is another world being close up to the precision engineering that enables submarines to `see’ in the dark and survive extreme water pressures.  While physically, they redefine cramped living, apparently the cameraderie of the crew made up for many of the hardships of being at sea without a view, fresh air or place to escape to for time out from work or fellow sailors.   Please note that the Simon’s Town Boat Company no longer provides ferry services to the Museum Submarine and that people wishing to enquire about visits should contact the Naval Museum on (021) 787 4686 for details.  A new schedule of visiting times and means of access from the town will be advised shortly.  13 January 2012

Read more about the SAS Assegaai 

http://scenicsouth.co.za//wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Assegaai-Handbook-Page-1.pdf 

http://scenicsouth.co.za//wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Assegaai-Handbook-Page-2.pdf 

press enquiries can be addressed to Arne Söderlund  or 082 807 8073  

SAS Assegaai on-board enquiries – 021 787 5267  

RHODES COTTAGE, Muizenberg

Cecil John Rhodes owned and died in this cottage in Muizenberg at the age of 48 years in March, 1902. It was established as a museum in 1953 and since 1999 the Society has kept it open daily to the many interested visitors through volunteer members who take turns daily in curating and and enjoying the interest and comments of those visiting.  Should there be anyone interested in undertaking a “shift” of curating, ph the Hon Secretary on 021 788 8224  

THE HET POSTHUYS MUSEUM, Muizenberg

The origins and history of this building are still a subject of debate, but it is thought to be late 1600’s early 1700’s, and 2nd oldest after the Castle. It is pictured in a painting of the Battle of Muizenberg done shortly after the battle, and stories suggest that at one time it was a Custom House, hence Die Posthuys, and that it was also used by the local Dutch military wing of that era.  It houses a diorama, info on the Battle of Muizenberg, and photographs of Muizenberg during the early 1900’s.  Open about 5 days a week 10-2 pm. Ph 021 788 7972  

FH-Historical-pic

The Fish Hoek Farmhouse c1910

The quarry on Elsies Peak has been closed but you can still see where there was a trolley track. The stone was cut and dressed at the quarry and run down to Kommetjie Road from where it was put into carts to be taken to the building sites or the railway siding at Fish Hoek. The small quarry was for gravel for the roads.

The history of Fish Hoek Valley Museum

The idea of having a museum in Fish Hoek had been talked about for a long time before it became a reality. In 1978 the Fish Hoek Town Council convened a public meeting to discuss the idea and the Fish Hoek Valley Historical Association was formed. Initially a new building was envisaged but the money to build it was never available.In 1993 the Fish Hoek Town Council, who were very interested in the project, gave the Historical Association the use of a municipal house and the museum was in business. As the Historical Association committees were always changing it was decided to form a Trust to provide continuity of governance. The Fish Hoek Valley Museum Trust is still the governing body and all collections and monies are held in their name. There is no outside funding, apart from the use of the building, and all the staff are volunteers. This means that improvements can only be made if the money is raised.

The museum opened in February 1994 with a display of historical photographs. For many years items of supposed historical interest had been collected at the Fish Hoek Library in anticipation of a museum and a room full of boxes and black bags had to be sorted. It was interesting to see what people had decided was of historical value! 

There are three rooms containing displays. The Peers Cave room has photographs from the Peers excavation in the 1920s and stone tools found in the Fish Hoek Valley. The history of the Fish Hoek Farm, the founding of the village and its growth are portrayed in another room and the whaling in Fish Hoek Bay and our Hack Group recorded in the third room. 

There is also a collection of local archives and we answer many local research queries from all over the world. We have over a thousand photographs of the area from Lakeside to Kommetjie and an almost complete collection of Fish Hoek Echoes, which tell the social history of Fish Hoek. Other documents of local interest help us in answering research queries, which are often related to local families or servicemen who came through Cape Town during World War 2 and were entertained by local families. 

The museum, at 59 Central Circle, Fish Hoek, is open from 9.30am to 12.30pm from Tuesday to Saturday, entry R5.00. Local history talks for groups can be arranged by appointment. Phone 021 782 1752 or e-mail fhvmuseum@kingsley.co.za. 

Written by Joy Cobern  

MUIZENBERG’S HISTORICAL MILE

Take a virtual tour of MUIZENBERG’S HISTORICAL MILE :MUIZENBERG HERITAGE CONSERVATION-1  

The Chavonnes Battery Cannon Museum
 
For news of what’s available from the Kalk Bay Historical Society see 

http://scenicsouth.co.za//2010/11/on-offer-from-the-kalk-bay-historical-society/

For info re talks by the Kalk Bay Historical Society see

http://scenicsouth.co.za//2012/03/kalk-bay-historical-association-talks-2012-%e2%80%93-2013/

Other Museums of interest in Cape Town include:

For those interested in battlements and guns visit The Chavonnes Battery Cannon Museum

Clock Tower V&A Waterfront. For more see http://scenicsouth.co.za//2011/10/the-chavonnes-battery-cannon-museum/

Clock Tower V&A Waterfront