I recently met Patrick Campbell from Stanford when a small group of us went on a hike in Fynbos Retreat. Chatting along the way we discovered we had both lived in Fish Hoek and that some of the people I knew were known to Patrick too, albeit at an earlier age. He subsequently emailed me a photograph that was taken in 1923 of the Hartley family picnicking at Fish Hoek beach and a few memories that our conversation brought to mind. Many of our Fish Hoekites will relate to his reminiscences!

Photo of the Hartley family taken in 1923 in Fish Hoek. Photo supplied by Patrick Campbell

Photo of the Hartley family taken in 1923 in Fish Hoek. Photo supplied by Patrick Campbell

Over to Patrick:



(His title! – and his comment on the pic above:’ take note of the number of houses on the hillside.’ Viv )

Memories that come flooding back:

If you ask my kids if they want an ice cream in a cone, they say they want a Neoklis Ice Cream. When I was a ‘pik’ in Fish Hoek and we went into the Greek cafe for an ice cream – if Neoklis was serving his pals he would fill up the cone first with ice cream then put another scoop on top, much to the disapproval of his mother, Maria (nicknamed the Black Knight). This method I introduced to my kids and to this day it has become a family tradition.

I have listed some of my earlier memories and I think that there could be some stories from this:

My first school was St. Imelda’s Dominican Kindergarten on the corner of 6th Avenue and Kommetjie Road. One of my colleagues was Robin Spengler who became an overseas tennis professional – where is he now?

We had to have our hair cut at SACREE the barber. His wife had an adjacent dry cleaning business. On the shelf next to the mirror he had a collection waterline scale models of famous battleships  – as a small boy was completely captivated by these models.

I remember Mrs. Ball’s chutney factory in 10th Avenue.

I recall the donkey rides on the beach and helping to stable them after a day’s work, in 2nd Avenue.

One of the big highlights of my schooling at Fish Hoek Primary was the  Royal Visit. I recall visiting the Cape Town Docks and seeing their Highnesses disembark from the HMS VANGUARD. They drove down the  gangplank in a jeep. To me this was incredible. When the party passed through Fish Hoek, we were all given a commemorative mug.

Other memories are –

–          The boom at Glencairn – no entry beyond the quarry

–          The old wooden beach pavilion being washed away by storm waves

–          Motor racing on the salt pan at Noordhoek

–          Bull Pritchard Orion’s Garden Display between the 1st and 2nd subway. Hundreds of lead model soldiers and Dinky Toy cars.

–          Milk delivery from Crons Dairy via horse drawn cart

–          The Homestead Hotel burned  down – now restored as SA Navy Women’s Accommodation

–          The Aquarium at  St. James and when it closed down the artist George Pilkington  used it as a Studio. It was demolished in 1954.

Patrick Campbell (a “peddler in nostalgia who needs no encouragement, especially after a few whiskies….” Mrs Campbell!)http://scenicsouth.co.za/2010/03/early-memories-of-fish-hoek-waters-and-related-thoughts-about-false-bays-great-whites/

See also:




Do send me your stories, old photos  and memories of growing up in the villages of the Southern Peninsula or the Overberg. Who knows, you might even catch up with friends with whom you have long lost contact!