Historic sites honoured

2015-10-06 06:00

Fish Hoek will receive two blue plaques to commemorate historical sites in the town.

The new plaques, which identify historical sites and bring them to the attention of visitors, were celebrated at a recent event held by the Fish Hoek Valley Historical Society.

The plaques are a way to promote local tourism and encourage people to take interest in the South Peninsula, subcouncil chairperson Felicity Purchase says.

The 19-mile marker stone and Jager Walk will both receive the blue plaques.

The marker stone indicated the distance between Cape Town and Simon’s Town and is likely to have been erected around 1815, says local historian Joy Cobern.

It seems to have “gotten lost” over the years and was uncovered when the road was expanded. The marker was tossed aside to be disposed off when local resident Jager intervened.

He recognised the marker as heritage-worthy and, although it could not be restored into its original position, it was cemented into the retaining wall, Cobern says.

Jager Walk was named after the very same Jager, who served as chairperson on the village management board for over a decade.

After the railway was completed in the late 1800s, Fish Hoek started seeing more visitors to the beach. They would often pick their way across the rocky section of the beach to swim and sunbathe. Soon visitors started walking along the railway line, and it was decided to build a walkway to prevent this.

In 1931 the board commissioned the first phase of construction, which then cost £440 and was completed in 1932. The second phase was completed in 1933 and cost £275.

A date for the City of Cape Town to install the plaques is to be finalised, says society chairperson Alan Lindner.

Blue Plaques of South Africa (BPSA) maintains a database of blue plaque sites in South Africa, and the accolades foster a sense of local pride and increase the emotional attachment of residents to their city, according to the association’s website.

Around 200 sites are listed by the BPSA and several other sites around False Bay are earmarked to receive blue plaques, including the Fishermen’s Flats in Kalk Bay, the Kalk Bay Outspan, the site of the old mission school and Jacob’s Ladder

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