Times have certainly changed

2019-05-28 06:00
Bathing beauties visiting the beach in 1915, donning swimsuits seen as appropriate during that time.

Bathing beauties visiting the beach in 1915, donning swimsuits seen as appropriate during that time.

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Taking a look back into the archives at the Fish Hoek Valley Museum brought on nostalgia for one Fish Hoek resident.

“I have been going through newspaper clippings and found some really classic articles. Here is one from the Argus, 15th March 1934,” says Margaret Gundry, volunteer at Fish Hoek Valley Museum.

She shares an article titled “Bathing Costume Regulations To Be Tightened Up At Fish Hoek”, in which new swimsuit regulations are said to be coming into play, due to the fact that bathers were indecently dressed.

The article read: “A new regulation is now before the Administrator making provision for a more strict bathing dress for male bathers.”

She shares another newspaper clipping from 1946 titled “Bathers in Fish Hoek must not parade in costumes” in which it reads: “The Fish Hoek Municipality is to take steps to compel bathers to cover their bodies more adequately when they are not actually on the beach.”

The article continues: “No person in bathing costume shall appear or proceed in a public street or footpath unless wearing a cloak of substantial material fully covering the body from shoulders to the knee. Nor shall any bather in bathing costume enter the tea room on the beach and controlled by the council unless so cloaked.”

“How times have changed,” comments Gundry.

Today, the regulations governing the dress code on the beach are far more lax and allow for sunbathers to dress as conservatively or as scantily as they desire – with Cape Town even allowing for one of few nude beaches in South Africa.

Referring to the photo, Gundry hopes that someone in the community will be able to assist the museum to expand its archives by helping them with the following request. “This is from the archived newspaper clippings that we hold at the museum and we would very much like to know the names of the young ladies, if anyone can help us,” she says.

V Call the museum on 021 782 1752 for more information.

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