Recreational activities youth

Wikis > Sea Point > Recreational activities youth

A historical investigation into the Sea Point beachfront as a public open space throughout the 20th century with special reference to memories of growing up along the Sea Point Promenade by Leila Emdon.

Chapter Two continued – The growth of a suburb: the Development of Sea Point in the late 19th century to the 1950s

<< previous Childhood Teenage Memories Beaches Promenade

Recreational activities for the youth

Unlike today, the promenade from the 1930s right through to the 1970s was always full of activity and events. Sonia remembers: “A friend of mine started up square dancing on the beachfront. There were many concerts on the lawns. There were no blocks of flats e, now if you did anything the people in the flats would object to noise. They used to put down a portable floor on the lawn on the beachfront, they would have music and you would dance and change partners.”36

Sheila describes how: “There always was a dance with a good band, Friday nights in the old Sea Point town hall which was crowded with young people. The Cape Town city orchestra had a large platform on Rocklands lawns and every Sunday afternoon throughout the summer playing popular music and light classics to a crowd gathered on the lawns. This platform was sometimes used for dancing on special occasions in the evenings. Then there was a permanent fixture throughout the six weeks summer holidays: A fun fair with a carousel, dodge’m cars, big wheel and lots of sideshows and games. This was also an attraction where we could meet our friends. Because of all the young people around all Sea Point, churches had a young people’s fellowship on Friday nights in their church halls. They were well attended and there were a variety of things to do: serious discussions, sometimes to compete in games on the Beach against other churches, sometimes for their own watermelon feast or social etc. It was all very lively and full of fun.”

“One memory stands out very clearly in my mind, it was at Rocklands. It was “Charlie the Snake Charmer”. He used to walk down Rocklands road past our house about once a month with all his paraphernalia hanging from his shoulders wearing a huge turban on his head and dirty white robes. This intrigued me and I ran down our steps, out our gate to join other kids following him to the promenade. He lay down a mat and unpacked two large baskets with lids for snakes and a number of little round baskets without lids and stones for magic tricks. We all stood around him in a circle. When he blew a tune on a whistle, the cobras would reach up two thirds of their length and sway in tune to his music. I can still remember my excitement and fear.”
36 Sonia Kirsch, 20th September 2008, recorded interview

<< previous Childhood and Teenage Memories of the beaches and promenade —- Teenage Life next >>