Port Elizabeth of Yore: King’s Beach

As a child, my family seldom, if ever, went to swim at King’s Beach. My father was a creature of habit and as he was raised at Schoenmakerskop, that is where we swam. Sometime during the 1960’s we were voluntarily taken there. No fights, no fuss. As my father had been the site foreman, the family had been given a special invite to attend. How could my father refuse?

Main picture: Aerial view of the King’s Beach Playground

Of course we were the first children to have a ride on the miniature train through the tunnels and around the pool.

The Smartie Train

Notwithstanding that, Schoenmakerskop remained our preferred swimming area – courtesy of my father – until I could cycle to the beach from Newton Park. Then my favourite beach was Humewood and finally when I purchased a dilapidated VW Beetle, it was Pollack Beach.

King's Beach#01

This routine would only be changed on special occasions such as when taking a female to view the sunrise.

Schoenmakerskop was cast aside, never to be used again.

My father never discussed work at home or with friends but with this project he did. The problem that he experienced was twofold: loose sea sand – what else can one expect – and the fact that the water table was so high.

The Putt Putt course
The Putt Putt course

The only point that one should take note of is the shoreline. Before the construction of the breakwater, King’s Beach could not have been more than 10 to 20 metres in wide like all the beaches along this coast. However after the construction of the breakwater, the beach has steadily grown as the sea sand accumulates against the breakwater. Within a few years, the beach will extend to the very end.

The beach was named to commemorate the visit of the Royal family in 1947. The White Train was stationed at a custom-built siding near the S-bend when the Royal Family were in Port Elizabeth.

Recent photographs

King's Beach#03
King’s Beach showing the built up of sand against the breakwater
Kings Beach looking towards McArthur Baths and Bayworld Museum complex
King's Beach Park
King's Beach#04
King's Beach#06
King's Beach#07

Related blogs:

Port Elizabeth of Yore: Russell Road-Formerly Burial or Hyman’s Kloof

Port Elizabeth of Yore: Sand dunes, Inhabitants and Animals

Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Horse Memorial

Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Road through Target 3Kloof & its Predecessors

Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Parsonage House at No. 7 Castle Hill

What happened to the Shark River in Port Elizabeth?

A Pictorial History of the Campanile in Port Elizabeth

The Friendly City – Port Elizabeth – My Home Town

Pictures: Apart from one, all of the recent photos are courtesy of Jonker Fourie

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