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