The Port of Cape Town of Yore

Is one even able to contemplate what Cape Town’s harbour was like in the days of sail? These photographs evoke that period. Imagine the harbour without a steamship in sight. The first regular service between SA and the UK was only commenced in 1857 by the Union Steam Company.

Main picture: Sailing ships at anchor in Table Bay mid 1800s

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Cape Town of Yore Pictorially

It is not that I am au fait with Cape Town but apart from Port Elizabeth, I possess a natural affinity for Cape Town.  Besides spending three months in Cape Town performing a due diligence and many an Easter participating in the Two Oceans, I have never actually spent much time there.

Nonetheless photographs of the old Cape Town always appeal to me. Here are my latest batch.

Main picture: The majestic Table Mountain

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Cape Town in all its Splendor

Cape Town must easily rank as the most stunning city in South Africa. Some Vaalies condescencingly claim that if there was no mountain, Cape Town would be a fraction of itself. There is truth in this assertion but Cape Town is so much more that one mountain. Its historical heritage, its colourful people, especially the Cape Coloureds with their own enchanting vernacular add a surreal mix to the equation.

The hinterland also bears a mention. With its numerous wine farms first introduced to South Africa with the arrival of the French Hugenots in the 1700s, add another flavour to the various strains that is the Cape.

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Large scale Army exercise in Bloubergstrand area in 1972

Main picture: In the Army in 3SAI Battalion during 1971 in Oudshoorn


The decrepit Army Bedford truck noisily made its way into the unknown with its cargo of twenty troops aboard. With its back flap also tied down, its cargo was cocooned within its own world.

The reason for our for these measures was that our platoon was going to be the enemy – a band of terrorists – for a large scale Army Exercise somewhere in South Africa.

The destination was classified but there were two dead give-aways: we were heading west all the time & we had a map of our destination: Bloubergstrand.

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