Sunday 5 January 2020


CAPE ARGUS - 1939, December 28
Tents have been pitched on many a beach and beside many a stream in the Cape this week. Country offices have been closed until after the New Year. Farmers have left their homesteads with their families and trekked to the sea. Thousands are living in the open air. Bain’s Kloof is popular with motorists and campers. Mountaineers, who are among the hardiest of the holidaymakers, are toiling up in the old trails or finding peaks they have never climbed before. Though there is no local Matterhorn or Mont Blanc, the general standard of mountaineering in the Cape is regarded as equal to anything Switzerland can offer.
Table Mountain, by the more difficult routes, tests the endurance of the most experienced climbers. Within a few hours’ motoring are other great ranges offering every type of adventure on the heights. It is still possible to find buttresses which have never been climbed. The mountaineer who discovers a new route feels the pride of the achievement.

Fishermen, too, are enjoying more sport than at any other time of the year. The rivers of the Cape are now well stocked with trout, tench and bass – good to catch and pleasant to eat. River fishermen are content with fish weighing only a few pounds. It has been said that the fascination consists of nine parts anticipation and one part realization.

Sun & Surf at Muizenberg (CAPE ARGUS - 1939, January 3)
National roads have been brought new pleasures within easy reach of the Cape Town motorist with only a day or two to spare. The wise traveler never forgets his bathing trunks; for there are beaches far from the sea with sandy “Lidos” close to magnificent stretches of fresh water. The FOLD-UP CANOE has added greatly to the enjoyment of such places. Determined motorists will drive as far north as the Orange River in search of peaceful camping grounds remote from the city. The Aughrabies Falls, as memorable as the Victoria Falls, will be seen by many visitors. 

All along the coast of the Cape, bays and villages will be crowded with people seeking the refreshment of the sea, as at MUIZENBERG

A portion of the crowd of 11,600 who watched the cricket test at NEWLANDS.
(CAPE ARGUS - 1939, January 3)


The Cape has always made a festival of the New Year, as a contrast with the quiet of Christmas. Guns were fired from the Castle in Dutch East India Company’s days to mark the passing of the old year and the arrival of the new year. The ship’s in the bay joined in the salute, while on shore people discharged muskets and pistols while the church bells rang. Shops were closed, and even the slaves paraded the streets joyfully.
Today the “riot, noise, and drunkenness” of a century or more ago are not so much in evidence. High spirits remain, and the New Year is still welcomed with revelry.

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