Here’s another message that rather fell through the cracks. It arrived quite a long time ago from reader Bles Grobbelaar. He wrote:
Hi Allan, Durbanites and friends
Yesterday I was an 11-year-old bare-footed youth swimming at Fynnland Beach and today 60 years later I am retired after having lectured for 39 years at universities in Australia, NZ and good old SA.
Talking of Fynnland Beach: The folks who are aware of the fact that there once was a beach at Fynnlands are getting fewer and fewer. We moved to Durban in 1948 when housing was scarce and had to live in a tent on Fynnland Beach until we could find a house. The luckier ones lived in houseboats on the beach and contributed to the unhealthy conditions that probably led to the closure of the beach in around 1954.
I can recall that during low tide you could walk from the beach to Salisbury Island to look at the mangrove swamps. I still remember the brightly coloured changing booths and the Sunday Photographer. On Easter Mondays there used to be some sports organised for the youngsters.
There used to be some restaurant or night club across the railway line with a well where according to rumours, Dick King got water for his horse. The well was still standing on my last visit in the 80’s. I can still recall the Juke box playing the hits from those days, “Now is the hour”, “Tennessee Waltz”, “Down the trail of aching hearts”, Mocking bird hill”, and the list just goes on and on.
There used to be a set of manually operated booms that contributed to road safety by stopping the Salisbury Island traffic whenever a train arrived. Then there were the Sea planes that flew overhead and landed in the bay.
Oh, so many memories and all I can show for it is one photo of us standing on the pier from which you jumped into the water. Can anybody who has any photos of what I refer to above, please upload some or share them with me at firstname.lastname@example.org