A tidal pool development

posted in: Mini Memories 2

I have been backsliding (life gets in the way) for a while and a few items need to be dealt with today. The first item on the agenda is to finally answer the question of just who built the tidal pool on at Brighton Beach.

I posted a question from Jon Eiselin about the pool in the diary some while ago and I soon found out that there is a quite common belief that it was built by Italian Prisoners of War during WWII but I had never heard of that and doubted that it was true. Jon recently got back to me with the news that he had had a response from the council to the effect that the pool was completed in 1938. In his blog of 20 October 2013, Jon wrote:

The tidal pool on Brighton Beach was commissioned by the Durban City Council and officially opened in 1938. It was an impressive, floodlit affair. In those days, Brighton Beach was already a favourite picnic hot spot, attracting even more visitors after its completion.

In the meantime, I had also been in touch with Elisa Longarato who is a member of the Zonderwater Block ex-pow Association which was set up to honour the memory of the Italian POWs who were imprisoned in South Africa during WWII. The largest camp was at Zonderwater but there was one outside Pietermaritzburg as well. Elisa also didn’t think that the POWs had anything to do with the pool. She wrote:

I had some doubts that the Bluff tidal pool was the work of Italian prisoners of war, I had never heard about, but I had to find out.

And so, that seems to be that as far as tidal pools go. I still need to update various pages in this site which refer to an Italian cemetery in the larger cemetery in Hillary and I will get onto that as soon as possible.

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2 Responses

  1. Loraine v d Berg
    | Reply

    I’ve always had a fascination with tidal pools and who and when they were constructed. If you have any information on said subject I would appreciate it if you could send it along.


  2. Denys Peel
    | Reply

    As an old Bluff boy whom was raised on the Bluff and spent many day and nights at this grand old icon of the Bluff. The one thing that really puzzles me is HOW it was built with such strong Tidal conditions? Was there some way that the engineers managed to keep the waves and water at bay?
    Thank you Denys Peel.

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