The Little Top

20 July 2007

The Little Top was a beachball-shaped structure which functioned as a mini stage and was on the beach next to the Mermaid Lido. The first Little Top was a tent structure which performed the same function for many years.

We haven't located a picture or established the exact location of the first structure but we now know a bit more about its successor. A couple of days ago I had an e-mail from Hans Hallen who designed the beachball. He wrote:

"The attached are two pictures of the "beachball" and that indicates the position in relationship to Addington hospital. It was designed by me in 1970 and erected soon there after. The dome is made of reinforced fibreglass prefabricated sectionsfitted over a steel frame. The original surface design was applied in polyurethane paint at the works of the Pinetown manufacturer of the segments by me and members of the staff of the office! The colour of the segments was changed to a blue and white pattern about ten years later."

And then he added:

"Yes; it was called the Little Top (it was just the conceptual idea of a beachball that I in my haste used). An old bandstand which was sited some distance from where the Little top was built had been dismantled years before.

I was an architect in practice in Durban at the time and designed many of the beach facilities at the time after selection and appointment. My firm at the time was Hallen and Dibb and later projects were done under the title Hallen Theron and Partners. We designed many of the buildings and projects. The design include Huletts Head office, Durban Workshop and its adjacent City Park and Garage."

The Little Top / Beach Ball soon after it was errected.

A long shot showing its location with Addington hospital in the background.


< /\ Click for enlargements.
Pics courtesy Hans Hallen.



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