Bluff Peninsula: A Random History And Road Name Register

The fully indexed second edition of this 124 page book, published in 2020, had its origins in a series of columns I produced for the weekly Caxton paper, the Southlands Sun, during the years 2017-2018. Following the success of the first edition in 2018 and the on-going interest in the subject, I updated and expanded its contents by 40 pages adding several new images at the same time.

The source material was derived from archival research in the Pietermaritzburg Archives, the Killie Campbell Library and the Bessie Head Library along with my own collection of newspaper cuttings, Council records and the very valuable records of the Kings Rest Women’s Institute. Two personal interviews provide an added dimension to times past and present.

The contents commences with the Bluff’s first settler, Lieutenant James Saunders King back in 1828 and the original indigenous inhabitants, the Thuli tribe and Chief Mnini. Part one, which runs to 30 pages, reflects random vignettes of life and times during the period up to 1910. One of the most interesting accounts is that of the 2 January 1877 editorial in the Natal Mercury.

Part two concerns life between the two world wars; part three focuses on the 1950s; part four the latter 20th century and part five on the early 21st century.

Apart from the section on Bluff surfing, which involves Grosvenor Boys’ High School, I avoided school, church and club issues. The road name register is based to a limited extent on the 1956 publication titled Origin of Durban Street Names but otherwise reflects personal efforts to track down references.

The cover photograph was executed by my son, Byron, using a drone on 3 October 2018. Like most historical accounts, Bluff Peninsula aspires only to provide a window on times past.

The book is available at a cost of R120, excluding postage and packaging.

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