Bygone Cape Town

i have long been an avid follower of Etienne du Plessis‘ flickr stream, where he shares many vintage photographs including old shots of Cape Town. please click on the images to be taken to the original & for more information.

– Posing at the Sea Point pool, 1960

– Clifton, 1967

– The Little Blue Train, Mouille Point, 1961

– Sea Point ,1963

– The Gardens, 1978

– Wednesday morning on the Parade, 1974

– Pleasure boats, Muizenberg circa 1960

– Muizenberg beach, 1953

– Fish Hoek, 1958

– Ready for the office, circa 1960

– Wedding in District Six, 1960

– Silverstream Buttress, 1975

– District Six, 1960

– Simonstown, 1969



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  1. Elaine Brummer-Hill says

    Thank you for the memories…brought a tear to my eye remembering the indredible holidays in the Cape, where both my parents were born and raised. I live in Utah, USA now but still long for those beautiful beaches ;D

  2. says

    Do you know People go one there and put up their photos of places from pre-1990s against the current place… it’s a bit hard to explain until you see it. It’s absolutely grand, I’m sure there are many swell old photos of Capetown on there! :)

  3. DJS says

    It’s hard not to get seduced by the style & nostalgia of these images but anyone familiar with the history of South Africa must be aware of how one dimensional they are. They’re like PR shots from a National Party retrospective exhibition entitled “Apartheid: Look How Happy Everyone Is.”

    • Dennis says

      a “National Party retrospective exhibition” definitely wouldn’t have had images of District Six!

      PS: surely not everyone (black or white) was completely miserable during Apartheid?

      • Nix says

        Not everything South Africa should be viewed through the tainted glasses of apartheid. Similarly dated photos of the USA or UK would most likely display exactly the same monochrome. Taking pictures of many of the same spots now, would probably yield exactly the same result, albeit of a different pigment. For that matter, photos taken today in many coutries around the globe will depict the exact same

        • Amanda says

          I think everything from that era in South Africa does need to be viewed through those glasses. Just as similar images from the US during Jim Crow must be seen for what it is. Of course things are still not integrated today almost anywhere in the world, but that doesn’t change that S. Africa during apartheid was one of the most egregious examples.

  4. says

    Its always so reassuring to notice how women body’s where more shapely back then. After giving birth sometimes its just so hard to squeeze in time to work out and get my muscles back. Oh why do I want to look like Gwyneth?!

  5. Carol B says

    well done for collecting these – so evocative of the time and the places, most of which have now changed beyond recognition. Did we really look like that?

  6. Professor Nicholas Basson says

    This is absolutely amazing ! What bliss, perusing these photos. I could fortunately identify with this period being a 75 year old. Wish I could see some photos of the 40’s
    Great stuff !