Fish Hoek is set to have a facelift ahead of its centenary celebrations next year.
This month, Revamp The Valley, a community group founded by Leigh Barrett, is launching the first of several projects to tidy up the town.
“The idea began out of frustration at seeing the lovely historic town of Fish Hoek, on the shores of False Bay, deteriorate,” said Ms Barrett.
Main Road, she said had become “a forgettable place” visitors drove through on their way to Kalk Bay and Simon’s Town. The big stores had moved to the Long Beach Mall leaving few reasons for visitors and residents to linger in the heart of the town, and that trend had eroded economic opportunities in the valley.
“When I returned to South Africa in 2016, I knew I wanted to live in the southern peninsula, and spent many hours exploring the towns here,” she said. “But when I arrived in Main Road, I discovered a rather dismal, neglected town in the most beautiful location: nestling on the gorgeous False Bay beach, and between the recognisable outcroppings of Trappieskop and Elsie’s Peak.”
Fish Hoek, she said, had a proud history and some families’ roots in the area could be traced back more than 100 years, but Revamp The Valley felt the grand old lady overlooking the seaside needed some loving care.
The group wants to revive the town’s seaside village feel and family-friendly reputation, letting it create its own identity, one that will let it compete with the charms of Kalk Bay and Simon’s Town.
Transforming Fish Hoek would create a magnificent “South African Riviera” along the False Bay coast, said Ms Barrett.
The group will hold a “Plant-a-Tree Day” at Steenbok Way, between 1st and 2nd crescents, on Saturday May 27. “We need to set an example for our future generations about the importance of trees. My mission is to plant one or more trees monthly for the rest of my life, and I hope I can inspire others to do the same,” said Ms Barrett.
The area will become part of what is being dubbed the “Kidzone”, a desperately needed play space for the valley’s children. There are also plans to install playground equipment made from recycled materials and build a skate park.
Revamp plans for Main Road are even more impressive: the group wants to create a “drive-through art gallery” by restoring the road’s Art Deco architecture and painting street murals.
Anyone willing to donate paint or other supplies to this project can drop it off at The White Oak, 150 Main Road (closed on Wednesdays).
“This is a chance to get rid of those pots of paint that clutter up the garage,” Ms Barrett said.
Financial donations and sponsorships are also being sought.
“Any experienced mural artist is invited to visit the building at 150 Main Road and submit an illustration of what they would like to paint; on either the front wall facing the circle, or the wall facing Kommetjie Road,” Ms Barrett said.
The deadline for submissions is Friday June 9, after which the community can vote on their favourite.
The winning artist will then be supplied with whatever materials and assistance they need to transform the building.
Other plans include a community walk, starting at the Fish Hoek police station on Saturday June 3, at 10am, when ribbons will be exchanged for donations to Revamp’s projects.
All participants are asked to take a warm clothing item for the needy.
All the projects will be well documented, and the town’s transformation will be captured on a DVD and book for the centenary celebration next year.
Email Ms Barrett at firstname.lastname@example.org; visit https://lbevents03.wixsite.com/valleyrevamp or https://www.facebook.com/groups/RevampTheValley/ for more informa-