Happy Hundredth Birthday to Craighall Park!

Craighall Park turns 100

Craigpark’s 100th annivesary: a laid back day with a warm sense of community Liz at Lancaster Guesthouse

Feels like spring not autumn here in Jozi with temperatures of  27°  over the week-end.  And what better way to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather on Saturday than at the Craighall Park Centenary Open Day.

I have had the privilege of living in Craighall Park for nearly 40 years (terrifying thought!) and daily I am reminded how lucky I am. Apart from its centrality in Joburg and its easy access to all the major business and shopping hubs, it also has such a wonderful sense of neighbourhood and community. 

This was brought home even more strongly yesterday at the day of festivities and fun organized by the CraigPark Residents Association and held on the sports fields of the Craighall Park Primary School.

CraigPark Residents’ Association  

The CRA is driven by an amazingly energetic and hard working Committee – one the most pro-active, effective and visionary Residents’ Associations in Joburg.  These extraordinary people carry out their portfolios with commitment,  passion and hard work. To name but a few:

  • Ryan Roseveare (Chair)
  • Wendy McAllister (Vice Chair and Communications)
  • Paulette Malcomess (Civic Affairs and Environment)
  • Bianca De Roland Phillips (Town Planning)
  • Mack Rogan (Traffic)
  • Sue Harris (Community Affairs).

They and others on their team have been leaders in managing refuse collection, town planning  & environmental aspects, and work tirelessly for our neighbourhoods at issues  ranging from potholes, to security, to domestic watch training sessions.  There are also regular updates on community issues.

South African woods, a quick lesson in making cheese & finding the perfect honey

The really very special mix of Craighall Park was particularly evident at Saturday’s event. While Craighall Park is very much a suburban neighbourhood, there are also many small owner run businesses located along Jan Smuts and in several local shopping centres such as The Colony, The Lancaster, 9 Grafton Ave, and the Valley Shopping Centre.  Seeing many of these owners at their stands on Saturday, brought home to me what a sense of locale and community we have in Craighall Park.

Fabulous aromas wafted from various food stalls offered by the likes of: 

  • Casalottis (fabulous thin based pizzas) 
  • the Market Place (tasty home cooked food)
  • Fatima’s great samoosas (yum – wish I’d brought some home with me)
  • Steers fast food,  (consistently good)
  • Hodges family run restaurant in the Colony
  • Helen’s cakes, (great croissants and muffins too)
  • lamb on the spit from Mannie’s excellent Craighall Park Meat Supply (also make wonderful chicken thigh kebabs)
  • And I even learnt all about cheese from Pepé who makes goat’s cheese (right here in Lancaster Avenue) using non-pasteurized milk which he gets from the goats kept by Onderstepoort Veterinary Faculty near Pretoria.
  • I bought vegetable seedlings (bok choi and swiss chard) from Danielle at the Vegetable Club (which is holding a vegetable competition next Saturday 12th down at the REEA Foundation)

I treated myself to a wonderful handmade wooden pen made from Leadwood by Frans Joubert.  Frans uses all sorts of Southern African woods – Tambotie, Wild Olive, African Blackwood, African Red Ivory – to make his pens and pencils. Great presents!

And of course I found the perfect honey.

More history of Craighall Park

The skirl of the bagpipers (Did you know that's what the sound of a bagpipe is called?
The skirl of the bagpipers (Did you know that’s what the sound of a bagpipe is called? Liz at Lancaster Guesthouse

Two local residents had tracked down Peter Rattray, the great great grandson of William Rattray who developed the townships of Craighall and Craighall Park. Peter hand-drew a  map of the old Craighall Park with a key to the sites of yesteryear, which created a lot of interest.   I have written briefly on the history of Craighall Park  and there is more information on .  Given William Rattray’s strong Scottish connections it was fitting that there was a wonderful pipe band which added to ceremony and atmosphere of the day on Saturday.

So well done to all the people who worked so hard to make this such a success with special mention to Wendy and Bianca.



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