Historical Bedfordview

The Bedfordview Post Office, 1928.

Bedfordview is situated on the East Rand and is home to some 22000 residents who live in Bedford Gardens, Bedford Park, Senderwood and St Andrews and in the smaller suburbs of Oriel, Essexwold, and Morninghill.

The site of Bedfordview was largely taken up by the farm Elandsfontein, and was administered as part of the District of Potchefstroom in the South African Republic. The coat-of-arms of Bedfordview features an Eland holding a fountain as a tribute to the early rural history of the town.

The Witwatersrand Gold Reef had a huge impact on the area. Elandsfontein was purchased for the mineral rights and was later divided into smaller farms and small-holdings, many of which were settled by retired miners. The entire area became known as Geldenhuis Estates Smallholdings.

One of these farms was owned by Sir George Herbert Farrar, a Randlord who played a prominent role in planning the infamous Jameson Raid, one of the main causes of the Second Anglo-Boer War. His farm, Bedford, was located in the present-day suburb of St Andrews, and parts of the original farm can still be seen in St Andrews’ School. The farm itself was named after Sir Farrar’s home-town of Bedford in England.

Sir George Herbert Farrar, a Randlord who played a prominent role in the development and history of Bedfordview.

The name “Bedfordview” came about as the result of a competition in 1926. A girl who won the competition thought there was a nice view from Bedford Farm. “Bedford View” was then registered. Over the years the name has contracted to one word, and on 24 February 1926, the suburb officially obtained its name.

During the Anglo-Boer war, British cavalry was based in Bedfordview and apparently planted the oak trees along Van Buuren Ave!

 

Bedfordview Country Club

BedfordviewCountry Club (or Kensington Polytechnic as it was known) was founded in 1925 when a meeting was held at the same Rhodes Park Tearoom as we know it today and a decision was made to form Sports Club. The club would offer Cricket, Hockey, Tennis, Baseball, Badminton, Soccer, Swimming and Table Tennis. Bowls was added in 1933.

The club remained at Rhodes Park until 1957, when the Johannesburg council decided that Kensington Polytechnic would have to change their name to Rhodes Park Sports Club. The Die-hard club members did not approve and decided to move to the present, which had been vacated by Old Parks

The club went through some name changes, Marists-Polys, Bedfordview-Polys until in the mid-seventies it was decided to call it Bedfordview Country Club. The Club today has eight sections, namely, Athletics, Baseball, Bowls, Cricket, Hockey, Soccer(Seniors and Juniors), Tennis and Squash.

St Andrew’s School for Girls

St Andrew’s School for Girls was founded in early Johannesburg by two Scottish women, Jean Fletcher and Jessie Johnston, on 22nd January 1902 in Esselen Street, Hospital Hill. Before long, the school had outgrown the Esselen Street premises, and in June 1904, St Andrew’s School for Girls moved into the newly built schoolhouse on the corner of Girton and Hillside Roads in Parktown. In 1920, Jean Fletcher purchased 108 morgans of Bedford Farmland and the homestead, Bedford Court, from the deceased estate of Sir George Farrar. St Andrew’s School for Girls opened its doors again in 1921.

 

The residence of Sir George Farrar is now home to St Andrew’s School for Girls.

 

To this day, St Andrew’s School for Girls has been housed on the land that was once Bedford Farm and in the beautiful Sir Herbert Baker- designed homestead, which was once the residence of Sir George and Lady Ella Farrar and their six daughters! After 114 years of Excellence in Education – St Andrew’s remains one of the country’s foremost, historic schools.

 

Source: www.bedfordviewrag.co.za, www.standrews.co.za, www.bedfordviewcountryclub.co.za

 

 

 

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