1st Claremont Scouts leases our property in Bowwood Road from the City of Cape Town, and our lease has recently been renewed for a further 10 years. We first leased the land in 1916, eight years after the Scout group started at Claremont Public School in Palmyra Road, and our first hall (of corrugated iron) was built in 1925 where the top bowling green was later located. The grounds at that stage were big enough for 17 teams to camp there for the 1926 Gordon’s Shield.
The current Scout hall was built in 1940 and extended in the 1950s to include the stage and basement. Over time the open land around the hall was subdivided, and the bowling club, tennis club and a substation were built.
The Claremont Bowling Club land
In 2003 the Claremont Bowling Club closed, and the land next door has stood vacant since then. It is now owned by the Claremont Beneficiary Trust, which was granted the land as restitution for apartheid-era forced removals from the area where Cavendish Square was built. Some claimants chose a financial settlement, while others formed a trust which will ultimately develop the land for their residential use. The process has been slow, and meantime the land has deteriorated due to vagrancy and vandalism. This has meant we have done maintenance work on the adjoining land to protect our own infrastructure.
The trust recently applied for permission to operate a 4×4 track on the land for a temporary period until the land can be developed. This application has not yet been approved.