Walking through history

Nel Redelinghuys shows a photo of an old Melville structure.


Nel Redelinghuys took the Northcliff Melville Times and Melville residents on an educational walking tour of Melville.

Redelinghuys is a former history lecturer and hosts walking tours of Melville, highlighting the area’s history and what makes it unique. She said while her specific area is history, she occasionally dabbles in architecture and showed residents iconic Melville architecture.

Melville Marigolds have been planted for the area’s most beautiful sidewalk competition.

The tour is held on the last Sunday of each month with the most recent being 28 January when Northcliff Melville Times joined in. The tour started from Redelinghuys’ home near one of the Melville Koppies where she told of how her twin sons grew up with fence-free koppies.

The rest of the tour included visits to Melville’s churches and schools. She explained that for a small area, Melville holds its own when it comes to churches as it boasts eight functioning ones.

Nel Redelinghuys explained that each of Melville’s 7th Street shops used to sell a service or product while functioning as an old-time mall.


The view from a section of the Melville Koppies.


Nel Redelinghuys explains Melville’s old tram system.

The tour went through Melville’s iconic 7th Street. Redelinghuys explained that Main Street is Melville’s main street, but 7th Street is Melville’s most popular street, so it becomes somewhat of a main street among locals.

Nel feels that neither should be considered the main street because 4th Avenue connects Main and 7th. It’s the road you have to drive to get in or out of the area.

The tour concluded with Redelinghuys showing Northcliff Melville Times and residents Melville’s public stairway shortcuts which take residents to a hidden Melville Koppies entrance.

Nel Redelinghuys explained that Melville’s colour is green and that the area has iconic green rooves.


Melville’s Melpark Primary School has been around for over a century.


A home that Nel Redelinghuys says is a perfect example of the Melville aesthetic.


Built in 1898, this building used to house the post office but has been converted into a home.


A structure built years ago that upset shop owners and residents because the structure did not fit the Melville aesthetic.


A jacaranda tree provides cool shade at one of Melville’s eight churches.


A 4th Avenue church’s cornerstone shows it was built in 1907.

For more information about the walking tours, contact Redelighuys on 011 726 1448 or 083 373 0159.

ALSO READ: Melville Walking Tour 

Roxy de Villiers

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