WORDS: LOUISE LIEBENBERG IMAGES: SALVELIO MEYER
Exclusive Short Road has been the family home of Port Elizabeth’s well-known Rademeyer family for 20 years. “We moved here after doing a commercial development of our family home in Pickering Street,” Jaco Rademeyer recalls.
The impressive, 700m² Cape-Dutch styled home is on a 4,500m² plot in a park-like garden with tennis court, pool, storerooms and numerous garages. “The house was built in 1918 and has beautiful wood panelling, with fireplaces in most of the rooms and seven living areas,” Jaco says.
“Short Road got its name from being the only street in Upper Walmer running from Ninth to 14th Avenue as the others – Walmer Road, Church Road and River Road – stretch from First or Second Avenue up to 14th Avenue.”
Upper Walmer is that part of Walmer from Eighth to 14th Avenue, bordered by Main Road on one side and the Baakens Valley on the other.
Though Jaco and his siblings have left home, they return every Sunday for lunch. Their parents, Pieter and Betsie Rademeyer, still live here with their chocolate retriever Milo. “We’re a close-knit family and share all family events here,” Jaco says. “I try to play tennis once or twice a week at home. Dad has a social club and plays up to three times a week at home.
“A typical weekend involves families in the streets, walking their dogs or running. Upper Walmer has a true family feel.”
The neighbourhood is also the ideal place to work from home, says Erik Voigt, whose firm of architects has been here since 1999. “I live and do business from the same premises and though the building is one harmonious unit, the two functions operate independently,” Erik says. “It’s cost efficient, doubles up on use of space and is energy saving, as I do not ever have to drive to my office. Clients appear more relaxed and enjoy doing business ‘in the garden’.”
Erik’s firm and home are in Church Road, on the Tin Pot stream. “It’s lush, surrounded by trees and we’re blessed with beautiful birdlife and the odd monkey. In Upper Walmer it’s the collective that impresses; a small ‘world’ within a larger where everything is available – from the nature of the Baakens Valley to virtually any product or service and, in my case, the best, most respectful neighbours.”
The Walmer Town Hall is where community events such as the monthly Re-Seconds market are held. The Walmer Library is another landmark. The Little Walmer golf estate has magnificent views and houses the Walmer Golf Club, founded in 1897. Dodds Farm and the lower Guineafowl trail are favoured for mountain biking, walking or trail-running in a group.
Upper Walmer is quiet, leafy family-orientated, and close to all amenities. Its beautiful old character homes are kept immaculate and properties here have much bigger plots than what’s typical for PE. JACO RADEMEYER, PROPERTY INSIDER
- The Little Walmer golf estate forms a large green area all along the valley’s edge. It overlooks the Baakens River and Valley, and Dodd’s Farm.
- Upper Walmer’s streets are canopied by trees, making them ideal for morning or late afternoon strolls.
- The Ninth Avenue Shopping Centre is home to Bliss hair and beauty; Calyx Boutique; Blume Co, which sells quality clothing and homeware; the Animal Anti-Cruelty League shop; Pixel Shoes; Praia Prawns; and Seattle Coffee.
- Bloomingdales has a long-established nursery and the complex is the new home of Fusion Foods, a cheese and charcuterie deli.
- The Cheshire Homes have a small charity shop at Bloomingdales.
- Main Road is lined with many shops and businesses, among them Weylandts; the Old Curiosity Shop which sells antiques; Mastertons coffee and tea specialists; and Ian Roberts Pharmacy, which has been there for decades.
- There’s a SuperSpar in Ninth Avenue, while Walmer Park Shopping Centre lies just outside Upper Walmer.
- The nearest petrol stations are Toby’s Motors in Eighth Avenue, which has a Caltex and a Steers
- Engen, Shell and BP garages in Heugh Road
- Total between Eighth and Ninth Avenue with a Mugg & Bean takeaway
- Brioche: breads and pastries are excellent, with vegan and banting offerings available
- Fine Time Steak Co: a must for meat lovers
- Banneton: another cafe for great breads, pastries and pizza bases
- MiCoffee stall and Seattle Coffee: killing those caffeine cravings
- Hello It’s Me: attracts a loyal following in Main Road
- Sixth Avenue, just outside Upper Walmer, has numerous cafes and restaurants, such as Suki, Bocadillos, Hussars and Cobblestone
Maryna Nortier owns Calyx Boutique, which opened at the Ninth Avenue Shopping Centre 12 years ago when she saw a gap in the market to supply exclusive clothing to women aged 30 and up. “We offer wardrobe planning advice and supply well-styled garments of the highest quality, chosen also for their beautiful fabrics,” she says. “We buy only one per size per item, providing a good measure of exclusivity.”
Clients are typically in the middle age group, from all over PE and surrounds, who want to dress individualistically and beautifully for any body shape. “We represent most styles, from formal to boho, to classically understated,” Maryna says.
The biggest change since opening is how the business has grown, she adds. “I had to move premises a few years ago as I outgrew the previous space – I carry more stock now and have more change rooms.” The Ninth Avenue Shopping Centre is a gem, she says. “It has so much to offer – lovely shops, safety and lots of free parking. It’s always been a ‘destination’ centre and we have a great tenant mix.”