Malvern lies to the east of the city surrounded by Kensington, Jeppe, Denver and Bedford Gardens. The land was formerly part of the Doornfontein Farm and named after the urban district of Malvern in Worcestershire, England. It was proclaimed in June 1904. Malvern over the years has become known for the second hand car dealerships which can be found all along Jules Street. As children we were told that this street was the longest, straightest street in Johannesburg – whether that still rings true today I have no idea. The suburb is spilt into two areas Malvern – which falls under Johannesburg – and Malvern East – which falls under Germiston, I’ve been unable to establish how this came about.
I have visited Malvern many times and still do for a couple of reasons. My earlier memories of this suburb are of when I hung out with the Hells Angels and we used to go to the Boys and Girls Club on Jules street for Sunday night movies, which were held in what was then a boxing club. Presently, I still visit this same building but for very different reasons, as on the ground floor is The Mediterranean, a Portuguese supermarket that sells great fish, meat, bread, spices, etc. It’s been running for about 32 years and is now owned by the Sequeiro family who took it over in 2009. I highly recommend this place next time you want to prepare something Portuguese to eat. There is safe parking either in front of the store or down the adjacent side street.
For all those people who may have felt that they ‘lost’ something when the Dolls House Roadhouse closed down, why not visit the Pure and Cool Roadhouse on Stanhope Street. This used to be a branch of the “Dolls House Roadhouse” until it was sold to the new owners about 37 years ago and who then chose to change the name. (The building I’m sure was built from the same plans as the Orange Grove one.) The food is really good and, of course, their Lime Milkshakes taste the yummy-same. Jean-Claude and his staff will only be too happy to make your visit a pleasant one.
The Malvern public swimming pool tucked away in a little side street is well maintained with a beautiful lawn area. I need to go back there on a hot summers day as I’m sure it will be teaming with happy children. (Off Jules street down Marathon Street)
There is so much more to this area and, should you wish to find out more, the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation run the odd tour to Malvern, which will fill you in on the fascinating history of the suburb.