Michael Walker’s book “Travels along the Coastal Road” contains some quaint and poignant descriptions of the Peck brothers who came to Muizenberg from Oxfordshire.  Both were farmers but in the Cape, one, Simon, farmed and the other, Henry, obtained in 1828 a license from the Simon’s Town Licensing Board to sell malt and wine at The Inn, later to be called “Farmer Peck’s Inn” after an indigent seaman painted a sign to pay for his room. It became the best-known watering-hole on the road to Simon’s Town.  The sign read:

 “THE GENTLE SHEPHERD OF SALISBURY PLAIN.  

Multum in parvo (or: “a lot in a small space”). Pro bono publico (or: “for the public good”). Entertainment for man & beast all of a row.  Lekker kost as much as you please.  Excellent beds without any fleas.

Nos patriam fugiamus (or: “we flee our fatherland”). Now we are here. Viviamus (or: “let’s live it up”), let us live by selling beer. On donne à boire et à manger ici (or: “here we provide food and drink”).   Come in and try it whoever you are.

LIFE’S BUT A JOURNEY. LET US LIVE WELL ON THE ROAD SAYS THE GENTLE SHEPHERD OF SALISBURY PLAIN.”

Henry was a real character and was the most loved and generous hosts of hostelries in Cape Town.  The Inn stood on the corner of what are now Atlantic and Main Roads and the spot is now occupied by Cinnabar.

The valley in which Simon farmed is now known as Peck’s Valley. Image: Go South

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