That lovely home designed by Baker and Fleming in 1911 burned down in the early hours of this morning. The owners managed to escape the inferno, but the loss will affect them deeply. They had lived there for more than 40 years.
We unveiled a blue plaque on our Westcliff tour last year and the two groups were privileged to have an inside tour as well meeting Dr Syd Biddulph and his wife as they were welcomed inside.
In 1911 Thomas Farquhar, a successful stockbroker originally from Scotland, commissioned the famous Arts and Crafts architects Herbert Baker and FLH Fleming to design his home. The house is sited majestically on the Westcliff ridge, originally on five acres of land extending from Pallinghurst Road to the Old Government Road (Jan Smuts Avenue). Built of locally quarried stone with the first floor clad in ship-lapped timber with a shingled roof, the house was extended in 1927 by Fleming to almost double its original size for J Neilson, another wealthy stockbroker.
What a sad loss to our Heritage.