We recently ran an article about how the PE surf spots got their names, and Denville was one of the spots that had everyone stumped. Well, that was until I went to go visit one of PE's original surfers recently, as baalie Leon Killian turned out to be quite the detective!
He'd got in touch with me a little while ago to say that he could help out with naming all the guys featured on our Back in the Day photo's, and that he also had a collection of old PE surf photo's and some old surf mags, and that I could pop round to see what I wanted for the site.
Leon started surfing at the Fence back in the 60's, right when surfing started up in PE. He reckons there were probably about 30 surfers max in the whole of PE, and on weekends you had to hunt for guys to make the mission to JBay with you, as you'd basically only surf with the guys you arrived with! Imagine that!!
He says Fence was really, really good back then, cos the sea came right up to where the old putt putt course at Kings Beach used to be (which in those days was where the Kings Beach Lifesaving Club was....they had to move it to it's current position when the sea ended up over 700m from them!) So you used to get around 400m of harbour wall that was at right angles to the break, so plenty of space for the swells to rebound off and make the most perfect peaks.
Maybe we can go "borrow" a coupla front end graders and restore Fence to it's former glory? Any volunteers? All the other spots in the bay sure could use the sand we dig up there....so everyone would be happy!
So Denville's, now how did that come about. Turns out it was named after the first two guys who surfed there:
Dennis Buchman and Neville Mandy. Leon tracked Neville down to confirm it with him, it was the first time they'd been in touch in over 40 years!
So shot to Leon for solving the mystery! Got some classic old PE surf shots from Leon during my visit, including cooking Fence, which I'll load up next week.