FOR A TRIP BACK IN TIME, OPT FOR…
L Ron Hubbard House40 Hannaben St, Linksfield Ridge, Johannesburg.
If you’re hankering after an alternative to the conventional museum experience, I would strongly recommend taking a tour of the L Ron Hubbard House, on the border of Cyrildene and Linksfield Ridge. Hubbard, the founding emissary of Scientology, and a prolific explorer and novelist to boot, lived in Johannesburg for six months between 1960-61; the house in which he lived has been meticulously preserved, and converted into an intimate memorial by his latter-day acolytes.
I went on an almost-private tour with the live-in curator, which was a peculiar, albeit rewarding encounter, if only because the gentleman in question knew so much about the details of Hubbard’s history. Even if you’re not personally interested in Scientology, or in the figure of Hubbard himself, the Hubbard House is still intriguing in its capacity as a beautifully preserved relic of the sixties.
Every detail of the house – including the kitchen tiles and appliances and the swimming pool – has either been maintained in, or restored to, its original state: it really is like a grand-scale time capsule, comparable to nothing else I have ever seen. Bookings appear to be managed on an ad-hoc basis; call ahead, reassure the managerial powers-that-be that you’re not a meddling journalist, and liaise about timing with your prospective guide. Alone or with friends, the L Ron Hubbard House is a great way to get acquainted with Johannesburg of yore. (+27 11 054 0540)