Lovely Pretty Bay scene. Photo sent by George Vella of Pretty Bay.

Wishing all visitors to this Site and their families a safe and healthy New Year

Have a lovely Christmas Day and a healthy New Year

A gathering of ex Birzebbuga people which took place in Sydney NSW Australia in Nov 2013. Do you remember some of them ? - I remember 'tal - Fattu ' who owned the bakery in Addolorata Str for many years.

A photo taken 1981 showing the old RN Kalafrana base being demolished to make way for the Freeport Shipping Container Terminal. Part of the old Foss / Ditch can be seen and also part of Wied il - Buni.

A Kalafrana - Birzebbuga - Valletta bus, beautifully restored by a group of dedicated men. The old colours stand out gloriously.

Some years ago. Is is better this way ?

Many years ago. The Shell Oil Company Depot seen from the air.

Part of the ditch of Wied il - Buni at the Bus Terminus end. St Patrick Street or as the locals used to call it, it - Triq ta Kalafrana. In the early years about three quarters of the ditch used to be cultivated by a family who used to live in St Patrick Str. The part shown in this photo was always used as a dump as can be seen in picture. At right side of picture you can see the corner of St Francis Xavier Str where two bombs fell on the houses that were on the corner of St Philips Street. (Photo by Turu Grima - sent by Laetitia Aguis both of Birzebbuga)

An early morning peaceful scene of part of Pretty Bay. A Morris Minor sedan coming out of Zebra Street

Sailing boat races at Birzebbuga & St Georges Bay. Photo taken 1958.

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The only remains of what was The Shell Oil Company Depot at Birzebbuga

The best in Malta.


The WW2 Army gunpost and searchlight post that were built during 1939 / 1940 at Pretty Bay opposite the then Smiling Prince Bar / Hotel. This post was manned by soldiers of the Devonshire Regiment who were stationed in Malta before the war broke out.
in the picture, one can see the huge pile of seaweed that used to bank up against the roadway wall opposite the Police Station.

Old faithfuls ~ Kalafrana / Birzebbuga buses No 1072 and 2426<

Some St Georges Bay Men standing by a Vauxhall car. Photo about c1960. Who are these men ?

A popular Take-Away Snack Cafe.

Unbelievable scene at Birzebbuga. Cannot say its Pretty Bay after one of the very worst storms to hit the Maltese Islands. Not a single soul in sight.

Kalafrana c1945. Showing the Football Ground and the RAF Quarters. Many football followers from Birzebbuga used to walk up to Kalafrana on a Sunday morning to watch a game. On some occasions a local Maltese team used to play a game against a selected RAF team or a Royal Navy team.


A very well known location. ~ Anton Tabone Str. Used to be known as New Street.
Years ago most of the traffic going out of Birzebbuga used to to go up this narrow street.

Only in Birzebbuga ~ Keeping a Parking Space cool

Part of St Georges Bay as seen many years ago. In the background is the Shell Company Depot Oil Fuel storage tanks.

Birzebbuga beach scene of very early 1950s.

Click on Photo

Pretty Bay beach - July 2011
Photo by Joe Bajona of Melbourne (ex Birzebbuga)

Click on photo to view all photos taken by Joe Bajona.

Looking at the newly built Guesthouse on the site of the old Claridge Hotel

A c1960 scene and a 2008 scene

How it was c1955

The same location 50 years later

Birzebbuga and Pretty Bay

The village that became a seaside town


Click on photos to enlarge

At left: Part of Birzebbuga c1955. St Catherine Street in centre of photo. The new school stands out and building work in progress around the Church
At right: An aerial photo of Birzebbuga taken sometime during the late 1960s

At left: Birzebbuga beach road. A quiet scene at midday
At right: Rough sea at Birzebbuga - Photo taken many years ago

At left: A group of priests and Church officials walking towards the Birzebbuga Parish Church entrance. Photo taken many years ago
At right: KALAFRANA as it looked from across the Bay before the Freeport was created. On right of picture is part of Wied il - Buni

At left: A large group of school children marching past the Police Station c1960
At right: Pretty Bay beach road on a wintry day

At left: All of Kalafrana - Wied il - Buni and Birzebbuga. Photo taken pre WW2.
At right: A VALLETTA -- KALAFRANA bus or as also called BIRZEBBUGA bus. The bus is number 3323. An old timer local bus

At left: Birzebbuga Parish Church and nearby streets. Photo taken c1958. New buildings being erected on left hand side of Church. Zurrieq Road seen in the picture
At right: Pretty Bay beach. A morning scene in summertime c1955

At left: Pretty Bay beach c1950
At right: The Freeport Ship Container Terminal

At left: Marsaxlokk Bay
At right: Lovely view of Birzebbuga. A recent photo

At left: An early morning view of beautiful Birzebbuga - July 2010.
At right: A great aerial view of Birzebbuga and Pretty Bay.

At left:******
At right:******

At left: Pretty Bay without the Freeport
At right: Beautiful view of Birzebbuga

At left:A total picture of Marsaxlokk Bay
At right: A very old view of part of Bbuga centre


More Photos Coming soon



St Peters FC of Birzebbuga


Your'e the Champions !!


This photo was taken by reporter of The Times of Malta on Monday 10th Sept. 1951. The day I left Birzebbuga for Melbourne Australia on the English liner SS Asturias.

Five men from Birzebbuga migrated to Australia on that day.

1. Myself. William J. Coxhead. - Melbourne

2. My brother Johnny Coxhead who played football with St Peters of Birzebbuga 1953, 3rd Div Champions. Migrated to Aust 1954.

3. My father. William N. Coxhead. He was in charge of the Power Station at R.N. base Kalafrana (Passed away 1953. RIP)

4. Joseph / Zeppi Cutajar of Birzebbuga, nickname ' ta - Fidiel '. Migrated to Melbourne but returned to Malta a few years later. (RIP)

5. Frankie Borg Falzon of Birzebbuga. Also played football with St Peters of Birzebbuga 1953, 3rd Div Champions. (RIP)

6. Tony Camilleri of St Georges Bay / Birzebbuga. Migrated to Melbourne. Lived and passed away in NSW Australia.(RIP)

7. Tony Camilleri's friend from Birzebbuga.

8. Mikiel Farrugia of Birzebbuga. Migrated to Melbourne. Passed away in Melbourne (RIP)

9. A Maltese migrant to Australia. No name

10 Lolly Savona. Migrated to Melbourne. Lolly's parents operated the Belle Isle Theatre at Birzebbuga during the 1940 - 1950s. Lolly lives in Melbourne.

11. Baby Joseph Calleja. My nephew. Son of Ninu Calleja (of Zurrieq Road) and Emily Calleja nee Coxhead. Joseph and his parents migrated to Melbourne March 1958 on the ill fated MS Skaubryn. The ship caught fire and sank in the Indian Ocean, April 1958. Joseph lives in Melbourne.

12. Anthony / Toni Gauci of Birzebbuga. His family nickname 'ta - Beccuna' He was a Sgt in the Army. (Passed away. RIP)

13. Eddie who owned and drove the Birzebbuga Bus No 1212. The bus was named VICTOR and he was known as 'Eddie tal Victor' (RIP)

14. This person was from Birzebbuga. He was called ' it - Tunezin '

15. A Maltese migrant who sailed on the SS Asturias.

16. A friend of Lolly Savona. Both of Birzebbuga.

17. A Maltese migrant who sailed on the SS Asturias.

The other persons are relatives and friends of the persons who were leaving Malta.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sunday, January 1, 2012


This caption was written and added by John Zammitt

I have always been a Leader - here I am seen second from left at the back row with "my soldiers" when I was 12 years old. The "camp" as we used to call it was a walled
place with 8 rooms inside the wall built by myself and the other boys and we used to play soldiers.
The place was at St. Rita Street at Birzebbuga.

At that time Malta was a British Colony and Birzebbuga was a British Base consisting of HMS Falcon Royal Naval Base and Hal-Far Royal Air Force Base.

(Photo from John Zammitt)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

* IL - MUZEW TAS SUBIEN c1940s *

The Muzew building as it stands today June 2010. It seems the old building is not safe and presently it is closed and barricaded.

Photo shows the intersection of St Paul's Street and St Michael's Street. The old Muzew building can be seen in the photo taken June 2010.

Going back to the late 1930s and during 1940s when all the Birzebbuga boys attended Religious classes at the Muzew in St Paul's Street.
Dun Gorg Preca used to make special visits in the evenings and every young boy and teenagers used to be present to hear him tell us stories and other Religious matters. He always used to give us a few lollies / confectionery on arrival. I sure remember those days.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Qajjenza and nearby localities

A very good aerial picture showing all of Qajjenza. Part of Marsaxlokk, also Zejtun in the background. A small part of Birzebbuga and the Enemalta ex Shell Co. pier. A nice view of the bay with some sail boats.

Click on picture to enlarge.

Monday, February 7, 2011


I have already posted this photo here a good while ago but I'll show it again and below you can see two views of the interior of this well known barber shop that has been run by the Brincat family of Birzebbuga for the past 75 years. Still in operation today 2011 and hardly changed over such a long period of time.

Took these two photos of the interior of this barber shop during my visit in July 2010 by permission of Mr Brincat. As one can see, it looks just about exactly as it was in 1950. The small shop holds so much history and can tell many thousands of stories about the village and its people.

The display cases on the wall have been replaced / updated, Where the waiting chairs are shown today, there used to be one long bench, if my memory is correct and I don't remember a large electric fan in the shop during the 1940s.

Monday, January 17, 2011


A few weeks ago a friend of mine at Birzebbuga sent me these two small photos. He asked me if I knew the young man. I do not. Does anyone recognize this young man? Photo taken c1960s, I think,
Please leave reply in Guestbook. Thanks.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Church Street looking down towards Addolorata Street. The old Church of Our Lady of Sorrows was in use from about 1913 to about 1938. This photo was taken about half way down the street.

On the left hand side of the Church was the Nuns Home c1938. Shown here at right of picture. My parents lived two doors down, the house where the large balcony is shown centre of picture and exactly where the STOP sign is located. We lived there from 1934 to 1938.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Many of you may still remember the LIDO CINEMA in St Edwards Street / Triq San Edwardu in Birzebbuga. The building of this Theatre began towards the end of WW2, about 1945. At that time the only other Cinema was the BELLE ISLE Cinema which was situated further up at the top end in Edwards Street. The LIDO was a much larger then the BELLE ISLE and one can say it was a proper modern Cinema.
On every Saturday and Sunday it used to be packed with Cinema goers and one needed to book early to secure seats especially on Sunday evenings. I believe it was operating till about 1980. Today in 2010 the place is locked up and deserted. Maybe one day it may come back to its glorious past which was a place for entertainment to the locals at Birzebbuga. (Photo taken July 2010)

The very last show that I remember seeing at the LIDO Cinema was a 1949 Hollywood Western film called " Calamity Jane and Sam Bass " This western featured Yvonne De Carlo - Lloyd Bridges and Howard Duff and it was shown on Sunday evening in July 1950. A few months before I left Malta.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Bus No. 3289 Valletta -- Kalafrana and Valletta - Birzebbuga route bus that for many years carried many thousands of locals up and down from Birzebbuga to Castilja and Putirjal bus terminus. It was in daily use during WW2 and survived the bombing.

Friday, October 8, 2010


This is a section of Tanks Street Birzebbuga, As you know this street is one of the longest straight roads at Birzebbuga. In this photo taken from the beach end of the street you are looking up towards Birzebbuga Road.

In this photo, you are looking towards the Bay. Photo taken July 2010.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


A scene of many years ago. Birzebbuga 1948 with Pretty Bay beach as it used to be before the sand that is seen today which covers all the part of the bay as it is today. The old WW2 gunpost opposite the Smiling Prince Bar (today Labour Party Club) can clearly be seen. No TV antennas in sight. Click on photo to enlarge.

Friday, September 17, 2010


That's what all the locals used to call it, 'L'Arblu ta Wied il - Buni'/ the pole at Wied il - Buni.
It was situated about directly in line with Triq San Frangisku Saveriu / St Francis Xavier Street.
As you can see from the photo.
It was approx 40 feet up from the waters edge and on the left hand side of it there was a tiny inlet, always with sparkling clean seawater that used to be called 'IL - Lembijja "
It was a favourite swimming spot for young children.
The Pole was also a challenging structure for young boys and men to climb up on the steel frame.

During WW2 when all of Wied il - Buni was occupied by the Military and totally out of bounds to civilians the area where the Pole was located was used by English servicemen for nude swimming.

When the Military moved out from Wied il - Buni c1944 the area by the Pole was always a favourite spot for beach goers.
The square concrete block at the base of the Pole was an ideal spot to sit down.
The Pole is now gone but a small section of the concrete base can still be seen.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


A pretty picture taken from the side of the water-polo pitch. Part of Pretty Bay in the background. Photo taken July 2010 on a lovely summer day. Click on photo to enlarge.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


This is a very rare photo showing part of the WW2 Army gunpost at the entrance to Wied il - Buni. The concrete gunpost was built c1939. It was manned by the English Army, the Devonshire Regiment. It was very close to the bus terminus and Kalafrana Road. Close by there was a searchlight post right on the edge of the seashore. A short distance away was an Army BOFORS gun. One evening, the BOFORS gun received a direct hit and 5 Maltese gunners were killed. Photo taken 1949.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Due to be completed by end of 2010. This is the new six storey building that is replacing the previous South End Guest House and previous to that the old Claridge Hotel that was built during the early 1930s. Photo taken July 2010.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

St Francis Xavier Str - Triq San Frangisku Saveriu - Birzebbuga

This is Triq San Frangisku Saveriu, Photo taken from the Wied il Buni side of St Patrick Str or as it was always called 'it Triq ta - Kalafrana'. During WW2 c1941 at approx 10pm while an Air Raid was on, two bombs were dropped by Italian bombers and landed on the houses shown on the right hand side of the photo. Four houses were destroyed and other houses on the opposite side were very badly damaged. No civilians were injured as everyone was in the Air Raid shelter that was at the top end of St Philips Str. Another bomb dropped by the same Italian aircraft landed a direct hit on an anti aircraft gun at the entrance to Wied il - Buni. Five Maltese Army gunners tragically lost their lives. Photo taken June 2010.

Monday, August 30, 2010


The newly built roundabout at St Georges Bay. A lovely creation by the Local Council. Constructed during June / July 2010. An excellent design to match with the name of BIRZEBBUGA.

For more photos of St Georges Bay ~ Click *HERE*

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Situated in New Street off Pretty Bay main road and Zurrieq Road. This little shop is surely one of the most known shops at Birzebbuga. Been open since the early 1940s and still operated by the same family in 2010.


The top end of Addolorata Street where it crosses St Michael Street. Photo taken June 2010. A very tidy looking street. My parents lived in this street from 1935 to June 1940. Our house was on the right hand side about four houses from the top end. In the background are the ex Shell Company fuel storage tanks, now Enemalta Depot.

The old red Mail Box at Pretty Bay

The old red mail box that many years ago, going back to c1930, was used by all the locals at Birzebbuga is today in 2010 broken and deserted. Most likely vandalized and abandoned. A pity it was not preserved and displayed as an item of history.

How the red Mail Box once looked.

A view of the very well known corner at Pretty Bay, shows where the Mail Box used to be.

Monday, January 4, 2010


A group of Birzebbuga Boy Scouts camping at Ghadira Bay 1944.

Not all names remembered

Rear row from left: Rover Scout Cikku Azzopardi and Fava - next three names unknown.

Centre row from left: William Coxhead - no name - Joe Fenech - Paul Bonavia 'tal - landier'

Front row from left: Johnny Coxhead - Cilia - Sunny Vella 'tat-Titu' - Cilia - Abdilla 'tas Surgent'. The Cilia brothers lived in main road Pretty Bay.

If someone can remember the names of the others in this group, please contact me.

The Group Scoutmaster was Pawlu Ciantar and Assistant Scout Master was Johnny Mamo 'tal hajjat' of Pretty Bay.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009



Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Main road at Pretty Bay

Main road at Pretty Bay looking towards the bus terminus end and St Phillips Street.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Birzebbuga - Church Street

A photo of Church Str Birzebbuga. My parents lived there during 1934 - 1936. Only one house away from the Maria Addolorata Church which at that time was still used as the main village Church. Shortly after the new St Peters Church became the main Parish Church. Opposite our house was a small triangular square and the street on the right hand side was Addolorata street that ended up at Tanks street. The Degabriele family / Mikiel and Kelina operated the local bakery which was always a very busy shop.
Our house was on the 1st floor and the Roberts family lived below us on the ground floor. A bunch of local kids used to play football in the small square.
Click on photo to enlarge.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Floodwater and local kids having fun.

A group of young kids having fun in the rainwater that always flooded parts of Birzebbuga / St Georges Bay main road.
This is an old photo taken many years ago. Sent by Joseph Camilleri (ex Birzebbuga) now of Sydney NSW Australia.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Birzebbuga of many years ago

Upper photo. This location is most likely near Borg in Nadur by the old Chapel.

Lower photo taken in the 1950s showing part of Pretty Bay. The old WW2 gunpost can still be seen opposite the Smiling Prince Bar.

Photos sent by Joseph Camilleri of NSW Australia.

The above two photos were taken by Kenneth Incorvaja Oct 2009. Shows the same location near Borg in Nadur by the old Chapel.

Photos sent by Kenneth Incorvaja of Malta GC.