Clydesdale residents have waged an ongoing battle to maintain the serene and tranquil atmosphere which has rightfully earned this enclave in the Old East of Pretoria the name "the village in the city".
The historical area and architectural significance of Clydesdale is in direct contrast to the multiple-storey flats prevalent in neighbouring Sunnyside. With its tree-lined streets, Clydesdale portrays a delicate fabric of loose-standing, single-storey residences of complimentary character, dating back more than 70 years. Moreover, the labyrinth street pattern in Clydesdale differs from the general check street pattern found in the neighbouring Arcadia and Sunnyside areas. Clydesdale's distinct character therefore demands that it remains independent from surrounding suburbs. It is a puzzling enigma, however, that Metro Municipality (and it is claimed by them also the Surveyor General) not only insists that the name Sunnyside should be applied to the entire area between Walker Spruit and Park Street, but that they also claim that Clydesdale has never existed. Phaff's map of Pretoria, dated 1929 has noted this area, and shows that, historically, it consisted of three separate townships, namely; Clydesdale, Linschoten and Eastmead. Clydesdale's independence as suburb has also been mentioned in the Transvaal Provincial Establishment files in the National Archives. Over the years Clydesdale has faced its share of adversity. Clydesdale "village" was probably saved by the intervention of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (now known in Pretoria as the Tshwane Building Heritage Association) in March 1989, when the non-profit conservation organisation put circulars in the post-boxes of Clydesdale houses older than 50 years. Home-owners were advised that they were currently threatened by the proposed 1967 road system, even though their homes were protected by legislation. A small group of residents attended a meeting where they heard an address on "Die huiseienaar se Regte met Betrekking tot Bewaring en Ontwikkeling in sy Buurt en Voorstad." The suggestion, which was received enthusiastically, was that home owners organise themselves to fight both the road and encroaching businesses.