50 Years in Kirstenhof

Davy Smeda, Kirstenhof

We moved into Kirstenhof during August 1969. The official occupation of our house was September 1 1969.

At that time, there was no Blue Route Mall. Lente Street was a sand track between Milton Road and Tokai Road. That was the boundary between the City of Cape Town and the Divisional Council.

We were told that Lente Street would be closed off between Tokai Road at the sand track. Well, today Lente Street is the main thoroughfare in Kirstenhof.

The Sea Breeze drive-in has been replaced by Cle Du Cap residential complex. Sea Breeze Road was a rough gravel road down to an uncompleted overgrown Raapkraal Road, which was an unofficial garden refuse dump area.

Our children and other neighbourhood children would walk over to the drive-in and watch “bioscope” for free, with permission.

The drive-in was the only building to the south of Pollsmoor Road and on the mountain side of Sea Breeze Road.

Pollsmoor Road was then the access to the prison until the Blue Route highway was started.

On a calm night, the motor cars would sound like an earthquake when they all started their motors after a show at the drive-in.

There was a shop on the corner of Tokai and Vans roads, where Blue Route parking area is and the Banderker’s shop and Retreat Supermarket (now Pet’s Aquaria).

It is the third Blue Route centre that has been built since we have lived here.

My daughters learnt to drive in the parking area. Those early days, the shops closed at 1pm on a Saturday and re-opened on Monday morning.

The parking areas were open to roller-skating, bicycle riding as well as other open space games.

The Kirstenhof Primary School was just one year old and very basic.

The parents were all dedicated to making this school what it is today.

When it was time for the fete to raise money, they would all put their backs into assisting. The week before the fete, we would prepare the stalls by digging holes for the poles, which were sponsored, and setting up all the other necessary equipment.

Well, as you know, this all had to be removed after the usually successful fetes.

During the early 70s, with the unrest that was going on, we had a very willing “Civil Defence” group going. This was changed later to Civil Assistance. Basically, this was a neighbourhood watch.

We had a roster that placed the residents on a neighbourhood watch of 24 hours a day. The main watch was at the school throughout the nights.

Thanks to a very involved councillor Bronnie Harding we were well supported by the councils.

We are proud residents of a nice part of Cape Town. There are a few other “originals” around this neighbourhood. There is one really sad aspect to Kirstenhof. The Spotty Dog was a regular place for us to enjoy the toasted egg sandwiches and ice cream in our younger days. Who would have thought that we would be living so close to it now? There was also Friar Tuck for burgers and chips, where KFC is now.