Bakoven Heritage

The History of Bakoven differs somewhat from that of Clifton in that like Glen Beach, there were in existence, a number of permanently occupied structures dating back at least to the mid 1800’s. The Paarmans lived at Glen Beach in those early days with their descendant’s being prominent for many years in Bakoven, fishing, diving and surfing. The Bakoven community was until the time of freehold a very stable community with many of residents being descendants of the original erectors of their bungalows.

There are three beaches at Bakoven, the main Beach called Big Beach, which is where the NSRI station is based, Little Beach (Logan’s Beach) which faces North into Horn Bay, (nickname “Kak Ballie Bay) and lastly, Tiny Beach, facing West, also into Horn Bay. Big Beach was originally a fishing harbour, being one of the few reasonably protected inlets near the city. The boats were the usual 25 ft carvel built wooden sail and oared craft targeting Snoek, Kob, mackerel etc. Fishing shacks were erected above the high water mark all along the beach.

There are some wonderful photographs in existence dating back to the beginning of the 1900’s one of which taken in 1910 shows the boat shed situate at the foot of the main stairs to the beach, this being the only surviving boat shed and you will note that the structure is exactly the same and thanks to Carlos Liltved is beautifully maintained. Not bad for 94 years of age!

Bakoven was original under the control of the British Colonial Forces to be used, presumably, as a muster point for the defence of the colony from enemy attack by sea. Sometime later the area was placed under the management of the Cape Town Municipality subject to the provision that it would return to military control in the event of x amount of square yardage of enemy sail being sighted. Bungalows erected here up to the time of freehold had to be temporary, removable structures built mostly of corrugated iron on timber, but without foundations, merely resting on the ground. The few surviving old bungalows still rest on small piles of stone, paraffin tins filled with concrete made with sea sand and amazingly have survived years of gale force South Easters without being blown into the sea. In the earlier days, up to the 1930’s , sewerage was removed by way of the bucket system with the contents being disgorged into the Horn Bay sewerage pipe which was situate just below the Police station….hence the nick name of Kak Balie Bay for Horn Bay.

Original Bakoven Lease Agreement