About three kilometres west of Hawston lies the famous fishing spot, Plankhuis — a place shrouded in romanticism and mystery..

Plankhuis view

In 1878 Walter McFarlane and Valentine Beyers, who later became well-known hoteliers in Hermanus, owned the rights to Plankhuis and started the False Bay Cold Storage Company. They ran a fish canning business, employing a certain Woodholme and a Norwegian called Erickson.

Some writers thought that the name Plankhuis (wooden house) evolved from Woodholme, who worked there in 1880, but according to legend, it was already known by that name by 1855. When a fire destroyed their equipment, the canning factory ceased to operate.

Storie van Oom Johnnie Bucchianeri

DIS só mooi om te hoor hoe iemand met kennisgekweek deur liefde praat van jou eiehartewêreld: die stukkie kus tussen Onrusrivier en Hawston. Oom Johnnie Bucchianeri  Hawston het baie jare agter die rug, maardie verstand loop nog volstoom
``Op die hoek, daar waar die huis is wat hullePlankhuis noem, is Baaigat. Vroeër jare was daar'n visfabriek. Daar moet 'n plankhuis gewees het,maar van ek hier is, is hy nie meer daar nie.

Die Burger: Pieter Spaarwater - 1993

A fire destroyed their equipment, the canning factory ceased to operate around 1855.

From Gurth Bruins

Plankhuis was a real paradise as  a seaside house miles away from any other buildings, inaccessible by road, only reachable by a trudge over sand-dunes of over a mile. This belonged to a lawyer friend of my father, but our family was most welcome to join him and his family of wife and four sons over a weekend.

After the long, laden trudge across soft sand, we emerged at the edge of the plateau, with a stunning view of the coast below, and a steep descent down the face of the dunes. Below was a strip of flat land, where the house was, and then the sea, beyond a wide expanse of low rocks and sandy-bottomed rock pools. Here we fished for small, delicious klipvis or swam in the largest pool.
The primitive conditions, with no electricity and a brack well the only water supply, added a spice to this holiday.

Thank you Gurth - © Gurth Bruins:  Photos courtesy of http://gurth.weebly.com/  

Plankhuis changed hands many times, until Dr Gysbert Smuts, a medical practitioner from Caledon, bought it in 1915. The Smuts family had to work very hard to make the old place habitable. After the sudden death of Dr Smuts in 1926, his two daughters inherited Plankhuis.

Fish and abalone

An anglers’ paradise. When the place was eventually discovered by commercial divers, a revolution followed. Boats filled the little beach at Plankhuis and the tranquillity was shattered by the revving of boat engines.  Since 1959, when the last of Dr Smuts’s children died, the place has changed hands several times

Source

Gurth Bruins:  http://gurth.weebly.com/

Photos: Copyright ©Gurth Bruins

Hawston is uit die see gebou - Die Burger
12 Februarie 1993   -  Pieter Spaarwater
Oom Johnnie Bucchianeri van Hawston

Village of the Sea: Tredgold

S.J. du Toit:  Hermanus Stories

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