District Six, the east end of Cape Town city, was a hub of sound and activity. Through its heart flowed Hanover Street. Buses weaved precariously through impatient vehicles and jostling shoppers. Voices of people shouting from balconies and competitive barks of vendors below punctuated the general din.
During the festive season, the carnival with its kaleidoscope of colour and music surged down Hanover Street, permeating jollity and optimism into the surrounding lanes and ultimately into the city.
Hanover Street was essentially a commercial area, the odd cinema (bioscope) and church a reminder that there is more to life than just business. The Isaac Ochberg Hall, a name that recalls the district's Jewish past, was the headquarters of the Eoan Group, a local cultural organisation renowned for its annual
a local cultural organisation renowned for its annual
performances of Italian opera.
The Public Wash House with its elaborate machinery was constructed over a mountain stream, which may have been used in earlier times by slave washerwomen. The adjacent swimming bath was designed for the exclusive use of black men, some of them migrant workers and other families who had managed to secure permanent residence in the city. Before it was outlawed, the South African Communist Party had its offices at no. 22 Hanover Street.
secure permanent residence in the city. Before it was outlawed, the South African Communist Party had its offices at no. 22 Hanover Street.
One cannot forget the many pubs of District Six. The Rose and Crown was the famous one in Hanover Street, situated across
from where the Dutch Reformed Church once stood. At the Hanover and Tennant Streets intersection many businesses were located - the drapery shops, hardware stores, legal and trade union offices, surgeries, and a number of other not too reputable professions. Old trams on tracks once linked this complex to the city.
Vincent Kolbe (District Six Museum Newsletter, 1999)