Sunday, April 30, 2017

Clouds over Port Elizabeth

Last weekend while on the beach I noticed this line of clouds moving over Port Elizabeth.  If I didn't know better I would have thought it was a cold front coming in, but these clouds were moving away and this was the back of it.  Was rather striking... 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

St George's Park fountain

The centre piece fountain of the Pearson Conservatory in St George's Park was made by Andrew Handyside at the Duke Street Foundry "Britannia Iron Works" in Derby in the UK around the same year the Conservatory was built in 1882.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Sardinia Bay from the air video

This week's Video Friday post is another of Renaldo Gouws' aerial drone videos, this time of what is probably Port Elizabeth's most special beach.  Sardinia Bay. Enough said. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Shipwreck memorial in South End Cemetery

Probably the biggest maritime disaster that ever took place on the Port Elizabeth coastline happened way back during the Great Gale of 1902.  On Sunday, 31 August 1902 there were 38 ships at anchor along the then North End Beach.  Rain and a south-easterly wind started to lash the bay and by midnight the storm turned into a hurricane.  By the end of the storm on 2 September 1902, 18 of the ships had been stranded on the beach, while the rest all had major damage.  The dead were buried in the South End Cemetery and thousands lined the route to the cemetery as the funeral processions went by with surviving ship-mates carrying the coffins of those that died during the storm.  A memorial stands in the South End Cemetery with all the names of those who died during the storm.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Oupa en Ouma sit op die strand

There is a fun little Afrikaans rhyme that starts with "Oupa en Ouma sit op die stoep..." (Grandpa and Grandma sit on the porch) and it was this rhyme that popped into my mind on Sunday when I saw this elderly couple sitting on the rocks at the beach.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

How old is St George's Park?

I took a walk through St George's Park a week or so ago and along the way I wondered how many people actually know how old St George's Park is.

St George's Park was laid out and opened on 6 August 1861 to commemorate the visit of Prince Alfred, second son of Queen Victoria, to Port Elizabeth exactly one year earlier.


Flags and streamers were flying in every direction, all shops were shut, people dressed in holiday attire, and expectation stood on tiptoe. By a sort of instinct the Market Square (now Vuyisile Mini Square) seemed to be the centre of attraction. Here the naval brigade all dressed in blue and white stood mustered under Captain Chapman and Lieut. Wheatland. The worshipful concillors in ‘tails and gloves’ began to assemble at the Town Hall and looked most grave and dignified. Presently the band struck up and matched smartly down Main Street (now Govan Mbeki Avenue) and up Donkin Street past the Scotch Church. The concillors then proceeded to the Hill and by the time the brigade had reached the spot, a good crowd of people had assembled to witness the ceremony of planting the first tree in the newly-named St Georges Park. A fellow townsman, Mr Birt, had presented the Mayor with a young oak and this was to be the tree.

The Mayor, Mr William Smith, then explained to the assembled crowd the purpose of the meeting, after which he called upon Mr Pearson, the originator of the idea, to address those present. In brief, it was to the effect that for some time a public playground had been needed in Port Elizabeth and that the Mayor was about to plant the first tree in what it had been decided to name ‘Prince Alfred’s Grove’. In later years when people would assemble in St Georges Park they would point to the Prince’s Grove and say; ‘for that and for this spacious playground we are indebted to the foresight and kindness of a former Municipal body who commemorated the first anniversary of a Royal Prince’s visit in inaugurating for the comfort, health, and recreation of their fellow-townsmen for all time these shady walks and extensive beautifully laid-out grounds.’ After this, champagne was produced and amid a volley of popping corks and several repartees, healths innumerable were drunk, and success to St. Georges Park and to the Prince’s Grove pledged over and over again.

-- Port Elizabeth in Bygone Days written by JJ Redgrave and published in 1947.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Building sand castles

While we were on the beach yesterday and Miggie and her friend were swimming, my 15 year old son chose to rather dig holes and build sand castles.  Perhaps we should all take a break every now and then and build sand castles.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Beach fun at "The Rock"

When we were small one of our favorite places to go on a Sunday afternoon was "The Rock".  The Rock refers to the rock below Something Good with the gap through which the waves wash into the little natural tidal pool.  Today we spent a couple of hours on the beach and Miggie and her friend Dinky had a great time leaping off the rocks into the swimming hole.

For some reason I forgot my camera at home but luckily I had my phone.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Conservatory lines

I just can't get enough of the lines in the Pearson Conservatory in St George's Park.  
Great for photography.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Maitlands from the air

Last week's Video Friday post was one by Renaldo Gouws showing off Shark Rock Pier and surrounds.  This week I'm sharing his video with drone footage of the Maitlands area.  We really are fortunate to have such beautiful coastal areas around Port Elizabeth and it's great seeing it from another angle in Renaldo's videos.