Monday, March 31, 2008

The Victorian Conservatory

St Georges Park was established in 1861, and in 1864 the lands around it were subdivided and sold off, to create funds for the further development and maintenance of the park. One of the developments was this conservatory, built to house tropical plants. It is a bit tatty these days, but remains a beautiful structure.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

She's no longer alone............

Some time ago on Arty Fartying Around, I featured a delightful piece of street art that had appeared in Port Elizabeth. A group of trees had been felled near the golf driving range in Walmer, and the logs left lying around.

Someone with a brilliant eye and lateral thinking ability spotted the potential for one to become a reclining woman, and painted a white dotty bikini on her. She brought a smile to many of us as we spotted her lying around on the grass when we drove past, but her lonely state obviously bothered someone. Because when I drove past recently, I saw that a boyfriend in swimming trunks had been added, standing behind her, and to celebrate, she was wearing a new brightly coloured bikini.

Well it appears the pair wasted no time in starting a family, because when I went past last week, a child in a pink bikini and a dog had appeared! The dog is particularly delightful, sporting a set of high heeled shoes!

(Funnily enough, we bought a painting from a well known local artist a while ago, featuring a dog with skinny legs, wearing high heeled shoes.........mmmmmmmmm...... I must remember to ask her if there's a connection here?)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Black Widow

The glamour of jets - we love them.

This picture was taken at the Port Elizabeth Air Show in October 2006. The Black Widow as she is called, is the only flying Mirage III CZ in the world. The Mirage IIIC, a single-seat interceptor, first flew in October 1960 and was used in French Air Force until 1988. It was exported to South Africa and designated the Mirage IIICZ.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Trinity House

We'll come back to 7 Castle Hill, but today we wanted to share pictures of another very old house in Central which has been maintained in its original state.

This is Trinity House, and it is about 30 years newer than 7 Castle Hill, having been built around 1858. It was recently bought by Amanda and Karl Wellmann, who have done a wonderful job of lovingly restoring it, and turning it into a guesthouse.

Here you can see one of the bedrooms, furnished to suit the old house, complete with chamber pot covered with lace cloth at the foot of one bed! The plaster on the end wall was removed to expose the original thick stone structure of the cottage walls.

What makes it interesting is that it has remained in the same family for 3 generations, until it was reluctantly sold by Miss Billson, who was no longer able to cope with its upkeep. The house was bought by her grandfather, and she was born there early in the last Century. She was the guest of honour last night for the opening of the guesthouse, and graciously allowed me to take her photo in one of the newly renovated bedrooms.

Naturally it was an emotional evening for her as she relived so many memories of her life in this home, but the warmth and care of the new owners is some comfort, at least it is going to be treated with the respect it deserves.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Courtyard 7 Castle Hill

A peek inside the delightful cobble stoned courtyard of the historic museum at 7 Castle Hill, the oldest home in PE still in existence. It has been beautifully preserved. It was built in the 1820s by Rev Francis McLelland, who was the Minister of the St Marys Church down the hill in market square. The old water pump and coal bin are still there. To the right are the old stables. It is well worth a visit, to get an insight into the lifestyle of the first settlers to the city.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jimminy Cricket!!!

Cricket has certainly moved with the times. For those who find 5 days of stiff-upper-lip play with white clothing and a sedate pace a bit heavy going, there are now new formats which make the game much more exciting. The newest of these is the 20-20 match, which is fast paced, 4s and 6s fly, the music is loud and trendy, gogo dancers and flame throwers go ballistic everytime something exciting happens, the crowds really get involved and the atmosphere is great.
Last night the Sahara Oval was host to a nail biting match between our team, the Warriors (in blue and green) and the Zimbabweans (in red). It is part of an exciting series called the Pro 20, which consists of limited overs matches between teams of up and coming players. Because the games are short, (20 overs a side) they start at 6pm, and make for a great evening of entertainment, ending early enough that kids and old fogies like us can still get to bed reasonably early!!

To the left is the famous Duck Pond Pavillion, designed by award winning architect John Rushmere.
One of the things that makes cricket unique in Port Elizabeth is the St Georges Band, a brass band that sits amongst the crowd and plays enthusiastically during our matches. St Georges is the only pavillion in the country with a resident band, and it really does add to the atmosphere.
You may notice that the crowd are wearing green hard hats, these were handed out at the gate as we entered (if you supported Zimbabwe, you would have asked for a red one, but as you can see they are few and far between!) Anyway the Zimbabweans fielded superbly and also did some exciting batting and running, and they had a well deserved win with the second last ball.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A different view of Donkin Lighthouse

This was taken in Richmond Hill one morning at sunrise, from the road that runs past the proposed block that was halted, which we told you about in Friday's Post. Because of its position on the brow of the Hill on which the first buildings in the city were developed, it is possible to get glimpses of this landmark from many angles.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria still watches over parts of her former empire, with her "We are not amused look". This Sicilian marble statue of her, is situated at the entrance to the Main Library, on the North-Western corner of Market Square. It was erected and unveiled in 1903 two years after her death.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Stone Crosses

Since it is Easter Sunday, we thought this group of old stone crosses found on various churches in PE and Uitenhage would be appropriate. Happy Easter to all!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter is upon us and many visitors have flocked to the city for the long weekend. Combine with that the fact that the Splash Festival is on, Port Elizabeth is going to be a busy place this weekend. For those wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle, the Maitland River mouth is the place to be, with its wide open spaces and beautiful beach.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Yay Yippee Yay

The saga of the high rise development in Richmond Hill has been resolved, and it goes to show that it IS worth while for concerned citizens to get involved and not take 'stupidity/vested interests/lack of logic/all of the above' from city officials lying down!
A while ago, concerned citizens noticed some earthworks on the hill below the teachers college, and upon investigation, found that a 4 story block of flats was going up. This picture was taken in June last year.....

Alarm bells rang immediately through the Richmond Community Forum, a group of concerned citizens determined to make a difference and not let degradation and greed erode our historic area. With the help of our extremely hard working and pro-active Ward Councellor, Jeremy Davis, protests were lodged, and questions asked in high places.
I and many others wrote to the newspapers, and the word got around about what was happening. As it became public knowledge, it was harder for the municipal officials who authorised it without all the correct channels being followed to let it slip quietly through until it was too late to stop it. Work ground to a halt. And it all hinges on this..........

This is one of a pair of navigational beacons which guide ships safely into our harbour. At full height, the flats would block the view of it and render it useless to shipping. This week, after much legal wrangling, the court ruled that the beacon cannot be moved or raised, and that the development must be halted permanently.

In an area of steep narrow streets and very limited parking, high density housing is going to cause huge infrastructure problems, and large modern blocks are out of keeping with the style of the area, apart from the fact that they block everyone's views of the bay. So this is a real victory for those who want to retain the unique historic character of the area.

There is still another large hurdle to jump, as a 14 story block is already being advertised, but again whoever passed it in Council is not going unchallenged, so let's hope for a similar favourable result to that one!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lamp Posts #3

There is a row of 3 very lovely street lights in the narrow and historic Cora Terrace (which we featured a while ago.) At that time they were a pretty pale blue. They have recently been painted black. In that post I mentioned that the father of the girl after whom the terrace was named was murdered, in the 1800s, and Kate asked for more details. I am still trying to find more about it Kate, but will let you know as soon as I do.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Havelock Square Again

Some more of the lovely old homes on the edge of Havelock Square. If only all the property owners in Central would maintain their buildings like this!!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Havelock Square

Yesterday we showed you Trinder Square. This is Havelock Square, another of the little pockets of green amongst the closely built properties in the high density Central area. It has some delightful old Victorian villas around it, one of which you can see peeping through the trees across the square. This one is now a guesthouse. The flowers in the foreground are a plant indigenous to the Eastern Cape, a shade lover called Plectranthus.

This is a few blocks away from Trinder Square, and the church you could see in the background of the vintage photo of Trinder Square when it was still a lake, which is Trinity Anglican Church, is to the right of the house shown today.

(Here it is lurking behind the trees!)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Trinder Square

As you can see in the vintage photo below, in the early days of Central, (mid 1800s) this slight depression at the top of the hill was a small lake, and the residents used to get togged up in all their Victorian Splendour, and have picnics on the banks. It is now a little park.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Edward Hotel

This gracious Hotel in Central is still a well run establishment, and the beautiful old building is lovingly cared for. It commands a wonderful view overlooking the Donkin Reserve, with its famous lighthouse and pyramid, and beyond that, the bay.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Car Wash

Near the bottom of Russell Road, opposite the historic graveyard, is a car wash. We have noticed that whatever the time of day, they always seem to be busy.
They handwash the cars, and do a very thorough and reasonably priced job, which probably explains their popularity.
An enterprising gentleman, clearly an immigrant from the North, has set up a coffee shop in the top room over the waiting room, to serve those waiting for their cars to be done. He does everything himself, he was washing tablecloths when I went in (you can see them hanging on the fence to the right.) He made my coffee (instant coffee with creamer, not milk), and went off to buy a loaf of bread when I ordered a toasted tomato sandwich. It is pretty rustic, but I quite enjoyed the out of Africa ambience as I waited for my car to be transformed.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Horses in PJs

More animals from the Kragga Kamma Game Farm. Because the only predators in the area (cheetahs) are fenced in, these zebra and the other animals are very relaxed, and it is possible to get quite close to them.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Brighton Pier

When she is in a good mood Algoa Bay allows the fishermen to fish from New Brighton Pier. There is almost a festive atmosphere when they gather together on a nice day.

...................but when she is in a bad mood, you had better take heed, because she does not allow fishing.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Harbour Control Tower

This is the Harbour master's control tower, from here he keeps an eye on all the shipping in the port. All the land you see in this picure is reclaimed.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Prestor John

Across the road from the Feather Market Hall, between the City Hall and the Old Post Office in Port Elizabeth is an amazing statue dedicated to the seafarers who searched for Prester John between 1145 and 1645.

During the 12th and 13th centuries, Prester John was believed to be the ruler of a vast and powerful empire in the interior of Asia. From the 14th to the 16th century, he was believed to be the king of Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) in northeast Africa.

In 1165 a letter supposedly written by Prester John, describing his country as a land of natural riches, marvels, peace and justice was given to the Byzantine emperor and to the Holy Roman emperor Frederick Barbarossa. It told of a magical kingdom in the East that was in danger of being overrun by infidels and barbarians.

Thus began the quest for the wealth of Prester John.

It was his reputation that helped drive explorers to find the sea route to India. King John II of Portugal specifically instructed the expeditions of his time to discover this fabulous kingdom. The legend endured until the 18th century and died after the Scottish explorer James Bruce had travelled through Ethiopia.
The legend of Prester John profoundly affected the geographical knowledge of Europe by stimulating interest in foreign lands and sparking expeditions outside of Europe, which is what this statue is all about.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Promising start to the week

Well, as is becoming usual, Felicity cat (our bratty but delightful Siamese kitten, who you can meet on our personal blogs) decided it was playtime at 4am, and unceremoniously woke us up. We were therefore up and about by the time the sun put in an appearance, and as it looked pretty spectacular, we leaped in the car and took off down the hill to capture it as it rose over the harbour. Again this is a multi-tasking photo, because here is another in the lamp post series too!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Saturday, March 8, 2008

"Pirate Ship"

This yacht was abandoned by its owners some years ago, as they decided they were not cut out for the sea, after an arduous journey from Europe. Shortly after arriving in Port Elizabeth they jumped ship and flew back to home. It has been left to "rot" in the harbour and has become a nesting place for seagulls - apparently it will take a lot of work and a miracle to get it habitable again. Local fishermen affectionately refer to it as the "pirate ship".

To the left of the yacht you can see the red brick structure of the Campanile, which was built as a monument to the 1820 Settlers

Friday, March 7, 2008

Russell Road

Early morning walks in the city are fun. There is usually no one about and you have the pavements and streets all to yourself - well almost. This is a view down Russell Road looking towards the Bay.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

St Georges Park #4, lamp posts #2

Well this is where two series collide, because Fenix made the excellent suggestion that we feature more of the lamp posts around here, and as it happens, quite a variety is to be found in the Park.

For some reason, there are a couple of stunted little ones, bad idea as one has been vandalised. Max stood next to the other to show the height.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

St Georges Park #3

The Prince Alfred's Guard memorial was erected in 1907 to the memory of the Regiments dead in four wars. It was manufactured by MacFarlane's Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland and is located on top of a water tank that serves Central.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

St Georges Park #2

The St Georges Cricket Ground taken from the duck pond side.

St Georges Park is very quiet in the early hours of the morning, but is a hive of activity on cricket days. We will be featuring some more of the many attractions of the Park in the next few posts

Monday, March 3, 2008

Public Swimming Bath

Well, it's hard not to look at this and be rendered speechless..... this rather ugly 1930s public swimming baths building is in St George's Park. Someone with a sense of humour obviously decided "if you can't beat them, join them!" and made it stand out like a sore thumb in the otherwise serene leafy park. The effect is enhanced by the spectacular flowers in front of the entrance!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Autumn leaves

With all the beautiful sunny days we are having, it is hard to believe that autumn is here. The early morning sun rays catching the leaves of a plane tree in Glen Street, Richmond Hill made a striking shot.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

March 2008 Theme Day: Graffiti or street mural

The retaining wall of the Grand Hotel, on Whites Road, has a delightful mural depicting the Jazz Cafe inside. Sadly, the damp in the wall means it is deteriorating fast, so we are lucky to catch it while we still can. We featured another section of this mural in a previous post.

Many others around the world are participating in this theme, so to see more fascinating street art, do pop in and pay them a visit.

Adelaide, Australia by Gordon, Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, Aliso Viejo (CA), USA by Rodney, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Arradon, France by Alice, Ashton under Lyne, UK by Pennine, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Bandung, Indonesia by Guntur Purwanto, Baziège, France by PaB, Belgrade, Serbia by BgdPic, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Boston (MA), USA by Fenix, Boston (MA), USA by Sarah, Whit, & Leyre, Brighton, UK by Harvey, Bucaramanga, Colombia by Fernando, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cape Town, South Africa by Kerry-Anne, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chicago (IL), USA by U R us, Chicago (IL), USA by b.c., Christchurch, New Zealand by Michelle, Clearwater (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Clearwater Beach (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Cleveland (OH), USA by iBlowfish, Cologne, Germany by April11, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Detroit (MI), USA by Taittems, Dunedin (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Durban, South Africa by CrazyCow, Evry, France by Olivier, Forks (WA), USA by Corinne, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Guelph, Canada by Pat, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hyde, UK by Gerald, Inverness (IL), USA by Neva, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Joplin (MO), USA by Victoria, Juneau (AK), USA by Gwyn, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Le Guilvinec, France by ds2944, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Jsaltao, Lodz, Poland by ritalounge, London, UK by Ham, London, UK by Mo, Mainz, Germany by JB, Maple Ridge, Canada by Susan, Mazatlan, Mexico by Kate, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Melbourne, Australia by John, Memphis (TN), USA by SouthernHeart, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico, Mexico by Poly, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Montréal, Canada by Douber, Moscow, Russia by Irina, Mumbai, India by Kunalbhatia, Mumbai, India by MumbaiIteanu, Naples (FL), USA by Isabella, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK by Cassie & Chris, Niamey, Niger by Dinabee, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Nottingham, UK by Gail's Man, Ocean Township (NJ), USA by Josy, Paris, France by Eric, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Pasadena (CA), USA by Petrea, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Elizabeth, South Africa by Sam, Port Vila, Vanuatu by Mblamo, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Quincy (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Radonvilliers, France by Deslilas, Riga, Latvia by Prokur, Rome, Italy by Giovanni, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation by Lark, San Antonio (TX), USA by Kramer, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Diego (CA), USA by Zentmrs, Santa Fe (NM), USA by Randem, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Seguin (TX), USA by Thien, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Silver Spring (MD), USA by John, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, St Francis, South Africa by Sam, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Terre Haute (IN), USA by Zann, Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, The Hague, Netherlands by Lezard, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Torun, Poland by Torun Observer, Toulouse, France by Julia, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Wassenaar, Netherlands by Rich, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Wrocław, Poland by Loompi, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn,