Thursday, December 31, 2009


The other night we went to see Nedine Blom do her Supercool kids show at the Boardwalk's Vodacom Amphitheatre. We saw her for the first time when we were on holiday last December and as soon as the Rugrats heard that she was coming to town they wanted to go. And we weren't disappointed. Drama Princess (the blondie in the white top in front of the banner) danced every song and went up onto stage every chance she got.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gamtoos Dairy Farm

There are big dairy farming areas to both the east and the west of Port Elizabeth producing milk not just for the Port Elizabeth area, but also beyond. Some of these farms are massive, producing thousands of litres of milk every day. Most of the cows on these farms are Jersey and Friesian cows. The ones on this farm in the Gamtoos Valley west of Port Elizabeth are Jersey cows.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Swartkops River

Driving along the N2 one passes over the Swartkops River just before getting to the suburb of Bluewater Bay. Swartkops is a very popular fishing area with loads of boats out on the river over weekends. The area on the banks of the river is called Amsterdamhoek and was named after a Dutch ship (Amsterdam) that sank off the river mouth in 1817. Its a very upmarket area and is only seperated from the river by a narrow road.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Schoenies walkway

The other day I did a post on the Sacramento Trail leading from Schoenmakerskop to Sardinia Bay. At the start of the trail in Schoenies these steps take you down to the shoreline to the bottom section of the trail.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

King George V Memorial

The King George V Memorial can be found on Canon Hill overlooking the town of Uitenhage. It was erected to commemorating the coronation of King George V in 1910.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Colourful historic houses

A couple of restored settler houses in Central. I love the bright colours that was used when they got painted. The church in the background is The Hill Presbyterian Church next to the Donkin Reserve.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everybody. I hope Santa had less problems getting into and down your chimney than he had here on top of Executive Kids in Newton Park. I hope everybody has an awesome day and don't eat too much.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Boardwalk Lights

The lights of the Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment Complex reflecting on the Boardwalk lake. The Boardwalk is very much in the centre of most of Port Elizabeth's summer entertainment with lots of activities going on inside the complex as well as at Hobie Beach across the road.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Fort and a museum

I have posted various view from the top of the Donkin Lighthouse before, but here is one I haven't. Looking south, you can see Fort Frederick in the background between the apartment buildings while the light green building in the foreground is the Prince Alfred Guard Museum.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Memory Boxes

One of the main components at the Red Location Museum in New Brighton are the 12 Memory Boxes. Each of the Memory Boxes consist of a corrugated iron room 6 meters by 6 meters by 12 meters high. Each box has a different exhibit which is only revealed once visitors enter it. Each exhibit is an experience all on its own, and while each can stand on its own, they are all bound together. If you get what I mean.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Settler Houses

A couple of the old settler houses in one of the older parts of Central. Its amazing how these old houses are exactly as a child would draw a house. Rectangular with a door in the middle, two windows (one on each side) and a chimney on the one side of the roof.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Anglo Boer War memorial

The Anglo Boer War Memorial in Uitenhage can be found in front of the Town Hall and was unveiled in 1904. The names of Uitenhage citizens who died in the Anglo-Boer War fought between 1899 and 1902 are inscribed on the base of the monument. It is said that the features of the life-size soldier that makes up the memorial was that of an actual soldier in King William’s Town.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Harbour Tugs

I posted a shot of the tug mooring area from a harbour vantage point in August, but got a totally different view from the top of the Campanile the other day which I want to show you.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

NSRI rescue boat

The NSRI guys on their way to their training exercise last weekend. Its amazing how fast that rubber duck was moving even though the sea was a bit on the rough side. Seeing the way the crew was going about their way in the exercise, I would say that one would be in good hands when they come to rescue you in the case of an ocean disaster.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


We don't get much fog in Port Elizabeth and if we do it clears up by mid morning at the latest. The other day the coastal part of the city was shrouded in fog for most of the day. I stopped at the Humerail Shopping Centre overlooking the harbour to get a pic of what it looked like. Pity I wasn't on holiday yet as I had lots of photo ideas I would have liked to have tried out. Oh well, next time.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Boys and their toys

We went to ride the miniature trains at Londt Park last Sunday and it was very interesting to watch afterwards how the guys clean them by taking out the burning coals and blowing the trains clean with a steam gun.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Exporting cars

Looking east from the top observation area of the Campanile, one looks across the Port Elizabeth Harbor. One of the things you immediately notice are the cars waiting for export. With both General Motors and VW have big export contracts, a lot of cars get moved through the harbour which means that there are a number of car ships docking every week.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Savings lives

I know this isn't a typical PE Daily Photo, but I wanted to do a post on donating blood. I am a regular blood donor (42 donations so far) and donate blood four to five times a year. A person can donate blood every 56 days and every time you donate they take an unit which is the equivalent of 480 milliliters.
Thousands of people would die daily if there is no sufficient quality blood in stock. If one donates blood, the donor gives patients the gift money cannot buy or science cannot create. A unit of blood donation can equal three gifts of life in that almost every unit of blood is separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets.
This time of year blood donations actually decline as a lot of people go on holiday and may put off donating till they get back to work. Currently there is a shortage of blood with only about two days of stock available in Port Elizabeth. So I would like to urge you to consider becoming a regular blood donor and save a life today.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Rescue exercise

I popped down to the beachfront last weekend to have a look at the guys (and gals) from NSRI Station 6 here in Port Elizabeth doing an airlift rescue exercise. With summer season at hand and more and more boats out there (both commercial as well as recreational), it is important for their guys to be sharp at all times. I have the utmost respect for the NSRI crews as all of them do it purely on a volunteer basis which means that they give up valuable time away from their families to risk their lives to save others.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gamtoos River

Late afternoon next to the Gamtoos River. The Gamtoos River can be found west of Port Elizabeth just before you get to Jeffery's Bay. The river flows through the Gamtoos Valley which is one of the main agricultural areas supplying fruit and vegetables to the city. The valley is also where you will find the Kouga Dam, one of the metro's main water supply dams.
For more awesome pictures from around the world featuring a bit of sky, visit Skywatch.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The Campanile was built and completed in 1923 in commemoration of the centenary of the arrival of the British Settlers in 1820. The site on which it stands used to be the landing beach where the settlers were offloaded before their long journey to the Grahamstown district. The tower is 51.8 meters high and has 204 steps to the top. It also has a carillon of 23 bells.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holy Trinity Church

The Trinity congregation was founded in 1854 when a group of parishioners broke away from St Mary's Church The original church was built at the bottom of Military Road but a growing need for a church by the people on the Hill saw the church moving to its present site next to Havelock Square. The new church was opened for worship on 1 April 1866. In 1897 a deranged woman set fire to the Church and all but the walls as well as the tower was destroyed. Holy Trinity was only constituted as an Anglican parish in 1930.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sacramento Trail

The Sacramento trail follows the coastline between Schoenmakerskop and Sardinia Bay and is about 4km each way. Its been years since I've done the walk and its high time I do it again. Hopefully at some stage during the holidays I will get a chance. Most people take the walk early in the morning and then go for breakfast at one of the little restaurants in Schoenies.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Victoria Tower

The Victoria Tower in Caledon Street in Uitenhage was built as Public Building between 1896 and 1898. It was named after Queen Victoria who was the ruling monarch at that stage and used to house the law courts.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Mandela manuscrips

On display in the Red Location Museum are manuscripts from Nelson Mandela's diary from the years he spent on Robben Island. These manuscripts are in his own hand writing and is one of the museums most prized exhibits.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Victoria Park

Victoria Park is one of a number of public parks in Port Elizabeth located within residential areas. Situated in the lower section of Walmer close to the airport, Victoria Park has several fish ponds with beautiful waterlilies and big lawn areas. Every year the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra has a sold out performance in the park which shows that there is a demand for such shows in Port Elizabeth.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Old and new

Looking down Upper Hill Street in Central one can see a couple of old historic settler houses dating from the mid 1800's on the left and some of the high rise (high rise in PE terms) buildings in the city centre.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

VW Museum

The VW AutoPavilion is situated next to the VW factory in Uitenhage and probably is the biggest attraction in the town. The museum is a high-tech, interactive expo and heritage centre and takes you on a journey through history with the cars that defined the past and inspire the future. I'm not a "car fanatic" like some guys, but I do enjoy visiting the museum every now and then. I haven't taken Chaos Boy yet cause I'm not ensured for museum exhibits, but I'm sure I'll take him there quite soon for him to experience it as well.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Walmer Park Food Festival

On Sunday the first Walmer Park Food Festival took place at Walmer Park Shopping Centre. The festival will be held on a bi-annual basis with the Summer Festival taking place in November and the Winter Festival in June. The festival included stalls from deli’s, restaurants, entrepreneurs, farmers, manufacturers and suppliers to the food industry as well as cooking presentations and entertainment. At most of the stalls visitors could taste and buy their products. The smell of all the foods were amazing and the taste buds were truly treated to some awesome flavours. I am really looking forward to the next festival as I am sure they would evolve it to be even bigger and better than this one. I think Cooksister would truly have been in her element if she could have visited the festival.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Prince Alfred's Guard Museum

I had to pop into the Prince Alfred's Guard Museum to other day to take some pics for a brochure. I've actually never been in the museum before then, although I know the monument at St Georges Park quite well. The museum houses military exhibits in the Regiment's Victorian Drill Hall (built in 1880). It is a national monument and one of the finest surviving examples of its type.
I got the following history and information about the Prince Alfred's Guard of Wikipedia:
Prince Alfred's Guard was established on 19 September 1856 as the Port Elizabeth Volunteer Rifle Corps. In 1860 the title Prince Alfred's Guard was assumed unofficially (after Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh) and on 11 July 1874 this name was officially sanctioned as Prince Alfred's Volunteer Guard. The name was later changed to Prince Alfred's Guard.
The Regiment first saw action on
2 December 1877, against the Gcaleka tribesmen in the Battle of Umzintzani during the Ninth Xhosa War. The next conflict that the PAG participated in was the Basutoland Campaign of 1880 to 1881, during which a 500 metre bayonet charge by the Regiment which led to the capture of the village of Lerotholi, an enemy village. The Regiment also took part in the Bechuanaland Campaign of 1897.
The Regiment also served in the
Second Anglo-Boer War of 1899 to 1902 - as mounted infantry - and took part in campaigns in the Orange Free State and the South African Republic.
Members of the PAG volunteered for service in
World War I, but there was dissension in the ranks after a long deployment on sentry duty in Cape Town. As a result the contingent was disbanded and most of its members saw active service during the war in other South African units.
In 1913 the regiment was redesignated the 3rd Infantry Regiment (Prince Alfred's Guard) of the Active
Citizen Force of the Union Defence Force, but regained its former name in 1934.
World War II, the regiment first served as link battalion for the 2nd Brigade, South African Infantry in North Africa, sending drafts of men to the fighting units, among which many went to the Field Force Battalion. The PAG was subsequently converted to an armoured unit and saw further active service with the 11th South African Armoured Brigade, South African 6th Armoured Division in Italy as a tank unit.
The PAG also took part in the many skirmishes making up the
South African Border War during the post-war period.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Toy Run

On our way home from church this morning we stopped along the way to watch the bikes taking part in the annual Toy Run go by. The Toy Run is a national initiative which takes place in all the cities and big towns around South Africa. It is the largest motorcycle charity event in the world with about 50 000 motorcycles taking part nationally. The main purpose of the event is to collect and distribute toys and gifts to less privilaged kids. All the bikers come together in one place where the toys are collected and then go on a mass ride through the city.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sardinia Bay Golf Course

Port Elizabeth has a number of golf courses around the city. The best known one is the Humewood Golf Course, a links course which is seen as one of the best courses in the country. One of the lesser known ones are the 9 hole Sardinia Bay golf course. I'm not much of a golfer (not enough time), so I haven't played the big courses, but I thoroughly enjoyed playing Sardinia Bay the other morning with my Boet.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Concentration Camp Memorial

I have posted a picture of the Uitenhage Concentration Camp Memorial before, but wanted to post another. It is situated on the site where there was a concentration camp for Boer women and children during the Anglo Boer War (1899 - 1902). Each of the pieces of back wall represents one of the 9 people who died in the concentration camp.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Old South End road

In the old days South End was a vibrant multi cultural area, but in the 1960's everybody was forcible removed from the area because of the Groups Areas Act and relocated to other areas in Port Elizabeth. The majority of the buildings in South End was demolished and the area laid empty for about twenty years. In the 1980's they started developing the area again and since Democracy in 1994 some of the people have even moved back into the area. Here are one of the old South End roads that run past the South End cemetery. Today its nothing more than a footpath to the top of the hill.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Wildside

The southern coastline of Port Elizabeth from Cape Recife to Schoenmakerskop is generally knows as the Wildside. It's mainly because the coast is rugged with lots of rocks and little sand. Its also open to the prevailing south-westerly wind which means that it can become quite stormy out there outside the shelter of the Bay.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Then and now from the Donkin Lighthouse

After my last venture up the Donkin Lighthouse, Sue sent me two old pictures that were taken from the lighthouse in the late 1800's. She asked me if I had any pics taken in the same direction to be able to compare. I didn't, but took Chaos Boy to climb the lighthouse on Saturday and took a couple. I am sure that I recognise the rusty roof house in both the old and new pics. There is another one which I'm not 100% sure of, but keeping in mind that the lighthouse's height was increased since the early pics were taken, compare the pics for yourself.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Suburban grass fire

On Friday afternoon I made a quick stop for bread on my way home. As I came out the supermarket I saw the fire department's grass fire truck go by and noticed smoke just up the road. I rushed over and found a grass fire next to the suburb of Overbaakens. The fire truck pulled in just after me (yes, I took a shortcut) and the team got their kit out very quickly and got working on the fire. I was actually very impressed with the speed they got working on stopping the fire from getting to the houses. There are more picture on The Firefly Photo Files.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Watercolours exhibition

EPSAC is currently hosting an Watercolours exhibition by the East Cape Watercolour Association. I popped in on Friday to have a quick look and was quite impressed with some of the work on show. For anybody looking for the perfect Christmas gift for an art lover, this is the place to come and buy something. And best of all are the prices. The majority of the paintings range from about R150 (US$18.50 or 12.50 British pounds) to R450 (US$56 or 37.50 British Pounds).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Standing in line for tax

Yesterday (Friday, 20 November) was the deadline for submissions of personal tax forms. As per any deadline there were lots of people who hadn't done it timely either manually or via e-filing. I drove past the SARS (South African Revenue Service) office in town at about 1pm and this was the line standing outside the door in the early summer heat.

The second photo is just to show how the line continued past the Phoenix Hotel next door.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Historic Houses

A couple of the historic houses in one of the streets of Cental. In this immediate area there are many old settler houses that date back to the mid 1800's. Most of them are very well looked after and maintained while others are being restored. Unfortunately just down the street a couple of blocks away there are a lot of buildings crying out to be restored. Unfortunately some of the property owners in Central doesn't care enough about the heritage buildings in their portfolios to fix them up to their former glory.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Maitlands River Lagoon

The Maitlands River would never really be called a river of note, more like a local stream. But on its way to the ocean it flows through Sleepy Hollow and past the giant Maitlands sand dune. Just before it slowly flows into the ocean, it forms a small lagoon next to the dune. Usually in summer kids will splash around in it as the sea at the river mouth is a bit of a dangerous spot to swim in.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fort Frederick

Fort Frederick can be found on the hill overlooking the Baakens River valley and Port Elizabeth Harbour. It's a stone fort built in 1799 by the British Forces to defend the mouth of the Baakens River to prevent a possible landing of French troops to assist the Graaff-Reinet rebels. It was named after Frederick, Duke of York and was commanded by Captain Francis Evatt. Even though the fort was built to defend the Bay, ironically, no shot was ever fired in anger from it. The Fort, containing a powder magazine and a guardhouse, was originally defended by eight 12-powder guns.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Havelock Square

Havelock Square is one of a couple of public parks around the historic part of Central. Havelock square is a bit different though as it is an unfenced park with a one way paved road going around it. Havelock Square was part of The Grey Institute Grant originally surveyed in 1856, with the oldest houses being built in 1862. The Holy Trinity Church on the eastern side of the square was built in 1866 and re- built in 1897 after being destroyed by a fire, while the St Johns Methodist Church on the western side was opened in 1894.
The yellow building with the green roof in the background of the photo is the Havelock Conference Centre which offers a great conferencing option with accommodation. (I'm giving them a quick punt cause I have a friend who works there and I got some of the above information off their website.)
Havelock Square is situated on the Donkin Heritage Trail and is a stone's throw away from some of Central's best know historic sites as well as the restaurants in Parliament Street.