Saturday, January 31, 2015

What's Drama Princess doing up a ladder?

Have you ever driven down the road and saw a random person on a ladder against a street light pole? Or up a random tree for that matter? It does look suspicions but at the same time it doesn't quite look like they are up to no good or doing anything wrong.  You are probably right.  But what could they be up to.  Well, in most cases, they are probably Geocaching, specially if they are trying to look as nonchalant and inconspicuous as possible when you look at them.  In this case Drama Princess was three meters up a street light pole somewhere in Walmer to retrieve a log sheet for the rest of us to sign.  So next time if you see such a person and they don't look like they are quite up to no good, give them a wink and "I know what you are up to" look.  They will visibly relax when they realise you're a muggle in the know.   

Friday, January 30, 2015

Destination Sevens - Port Elizabeth

While looking for a video to post for this week's Video Friday post I found this World Rugby (previously IRB) destination video for Port Elizabeth as host of round three of the IRB 7's World Series.  I'm just wondering where they found the number they are throwing around for PE's population.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Historic Uitenhage corrigated iron church

I am amazed at the places I have discovered while out Geocaching.  One of my recent discoveries is the Evangelical Mission Church in Uitenhage.  Approaching down the road I didn't realize the corrugated iron building was a church until I stopped, had a good look and noticed the roof lantern.  According to the cache listing "this little church is a ridged and gabled, timber framed building.  The building is a good example of a genre which has mostly disappeared.  It retained some detail features such as timber architrave surround the doors & windows as well as a roof lantern. The building is currently still in use as a church and dates back to the 1800's."

While signing the log sheet I had a peek in the door to have a look at the inside as well.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Drostdy Museum fascade

The Cape Dutch style Drostdy building in Uitenhage was completed in 1809 during the time that General Jacob Glen Cuyler was the Landdrost of Uitenhage.  The building houses the town's Africana museum following the historical development of Uitenhage and the surrounding districts.  The museum contains various exhibits which include historical artifacts from the town, toys, porcelain, clothing and an archive library.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

South End Cemetery graves

If you go back through my blogs (or is a regular follower), you may notice that for some strange reason I have a peculiar interest in historic graves and cemeteries.  I used to work very close to the South End Cemetery and placed a Geocache there so I visited it quite often to check up on the container.  Since changing jobs a year ago I haven't been back that often but stopped by last week and took a stroll through it with my camera again.  The one thing that always get to me is seeing graves of infants which is unfortunately something a bit more common dating from the 1800's than it is today.  I tried cutting out the names on the stone from the picture but just had to snap this pic.  
The South End Cemetery came into existence in 1882.  At that stage each of the other cemeteries in town had been for a specific church or religion, while South End was meant for (just about) everybody.  A simple fourfold division between Church of England, Nonconformist, Roman Catholic, and Muslim was adopted and this spatial pattern was retained in subsequent cemetery planning until the 1990s when the cemetery was full.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Kini Bay seen from Lauries Bay

Lauries Bay is a collection of cottages - or shacks as the owners call them - on private land along Port Elizabeth's Wild Side just before Kini Bay.  The only way to get to them is along a private track which only the shack owners have access to or walking along the beach.  I've never been to Lauries Bay before but an ex-boss of the Damselfly invited us out there for a day and I got a chance to explore the area a little bit.  I was very surprised that Kini Bay was actually a lot closer to Lauries Bay than what I always thought.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

View of Uitenhage from Canon Hill

I don't get to go to Uitenhage that often.  Don't always have a reason to go but if I do and have somebody with me who hasn't been there before, I like to stop by Canon Hill to show them the view of the town.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Geocaching in Uitenhage

Port Elizabeth is fortunate to have quite a lot of Geocaches to keep the local cachers, specially newbies, nice and busy.  Uitenhage unfortunately hasn't been that fortunate until recently.  A year ago there were probably only four caches in the town but thanks to cachers like Franmarie and Snuffeltuffies who live there the town now has enough to keep visiting cachers busy for a couple of hours.  We spent a Sunday exploring the town a little bit while picking up the Geocaches along the way.  Here Drama Princess is digging around a garden at the Basuto War Memorial for her next find.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Ironman African Championship video

With Ironman 70.3 taking place in East London this weekend I thought it to be appropriate to post this awesome promotional video that has been put together for this year's Ironman African Championship here in Port Elizabeth.  I can see there is a bit of confusion out there,  Yes, Ironman South Africa is now known as Ironman African Championship and is one of only five championship level events in the world.  It means more prestige, more entries and more international focus on Port Elizabeth.  A win win all around.  Now if we can only get them to drop this stupid fish farm plan so that the city can continue to host international watersport events like this.  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Croc on the beach at Lauries Bay

The wild Croc is not endemic to the Eastern Cape so I was very surprised to find one basking in the sun and taking a rest between the rocks at Lauries Bay on the Wildside.  It wasn't threatening at all so I got nice and close to get a photo before leaving him alone.  He probably would have left at the next high tide.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Grave of Joseph Crowe in Uitenhage

Making my rounds through Uitenhage on a Geocaching expedition a week or so ago I got to visit the MOTH garden for the first time.  The garden is where the grave of Joseph Crow is located.

Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Petrus Hendrik Crowe VC (12 January 1826 – 12 April 1876) was the first South African-born recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.  He was however the second South African recipient of the Victoria Cross, since the first recipient was born abroad and arrived in South Africa as a young child.  He was 31 years old, and a lieutenant in the 78th Regiment of Foot, British Army during the Indian Mutiny when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.  On 12 August 1857 at Boursekee Chowkee, the entrenched village in front of Busherutgunge, India, the redoubt was occupied by the enemy who were causing heavy casualties among the 18th Regiment.  It was decided to take the place by storm, and the Highlanders dashed forward, Lieutenant Crowe being the first in, followed by his men.  In less than a minute the redoubt was captured.  On 23 October 1875 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel commanding the 1st Battalion of Foot. He was due to return home to South Africa in 1876 and contracted a chill while snipe shooting in the Irish bogs.  He died on 12 April 1876 in Penge, Surrey and was interred in the West Norwood Cemetery in a non-descript grave. In 1957 his overgrown grave was found and in August 1976 his remains were exhumed.  A grand return was planned and on 5 Feb 1977, following a quasi-military ceremony in St Katherine's Anglican Church, his casket was carried on a gun carriage, followed by descendants of his sisters, to the MOTH Garden of Remembrance, Uitenhage, where his remains were reinterred.  At his death his eldest sister Maria Margaret Lister inherited his medals and another sister, Dorothya Susanna Lovemore inherited his sword.  Margaret stored his medals in a wall cupboard in her home, "Firlands", Rondebosch, but unfortunately they were forever lost when the home was destroyed by fire. The medals were unable to be recovered, but fortunately the sword has remained in the Lovemore family.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Little rock creatures

It's amazing how much life one actually finds in rock pools at low tide.  The other day I was looking for stuff to photograph and amongst others snapped a pic of these little guys in their "volcano" shells.  I have no idea what they are but after lots of consultation with my friend Google I came across the name "Buckshot Barnacles" on an American website.  So I'm still not to sure what we call them here in good ol' South Africa but hence forth I will be referring to them as that... till somebody tells me differently.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The fountain in the Pearson Conservatory

I swung past the Pearson Conservatory last week while looking for a Geocache in St Georges Park and was happy to see that the fountain inside had a new lick of paint.  Whatever they put on it after the Conservatory's renovation started to get ugly.  The fountain itself wasn't working but I'm hoping its a case of not being turned on yet after it got painted.
 The Pearson Conservatory was originally built in 1882 and restored to its former glory between 2009 and 2011.  The center piece of the conservatory is an ornamental fountain made by Andrew Handyside at the Duke Street Foundry "Britannia Iron Works" in Derby in the UK around the same year.  The Britannia Foundry's work was well known for its fine quality so these fountains can be found all over the globe.  This particular design of fountain is listed as Design Number 15 on Page 30 of the 1879 publication "An Illustrated book of Designs for Fountains and Vases, costing from £1 to £1200 manufactured by Andrew Handyside".  The same fountain can be found at Prince Alfred College, Adelaide, Australia as well as at Sarmiento School Fountain in San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina, South America.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pearson Conservatory structure

The structure of the Pearson Conservatory in St Georges Park actually makes for a great photographic subject with all its symmetrical lines.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Unique skull cache

While out there in search of Geocaches one can find all kinds of containers.  Bison tubes, pill bottles, clip lock lunchboxes, plastic peanut butter bottles, ammo cans, etc, etc, etc. Some Geocachers put in a lot of effort to create really unique and memorable caches.  One of these I found in the Baakens Valley close to the Lower Guinea Fowl Trail under the fynbos a year or so ago.  The container consisted of a pill container nicely fitted in a hole that was drilled in the back of an antelope skull.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Remembering Dolly and Domino

The dolphins at the Port Elizabeth Oceanarium at Bayworld was synonymous with Port Elizabeth for a very long time until the last two, Domino and Dumisa, was moved to a Ocean Park in Hong Kong.  Although they were moved there in 2009 already there are still out of town visitors that come to the city asking if there are dolphin shows.  This post isn't about keeping dolphins in captivity, doing dolphin presentations or part of a debate whether we should have dolphins in PE again.  The post is about remembering Dolly and Domino who put PE on the map in many ways and shows footage from a show dating back to 2003 courtesy of John Sweet's YouTube channel.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The green green grass of St George's Park

I took a walk around Park Drive a day or two before the cricket test between South Africa and the West Indies were due to start and decided to pop into the St George's Park Cricket Stadium quickly.  I love the fact that one can get in and right onto the field without anybody stopping and questioning you.

St George's Park staged the first cricket test to be played outside England or Australia in 1888-89 with England winning by eight wickets.  In the 1969-70 season it hosted the final Test before South Africa's 21-year isolation.  The field also staged South Africa's first rugby international, also against England, in 1891.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The lions' heads at Prince Alfred Guard Memorial

It's surprising how few Port Elizabethans know that the Prince Alfred Guard Memorial in St Georges Park stands on top of one of the city's oldest reservoirs.  The 2 million gallon reservoir was completed between 1906 and 1907 at a cost of  £15 525 back in the day.  This memorial actually forms the central ornamental feature of the Service Reservoir.  On each side of the memorial is a lion's head and it turns out that these were fountains with jets of water coming from their mouths. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

St George killed the dragon

The Cenotaph outside St Georges Park was unveiled in 1929 and was erected to the memory of the men from Port Elizabeth that fell during the First World War.  After the Second World War memorial panels were added to the walls.  The memorial was the work of James Gardner of the Art School. 

On two sides of the memorial are different figures - one representing a mother and child and the other St George.  The woman, or warrior's wife, symbolises the protecting of the home, and St George who has done his duty by crushing the evil threatened to our homes.  The mother is seated and has gathered the child in her arms for protection, whilst on her face the expression is of the calm and pure honesty of purpose.  St George is unbuckling his belt and throwing off his equipment, having obtained his objectives.  I specially like the fact that the dragon is lying there with his tongue out after being killed.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Langenhoven Drive from the Bridge

While the Damselfly was in hospital a couple of weeks ago, I went for a walk through Greenacres and The Bridge while waiting for visiting hours.  I don't get to go to Greenacres that often as Walmer Park is much closer and more convenient for me so its been a while since my last visit.  Standing on The Bridge I snapped a photo of Langenhoven Drive with my phone and only when, looking at it afterwards did I notice how quiet it was.  Barely a car in sight.  Hard to believe it was a Friday afternoon. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Swimming at my favorite gully at Kini Bay

Tomorrow is back to work for me.  Summer may be here but my holiday is over.  It didn't quite turn out the holiday I was looking forward to last year but we did try to make the most of it.  Last week we spent a day at our favourite gully at Kini Bay near Seaview.  A safe and uncrowded spot we like to go to when the main beachfront's beaches are overflowing.  I'll be longing to this scene when I am back in the office tomorrow.  On the other hand, I love my job and really enjoy it, so I am sure I won't long to it too much... not quite yet.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Exploring ruins with Chaos Boy

I've still be on leave this past week and on Thursday morning grabbed Chaos Boy and went looking for a new cache situated on the edge of Lorraine.  The container is located inside the ruins of a building which means one has to always be on the lookout for any slithering guardians around.  Finding a nice "regular" sized container was the reward though and we got to write our names second and third on the log after CrazyNinja who got the First to Find somewhere in the nightly hours the previous evening. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Port Elizabeth Beachfront timelapse over New Year

I spotted this timelapse by Chris Wright on Facebook the other day and just had to share it with you.  The timelapse was put together from webcam footage taken between 31 December 2014 and 2 January 2015 and shows the New Year's Eve and New Year's Day activity on Hobie Beach.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Old Port Elizabeth coat of arms

A week or so ago I went for a walk around St Georges Park and at one stage spent a little time at the Prince Alfred Guard Memorial.  On the memorial I found this old Port Elizabeth coat of arms and I decided to go and do a little research about it.  Turns out this one evolved into a more elaborate coat of arms that was used until Port Elizabeth became part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

The later arms (above) were officially granted on 6 August 1958 and were based on older, unofficial arms used by the city (the one I photographed).  The main differences were that in 1958 the heralds added a pair of anchors for difference and a mural crown.  The mural crown not only signifies civic authority, but allowed the addition of the arms of Jan van Riebeeck (gules, three annulets or), thereby signifying that the arms were South African.

In addition, the College of Arms has corrected the wording of the motto.  In the corrected wording, "Tu Meliora Spera", the use of the word "tu" (you or thou) is an injunction to seek out better things. Previously as can be seen in the top picture I took, it said"In meliora spera", which has a rather lackadaisical ring of merely hoping for better things.

The arms were based on those of Sir Rufane Donkin, Acting Governor of the Cape Colony in 1820-21, who also named Port Elizabeth after his late wife Elizabeth. With the exception of the anchors, which were added as a mark of difference and an allusion to the harbour, the entire shield was taken from Donkin's arms.  Whether the Donkin family ever granted permission to use their arms is not known.
Rather strangely, the elephant is an Indian elephant. Donkin's arms had an Indian elephant and it was never changed on the Port Elizabeth arms to an African elephant.

The information was obtained from the Heraldry of the World website.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The St Georges Park war memorial cross

People interested in history in Port Elizabeth should know the war memorials around St Georges Park.  The Cenotaph, the Prince Alfred Guard Memorial and the bronze plaque where the South African Heavy Artillery Memorial used to be.  Not many people know though that there is a fourth war memorial in the park.  Right behind the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Gallery is a plaque with a small hedge in the form of a cross.  Unfortunately the one side of the cross has died a bit and is in need of some green finger restoration.  The plaque at the foot of the cross reads: 

In memory of all those South African men and women who lost their lives in the various wars.  Not for themselves but for others. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Port Elizabeth Lawn Tennis Club

The Port Elizabeth Lawn Tennis Club in St Georges Park was founded on 1 September 1879, making it the oldest active tennis club in South Africa.  The club hosted the first South African Lawn Tennis Championship in 1891 and today the club is still situated on its original site.

Check out the St Georges Park website for more info on the club's history. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

The sad remains of Boet Erasmus Stadium

I remember the good old days of supporting the then EP Mighty Elephants at the Boet Erasmus stadium as a kid and later the Not so Mighty Elephants as a young adult.  I remember sitting on the cement steps of the open pavilion and buying peanuts and those little orange dried spaghetti snacks.  I have good memories of the Boet even if the EP team wasn't doing very well and there were only a couple of hundred people rocking up to watch a match.  Now its all different.  The Mighty Elephants are now known as the EP Kings and they are playing their home games in the new Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in North End.  The Boet Erasmus Stadium in the mean time has been abandoned and stripped of all its dignity by thieves and plunderers while the municipality seems to turn a blind eye and not know what they want to do with this prime piece of real estate.  A couple of weeks ago I went for a walk through the old stadium looking for a Geocache in the area and ventured onto this ones respected field, walking through knee high grass right out to the middle.  I did shed a tear for what has become of this once revered field.

I borrowed this off the Geocache listing done by fellow cacher ChrisDen who got the information from the Weekend Post and Wikipedia.

Port Elizabeth’s rugby stadium, for years fondly known as “The Boet” survived floods and an embarrassing blackout while the world watched, but it was the 2010 Soccer World Cup that brought it to the end of its 46-year lifespan. It was the third oldest stadium in the country, officially opened on April 30, 1960, when Scotland played against the Springboks.

It was originally called the Boet Erasmus Stadium after a former Mayor of Port Elizabeth, but the stadium’s name was changed to Telkom Park in 1997 and then to the Eastern Province Rugby Football Union Stadium six years later, when Telkom withdrew its sponsorship. Eventually it became the EP Rugby Union Stadium when the governing body of rugby in the province followed the policy taken by the SA Rugby Union in deciding to drop the “football” from its title.

On September 1, 1968, the stadium was struck by flash floods which uprooted trees and damaged buildings. After donations from other rugby unions around the country, the stadium was repaired. Various developers have warned over the years that although the land is situated in a prime position, it is vulnerable to flooding. The ground received a facelift in 1985 when executive suites were built and the main stand was revamped. A hotel group expressed interest in buying the site, but plans never materialised.

The stadium was a happy hunting ground for the Springboks over many years. They have lost only one Test there throughout its existence.

The stadium is also infamous for the two historic battles that took place there. In 1974 there was the “Battle of the Boet”, one of the most violent in rugby history and a direct result of JPR Williams literally running from the other side of the pitch and launching himself into an unsuspecting Bok after a 99-Call.
The 99 call, used by Willie John McBride and the 1974 British Lions, was a pre-arranged all-out attack on the South African team if one of the South African players was deemed to have committed a violent infraction that had gone unpunished by the home referees.
Upon hearing the call of “99”, each player would find the nearest opponent and attack him. This was based on the correct assumption that the referee would not dare to send off all the Lions if they all resorted simultaneously to violence. The Lions won that game, which decided the series.

Another Battle of Boet Erasmus took place on 3 June 1995 during the 1995 World Cup fight between South Africa and Canada. (Although they did play rugby as well!) This match will also be remembered as the one that featured a 45 minute power failure just before kick off.
Pieter Hendriks, Springbok understudy for Chester Williams on the wing and his opposite number, Winston Stanley, tussled their way into touch, the latter being shoved though the advertising hoardings. Referee David McHugh was on hand and that should have been that. But Canada's fullback Scott Stewart charged in from some distance and struck Hendriks from behind. Then all hell broke loose. At the end of it all Dalton, Rees and Snow, seemingly being picked at random by the referee, were given their marching orders and 30 day suspensions. Hendriks, for kicking, and Stewart, as the originator of the brawl, were cited the following day and later suspended for 90 and 60 days respectively.

The Boet Erasmus surface had always been regarded as one of the best in the country. It could rain for up to an hour before the start of a game and it would still be fine. And rain it did on a wet and cold June day in 1980, when Naas Botha kicked a conversion which won the match for South Africa against the Lions 12-10, making the series safe. And who, fortunate enough to have been present at the stadium in 1970, could forget the two glorious tries scored by Springbok wing Gert Muller when the Boks downed the All Blacks at The Boet.

In 1991, several Kaizer Chiefs players narrowly escaped serious injury when retaining walls collapsed under the weight of fans leaning over the entrance of the stadium's tunnel. The walls and the spectators fell on top of four Chiefs players who had been going onto the field for a match against Orlando Pirates. Players, including international star Doctor Khumalo, were pinned to the ground but did not suffer serious injury.

The stadium was also home to Eastern Province which at one time was among the top four or five provincial sides in the country. It was a particularly imposing venue for touring international sides who traditionally had to play EP first on their tour - a system some criticised as being designed to “soften up” the team prior to the big matches.

The stadium has been abandoned and has been dismantled by vagrants and thieves. All that remains is the cast concrete structures.

Weekend Post 1 April 2006

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Old Erica school building

I was in Richmond Hill for an event a few weeks ago and decided to swing past the old Erica Building for a quick pic.  The Erica School for Girls was started in 1884 by Miss Mary Anne van Wyk, who initially gave lessons in the old Erica Hall.  After the Anglo Boer War it was decided to build a new school building.  The building, designed by architect W White-Cooper and built by HJ Beckett, was opened on 4 November 1903 by Dr Thomas Muir, the then Superintendent-General of Education.  The school has since outgrown the building and moved on with the building now being used by the Port Elizabeth College.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Crawling after caches

 I like going out Geocaching on my own as much as I like to do it with the family.  Both have their advantages.  On my own I have "me" time but I really like to share the experience with the family as well.  One of the advantages of having the KidZ with on a Geocaching adventure though is that I can send them crawling in under bushes to find the cache containers.  Like Chaos Boy is doing here on the Grysbok Trail in the NMMU Nature Reserve.

Friday, January 2, 2015

A helicopter flip over Port Elizabeth with TimGloAdventures

TimGloAdventures is a YouTube channel of a couple that travels the world.  I picked up this video they posted after a visit to Port Elizabeth featuring the beachfront and Boardwalk along with some great aerial footage they took while on a helicopter flip over the city.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy Valley gardens for a Happy New Year

Another year has come and gone and 2014 is something of the past. I would like to wish all the Port Elizabeth Daily Photo readers and followers a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2015.
What is your New Year's resolution for 2015?