There is a glimmer of hope for humanity as the UK reduced its CO2 emission levels to below that of 1894 when Karl Benz patented the petrol vehicle.
Unfortunately the outlook for the world is not good as the UK is responsible for only 1.2% of emissions and the whole of the EU 9.6%
Main picture: CO2 Emissions in the UK from 1850 to 2016
Even according to the most favourable estimates, the Estina Dairy Farm was at best, a marginal enterprise. Even giving the proposers the benefit of the doubt regarding its viability, surely the accountants who perused the proposal would have poked numerous holes in the financial logic.
On checking the current status of this project, the Sunday Times has uncovered an even deeper hole.
This blog chronicles the glory days and ultimate swansong of the Beetle that my brother, Dean, had originally acquired in 1973.
Main picture: The VW Beetle before being modified
Like all towns, it is fair to say that Port Elizabeth had its fair share of “unusual” characters. These are some of the best known “personalities” during the 1960s and 1970s.
Main picture: Ruthrapathy “Peanuts” Pillay with his wares
Herbie arrived uninvited at our house one night in 1973 when Dean rocked up with a buggered 1961 1200cc VW Beetle. We didn’t actually name it Herbie but that name had been made famous by the 1968 movie, The Love Bug, and so I shall refer to it thus from time to time. The family all trundled out into the dark to watch proud Dean show off his new little baby. Dad was aghast as, with his superior experience, he knew that it was a piece of junk and washed his hands of it. Dean’s friend, Michael Baker, owned one and it was he who had convinced Dean to buy it for R90. I was in Standard 9 and this was a lovely, real life challenge for me. I had done my apprenticeship on Mom’s sewing machine and Dad’s lawnmower. Now for the big time.
Main picture: 1960-1969 Volkswagen Beetle – Not my vehicle as only one photo exists of it
Happy Valley was a magical place for young kids and probably still is even for the jaded visual palates of today. In the daytime it is a pleasant stroll alongside the babbling brook that is the lower reaches of that misnomer, the Shark River, where it spills out under the bridge into Humewood Beach. There are lily ponds, rockeries, gigantic palms and peaceful retreats in which to sit. Every few meters there is another delightful interpretation of a fairy tale or nursery rhyme scene to consider.
Main Street: Aerial view of Happy Valley with Humewood beach on the upper right
One forever associates sights, smells and sounds with where one grows up. Sometimes they are pleasant and sometimes not so, but they all define our childhoods and underpin our lives in subconscious ways. The sound of the surf is one of my most pleasant memories as much as I’ll never forget the rotten sulphuric smell of the aptly named Smelly Creek at the shunting yards in Deal Party. But a distinctive sound that I oddly found soothing and comforting, probably because of its familiarity, was the otherwise harsh sound of Harvards flying lazily overhead, particularly on beautiful summer days. Being a boy and a WWII buff, that sound would always bring out the Biggles in me and get my pulse racing.
Main picture: The iconic North American AT-6 Harvard (Texan to Americans) resplendent in SAAF colours
Hard tailed Hogs with their equally hard tailed chicks on the back burbled laid back into town from points North and West, occasionally emitting an ear shattering bark to serve notice of a weekend of mayhem. The Kawas, Hondas and Yammies made a more strident entrance, racing between robots but the attitude, chicks and threads were the same. It was September 1977 and 4000 horsemen of the Apocalypse – well the Nomads Motorcycle club amongst others – had descended on PE for a weekend of exhaust fumes and burning rubber fueled by high octane petrol as well as high octane chicks, brandy and rum – Coke optional.
Main picture: The 1978 massed bike parade through the city
Mom hated Schoenies, or Schoenmakerskop, to give it its full name. Maybe that’s a bit strong, but she was bored, bored, bored with the place. Dad was seldom adventurous and since he grew up there in the early 1900s, he kept returning to it like a homesick baby desperately trying to return to the womb. Saturday afternoon, summer and winter, would invariably find us there. Maybe Mom had a spirit of adventure after all. I, however and I think my siblings, loved the place. We kids knew that place like our own backyard as we explored every little bit of it – multiple times.
Main picture: Main gully at Schoenies showing the two islands at mid tide and how the obliquely running rocks form a natural breakwater
As a child The Willows represented our Easter Home away from home. This blog chronicles what it was like as a child to spend our Easter Holidays there during the 1960s.
Main picture: The Willows today with its revamped bungaloes