Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Wreck of the Lyngenfjord

The Gale of 1902 in which a dozen ships were driven onto North End beach and wrecked, would be the last such mass destruction of vessels in a gale. The conversion from sailing vessels to steam powered ships was driven by productivity considerations but as an ancillary benefit, they would eradicate weather-related disasters. The Lyngenfjord was one of the sparse diet of wrecks over the next century.

Main picture: The Lyngenfjord taken by George Wood. Tins of petrol had just offloaded onto the cliff edge when the disaster occurred.

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A SMAC in the Face #49:  SONAR 2023 – RSA Titania

The State of the Nation Address (SONA) normally follows a predictable pattern. This year was no different.  It kicks off with a distasteful display of female politicians trying to outdo each other in the mutton dressed as ham stakes.  Someone should tell them the address part is about a speech, not a fashion parade. Someone should also tell all the ANC politicians that the walk up the red carpet is not like the Grammys or the Oscars but, for them, a walk of shame and, for some, a perp walk. Then it was on to the address itself.

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: Grandiose Freeway Scheme

By the 1960s and after a decade of spectacular economic growth, traffic volumes had increased substantially. Burgeoning vehicle ownership had exacerbated the situation. Lest we forget, the road grid was designed to cater for the central business district and North End whereas the commercial and industrial growth was northwards. Something had to be done to arrest the traffic situation.

The proposed solution was the construction of a freeway network.

Main picture: Settlers freeway under construction

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: Fire at the Herald’s Offices in April 1902

Buildings of this era faced several dangers, not least of which was the fact that often wood was used extensively in building construction. The shambolic state of fire fighting services was thrown into sharp relief whenever yet another prominent building was destroyed in a conflagration.  Finally in 1917, 15 years after this conflagration, the Fire Brigade was professionally manned.

Main picture: The total staff and equipment complement of the PE Fire Brigade in 1904

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: Anthony Scott-Parkin and his Ancestors

The roots of Antony Scott-Parkin can be traced to long before the arrival of his great great grandfather John Parkin in Port Elizabeth in 1820. Whereas John made his mark as a property owner, Anthony would be remembered as the incongruous combination as lawyer and finally as a priest. Also of interest is the conversion of the surname Parkin into Scott-Parkin.

Main picture:  Anthony Scott-Parkin

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Climate simulation and rainwater collection

While I do not deny climate change, I am sceptical of climate modelling.  One only has to look at the UK handling of the Covid crisis where their responses were based on simulation models produced by SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies).  They caused terrible harm to the UK economy.  Only in the final wave which still showed scenarios of virtually everyone being infected and overwhelming the NHS did the UK government show them the middle finger and do the opposite to what they recommended.

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Losing Designs for the Public Library

The erection of this library was made possible by a donation from the Estate of William Savage and a subsidy from the Colonial Government. Hence the hall was named the Savage Memorial Hall in commemoration. The winning design was submitted by the architect Henry (Harry) Arthur Cheers. Orlando Middleton was selected as the Project Architect.

Two other designs were submitted.

Main picture: The runner-up designed by Bateman & Bateman

An architectural competition was held to design the Public Library and Hall. The design in second position was submited by Messrs. Bateman & Bateman and H.T. Buckland of Birmingham. It must have resonated with members of the Royal Academy as the drawing was hung in the Architectural Room of the Academy.

The materials proposed to be used were roughcast on common brickwork, with stone dressings, and green slates on the roof. A special feature was made externally and internally of the Savage Memorial Hall in the centre of the building, which was to be used as the general reading room.

Third design


A SMAC in the Face #45:  OnlyFarms

There has been much bewildering change over the 28 years of the New South Africa, especially for the Afrikaner. All their favourite institutions are under continual attack and are inexorably swamped. However, one institution remains that, if anything, has got stronger – The Hitching Post in the Farmers Weekly and the Opsitkers in the Landbouweekblad.  (Opsitkers = sit up candle.  Before the Rinderpest, when a gentleman suitor came a-calling, the parents would leave the young couple alone but a candle was lit. This was not to create a romantic ambience. It was the timekeeper and its length depended on how favoured the suitor was. When the candle burnt down, he had to leave.  Ag shame, how sweet.)

Upfront, SMAC must make a few disclaimers and admissions. He is no consumer on the OnlyFans site and hence his detailed knowledge is sketchy. Also in his lonely young adult years, he did occasionally peruse the Farmers Weekly while in the dentist’s waiting room – kind of a distraction before the extraction – but more for the cheap farms than the beefy farmers.  It would however seem that on the OnlyFans site, young women can make ridiculous amounts of money for no more than titillating poses which seriously repressed and lonely males can access on their phones for a small fee. There is no requirement for clean-shaven, gynaecologically detailed poses that are the staple of the modern porn industry. In fact, it Is even possible to turn a buck by putting pictures of naked feet out there. It always amazes how people get their kicks.

The average farmer only has his workers, livestock and tractors (and vrou lief of course) for company. Ja, there is still the opsitkers but that is used in the toilet during loadshedding so that he doesn’t miss the bowl. The Hitching Post is all very well and good for the young farmer who needs a wife for breeding stock but what does he do for a bit of excitement, that extra frisson? It is logical then to start a similar thing that is more directly focussed on their needs and desires and OnlyFarms would be an appropriate forum.