Port Elizabeth of Yore: William Alcock

Apart from being the first person to own a motor car in Port Elizabeth, William Alcock was also the first Mayor of the garden town, Walmer, south of its larger sibling, Port Elizabeth. Even though he was a tinsmith by training, he had extremely eclectic interests and inbued an entrepreneurial spirit to boot. He was a member of the Photographic Society, the Athenaeum Society, the Museum and the Port Elizabeth Automobile Club. In addition, his civic duties related to the Walmer Municipality, first as a member, then Chairman in 1891 and finally first Mayor in 1899. 

This blog highlights one of Port Elizabeth’s early civic leaders who also had manifold interests in diverse fields.

Main picture: William Alcock as a child in Birkenhead, England, in the 1850s

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Earliest Motor Vehicles

It is probably no consolation for Port Elizabeth to claim that it was the first town in South Africa through which a motor vehicle was shipped. It is only Pretoria that can rightfully make the more prestigious claim that it was first town in which the first car was driven in South Africa. This occurred in 1897 at Berea Park. 

Nevertheless, Port Elizabeth would not be far behind.

Main picture: Mr William Adcock, Mayor of Walmer, in his 1896 Benz Velo with his passenger Mr Charles Lovemore

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