Just less than a century ago, it would not be a mischaracterisation to claim that the name Frielinghaus possessed a certain je ne sais quoi. With a house in the elegant Matopos at No. 68 Park Drive, they were the embodiment of success.
Main picture: HO Chappie Frielinghaus
As a residential area, Park Drive attracted the well-healed and it was aspirational. If one wanted a villa with spacious grounds close to town, this was it. The area immediate garnered a cachet which it never lost. Given the fact that the plots were extremely large, this would be the undoing and demise of many of these stately homes. Subsequent generations of residents viewed the properties as cash cows and the mansions were demolished to be replaced with insipid blocks of flats.
By now most of the original mansions have been replaced but some have miraculously survived.
Main picture: Kockfierna circa 1900
A century ago, Park Drive was akin to Houghton Estate in Joburg, housing the well-heeled of the town in the multitude of stylish and elegant houses lining Park Drive. Amongst them was a house, “The Aloes” at No. 56 Park Drive. Given the large stand sizes, many of these mansions, such as the Matopos of the Frielinghaus’, have already been converted into blocks of flats. Hopefully this one, which is currently on the market, will not be another victim of progress.
Information on the houses in this street were supplied by Tennyson Smith Bodill for which I am grateful.
Main picture: The “Aloes” – No. 56 Park Drive
Perhaps younger members of society have always had a different view on how life should be led. It certainly was also apparent in the mid-1800s when they refused to become members of the long-established Port Elizabeth Club. Instead they ultimately formed their own Club; the St. George’s Club.
Main picture: St George’s Club in Western Road
These recollections are those of a Mr Josephus Winter who occupied various civic positions during his 82 years.
Main picture: Mr Josephus Winter
These are excerpts from the notes of Mr. C.G.H. Skead on the early days in Port Elizabeth written in 1939. They provide a personal view of the various activities and the development of shipping at that time. As he was born in 1871, these reminiscences probably relate to the period 1890 to the 1920s.
Main picture: Park Drive when it was considered to be “outside the Bay”