It can safely be presumed that the residents of Port Elizabeth were equally as fascinated at the concept of air flight as the rest of South Africa. As a testament to that allure was the great fanfare that Allister Miller’s flight from Cape Town in 1917 engendered.
This is the story of how fascination transmogrified into plans and then planes. This was an age of dreamers and schemers.
Main picture: Experimental air mail service between Cape Town and Durban
Tempis fugit – Time flies. I am unsure whether one would refer to the 50th anniversary of this building’s demolition as its golden anniversary, but I can vividly recall the floods of 1968 and this building even though I never once used the facilities.
Probably one of the only elegant buildings constructed in Humewood during the turn of the century, it evinced an era of formality in beach attire more akin for modern day formal attire.
Main picture: Humewood Bathing House in the background
Among the pantheon of buildings arranged around the Town Hall during the “classical” period of the town, was the Cleghorn’s Building. It is important not to forget that this building had a much more illustrious past as it initially served as the Herald’s offices after it relocated here from Titterton Lane just off Main Street.
Main picture: The original building at the foot of White’s Road, then occupied by the Eastern Province Herald
The 1848 edition of the Eastern Province Directory and Almanac includes an article entitled “Algoa Bay and Port Elizabeth” by J.C. Chase. Portion of this article is reproduced below.
Main picture: Paddle Steamer Phoenix
These are the reminiscences of Denis Glendinning, one of the first pilots posted to 6 Squadron RAF based at 42 Air School, Port Elizabeth. Denis is well known in Port Elizabeth having served as a City Councillor. Apart from being a war story, it highlights the fundamental difference in the martial activities of the Allies and their German opponents whereby the SAAF placed its members in extreme danger in order to rescue the crew of a U-Boat after it had been sunk.
This depiction of a flight in atrocious weather encapsulates the pathos of the situation. This his personal story in Glendinning’s own words.
Main picture: Avro Anson over Cape Recife in November 1942
Over the past century and a half, a number of members of the Sherman family have left their mark on the Friendly City. This blog serves to record these long forgotten individuals. Finally their connection to the McCleland family is made.
Main picture: Howard Sherman 1861-1935
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
Regardless of the reason why Captain Evatt was stationed in Port Elizabeth, his civic minded mien ensured that he would forever be feted with the sobriquet as the “Father of Port Elizabeth.”
For that reason, he deserves to be recalled and commemorated.
Main picture: Captain Francis Evatt
This blog is based upon an article in the Port Elizabeth Historical Society’s Journal, “Looking Back”, June 1978.
Main picture: North End of Yore
The Authorities always have to find a source of revenues to cover the costs of the maintenance of the roads. In the case of vehicles and animals using them, they always have a ready solution: charging a service fee in the form of a toll. In Port Elizabeth, the first toll was installed within four years of Port Elizabeth being established. It was located in Queen Street, just beyond the future Russell Road and commenced operation in August 1824.
Main picture: The old Toll house at the Sunday’s River Bridge on the Grahamstown Road