Port Elizabeth of Yore: Photographs of William Alcock

In 1891, William Alcock displayed his penchant for photography by attending the inaugural meeting of the Port Elizabeth Photographic Society on the 27th July held in the Algoa House Hotel in Western Road. Alcock was appointed its first Chairman. 

This is an eclectic collection of photographs taken by William Alcock.

Main picture: July 1902. The first motor car to successfully negotiate Van Stadens Pass – a 4.5 hp Benz owned by W. Alcock

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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 an entrepreneur to boot. He was a member of the Photographic Society, the Athenaeum, the Museum and the Port Elizabeth Automobile Club. In addition, his civic duties relate 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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