Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Mystery House at the S-Bend

The large dwelling at the S-Bend on the road to Humewood was erected in 1894/5 for the Harbour Manager, RH Hammersley-Heenen, resident engineer and general manager of the South African Railways. When first built, the house had a beautiful position next to rocks and sand and close to the sea. It was only with the construction of the breakwater in the 1920s, that the beach expanded as sand accumulated against the obstacle.

Main picture: House given the Welsh name Lenherne

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: King’s Beach over the Years

Prior to the construction of the harbour wall in the 1920s, the beach from the Baakens River to the Shark River was largely unusable for swimming purposes. This is the reason why the first beach south of the Baakens River to gain popularity was Humewood. 

Yet after the erection of the harbour wall, there was a steady accumulation of sea sand against the sea wall to the point where the accumulated sand now stretches along the whole length of the wall. 

Main picture: Sand dunes covering the whole of what was to become Humewood and Summerstrand. Even though it is unclear, there is no beach along the coast

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: King’s Beach

As a child, my family seldom, if ever, went to swim at King’s Beach. My father was a creature of habit and as he was raised at Schoenmakerskop, that is where we swam. Sometime during the 1960’s we were voluntarily taken there. No fights, no fuss. As my father had been the site foreman, the family had been given a special invite to attend. How could my father refuse?

Main picture: Aerial view of the King’s Beach Playground

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