St Mary’s and St Peter’s

St Mary's Cemetery at the bottom of the Baakens Valley dates back to as early as 1799 when it was a military cemetery.  This changed with the arrival of the 1820 British Settlers and you can still find graves of some of the original Settlers in the grave yard.  On the hill above the cemetery stands the ruins of the St Peter's Church.  The church was built in 1877 and after the people of South End were forcibly removed in…

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An Aloe overlooking the Baakens Valley

I was out on a recce at lunch time today for this Saturday's Amazing Race I'm organising and ended up looking down the Baakens Valley from the Walmer side.  For those who aren't sure where this is, that is Upper Valley Road leading down towards Bridge Street with the harbour giraffes in the background.

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Shipwreck memorial in South End Cemetery

Probably the biggest maritime disaster that ever took place on the Port Elizabeth coastline happened way back during the Great Gale of 1902.  On Sunday, 31 August 1902 there were 38 ships at anchor along the then North End Beach.  Rain and a south-easterly wind started to lash the bay and by midnight the storm turned into a hurricane.  By the end of the storm on 2 September 1902, 18 of the ships had been stranded on the beach, while…

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Forgotten Footbridge flowers

Behind the South End Cemetery is an old footbridge over the narrow gauge railway line which most people probably have never seen.  It's not really something significant but I know of it because I have a Geocache hidden there.  I went to check up on it the other day after the recent fire and snapped this pic. 

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South End Cemetery in sepia

I stopped by the South End Cemetery last week to check up on my Geocaches in the area and took a slow drive around the cemetery.  It's really sad to see how much vandalism has taken place in the cemetery.  Pity the municipality can't put aside a bit of budget to restore a lot of these pushed over and broken historic grave stones.  Anyhow, I was looking for an interesting angle to photograph and settled on this one, converted to…

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Tramways and the Baakens

The newly restored Tramways Building reflecting in the Baakens River.  Truly an old yet new landmark in Port Elizabeth.  Can you see Fort Frederick on the hill in the background?

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The Baakens River Mouth

It's sad to think that the Baakens River mouth was once a big lagoon where passing ships came to collect fresh water for their voyages yet today it's a cement canal under the Settlers Freeway which flows into the PE Harbour.  Some major revamping and restoration needed to give this river mouth any dignity again. 

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Another view of St Mary’s Cemetery

Yesterday I posted a photo of the St Mary's Cemetery along with the grave yard's history.  I decided to follow it up with another photo of the cemetery but from a totally different angle.  This one is standing at the bottom and looking away from the road and up the terraces. 

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The history of St Mary’s Cemetery

I got to attend Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism's launch of Tourism Month at the newly refurbished Tramways Buildings a week or two ago and had some time on my hands before the event began so went for a walk through St Mary's Cemetery.  It's really sad to see the state the cemetery is in specially seeing the historic value and position it has.  I went scratching for the history around the cemetery and this is what I cam up with.In…

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Then and Now – The Green Mosque

With the month of Ramadan starting today, I thought it would be appropriate to do a Then and Now featuring the Masjied-Ul-Aziz (also known as the Pier Street Mosque or Green Mosque).  The mosque was officially opened in July 1901 and the first Imam was Abdul Wahab Salie .  The mosque was destined to be destroyed by the declaration of the Group Areas Act to make way for a freeway off ramp, but the matter went to the United Nations…

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