Read more about the article Port Elizabeth Then and Now – The Willows Holiday Resort
Willows in 1938 before the resort was built

Port Elizabeth Then and Now – The Willows Holiday Resort

Camping at Willows in 1938 long before the rondawels were built. The Willows Holiday Resort along Port Elizabeth's southern coastline close to Schoenmakerskop has been a popular weekend and holiday destination for a very long time. In the early days people came here, pitched their tents and enjoyed the surroundings with very little else around. Willows in the 1960s Willows Resort after it was constructed in the 1950's consisted of rondawels with communal bathrooms that had “long drop toilets” and…

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Then and Now: Pearson Conservatory Fountain

The Pearson Conservatory was originally built in 1882 and restored to its former glory between 2009 and 2011.  The centre piece of the Pearson Conservatory is an ornamental fountain made by Andrew Handyside at the Duke Street Foundry "Britannia Iron Works" in Derby in the UK around the same year the Conservatory was built (1882).  The Britannia Foundry's work was well known for its fine quality so these fountains can be found all over the globe. This particular design of…

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Then and Now – Pearson Conservatory

The Victorian conservatory in St George's Park was completed and opened on 12 September 1882 and named the Pearson Conservatory after the then Mayor of Port Elizabeth, Mr HW Pearson.  The conservatory cost £3,800 to put up and arrived in South Africa as a 'kit of parts' and was constructed in the park.  This conservatory was imported from England and was the first of three such buildings in South Africa at the time.  The double volume central atrium is flanked by two…

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Then and Now – North End coastline

North End Beach back in the days.  A stretch of sand all the way to the Swartkops River which could possible have become one of Port Elizabeth's prime beachfront real estate areas if it didn't fall in the hands of Railways and municipality.  This pictures dates back to 1902 right after the Grate Gale when 21 ships ran aground along North End Beach.Today North End Beach is no more.  The beach and coastline was reclaimed, railway tracks, Settlers Freeway (M4)…

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Then and Now – Cradock Place

Frederick Korsten, a Dutch entrepreneur, came to Algoa Bay in 1810 and over the following years established himself as a merchant, farmer and owner of a whale fishery.  In 1812 Korsten purchased a farm called Papenkuilsfontein from Thomas Ignatius Ferreira and named it Cradock Place after Sir John Cradock who was the Governor of the Cape Colony from 1811 until 1814.  The farm changed the commercial landscape and economic future of Algoa Bay dramatically during the 1800's.  It also became the social centre for well-to-do visitors to Algoa…

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Then and Now – Baakens River Bridge

We all know the Baakens River flows through Port Elizabeth and that most of the Baakens Valley is protected green open spaces all the way from Sunridge Park, past the 3rd Avenue Dip, through Walmer and Mill Park to Settlres Park.  It really is a pity that the municipality doesn't look after the well being of the river better and that the open spaces aren't utilised as much as the potential it has, but it's still a very special area.…

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Then and Now – Donkin Reserve – the lighthouse and pyramid

About two and a half years ago (can it really be so long already?) I did a Then and Now for the Donkin Reserve featuring photos taken from the sea side of the lighthouse and pyramid.  Last week I passed by the Donkin on my way to a meeting and snapped one from the other side with the two "Then" pictures in this post in mind.  I notice I should have squared it up a bit more, but it will…

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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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Then and Now – The South End Fig Tree

The old Fig Tree in South End (across the road on the harbour side from the South End Museum) predates all living memory and is said to be well over 100 years old.  Back in the days pre the removal of everybody and everything from South End due to the implementation of the Group Areas Act, the tree was a popular spot.  Kids climbed up in it's branches, families had picnics in the shade and the older residents used it…

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Then and Now – The Campanile bells

The Campanile, wedged between the Port Elizabeth Railway Station, the PE Harbour and the Settlers Freeway, was built to celebrate the centenary of the landing of the British Settlers in 1820.  The tower was built on the landing beach where the Settlers came ashore with the foundation stone being laid in 1921.  It was officially opened in 1923, the clock was installed in 1925 (started at noon on 28 April of that year) and the bells hung in 1936.  The…

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