The era of shipping
THERE is something so endearing, when looking at old photographs of ships in Wharf Street.
Remember that Port Kowie was a vital link to the trade route to Cape Town. Goods loaded in England, with a stopover in East London, would call in here, to deliver goods, load fresh water and meat/fish, and then carry on to Port Elizabeth. And possibly to Cape Town, before turning back to Britain. In all cases, they were heavily laden.
These three ports were the worst hit in storms, over the centuries, resulting in the trail and nickname of “the shipwreck coast”.
Once steam was introduced, as opposed to sail, there seemed to be a slight lessening of the wrecks.
The ship pictured in the old photo this week was one of the first steam ships here.
FROM SAIL TO STEAM: A sign of the changing times in historical Wharf Street, with a steamboat docked at the wharf