Friday, May 20, 2011

Clarendon Hotel

IT is now 191 years since some 5 000 British settlers arrived in Algoa Bay in 1820. Their legacy is felt not only in Port Elizabeth and the Albany district where they were initially placed, but throughout the country. Part of that legacy is a rich heritage of Victorian and Edwardian buildings. I'm not sure how old the Clarendon Hotel is, or if it even still exists as a hotel.

I visited it several times in the 1980s, when live folk music was played in the large pub. It is not listed in the phone book, so I'll have to visit Central Hill - which is going through a welcome revitalisation - to check it out. But how friendly must it not have been, hey? Friendliest in the Friendly City!

There's no Noel P Hunt in the phone book. I wonder what he did.

Ditto Charles F Hayes. What did he do? Look, 50 years later, any small business person would by now have long since retired. So unless it was a major concern, it would simply have shut down, I guess.

When I lived in Central in the 1980s, the Oasim Centre was the oddly named tower block where many a medical practice was housed. With the advent of private hospitals, most have probably moved out. This was probably one of them.

Ah, I spoke earlier of the British settlers. Well the Divisional Council of Bathurst is where they were first settled.

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