SERENDIPITY – Concrete Business Booming in the 1800s

HERE is a snippet that is hidden, yet so special, in regard to the building of the harbour in Port Alfred, and the materials used in the construction of the piers.

The West Pier of the Kowie River mouth under construction in the 1800s

Going back as a reminder, the harbour-builder William Cock, a printer from Penryn, Cornwall, England, who arrived in 1820 on the settler ship the, Weymouth, was an entrepreneur of note in all manner of businesses, from cattle trading to governmental affairs. Cock is the person who envisioned the harbour and all its amazing stories that followed.

As the “point” and land was all sea sand, the construction of the piers led to another booming business for the farsighted settler.  Together with engineers, the company, imported a huge steel mould, in which the local sand was mixed to created enormous blocks.

These then were piled on top of each and other and so secure was this construction, together with rocks from the cliff behind Beach Crescent, they were lowered in place by the gigantic cranes.

Almost 200 years later, the remnants of these blocks, and the mould, remain for posterity, near the west beach, hidden at times, or visible if you look carefully.