Go to the Labyrinth of East London Lore

Argyle Street

East London, South Africa

Keith Tankard
Updated: 14 October 2009
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Argyle Street in the Central Business District was named in 1877 to commemorate the recent arrival of a party of Scottish settlers. There is a street of similar name in Glasgow -- a variation on the spelling Argyll which is a county in Scotland.

East London in 1877 was still a very small port. The original port on the West Bank had been bedevilled with political and economic problems and so was still no more than a hamlet.

The village of Panmure on the East Bank had been established in 1857 solely for the German Military Settlers and then augmented by groups of German agricultural immigrants the following year.

With the decision in 1872 to create a proper harbour and the start to constructing a railway line to Queenstown in 1873, however, Panmure began to prosper because of a decision to place the station there.

In that year, too, the two villages were amalgamated into a municipality. It would nevertheless take another few years before some of the streets were at last given names.

Argyle Street was one of these.

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