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In case anyone needs to know

Take back control of huge sums of money, 350 million pounds a week, and spend it on our priorities such as the NHS.{a}

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Page Updates History

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Below: 27th December 202129th November 20211st November 202129th September 20218th September 202126th August 202126th June 202131st May 202126th April 202125th March 202123rd February 202130th January 202126th January 202115th December 202026th October 202022nd September 202026th August 20201st August 202028th July 202024th June 202026th May 202027th April 20208th April 202025th March 202026th February 202027th January 202021st January 2020

27th December 2021

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We’ve been investigating the buildings behind The Cannister, which have changed a lot in the last 200 years. What we have learned is reported on our Lost and almost-lost Buildings page but there are still plenty of questions; can you help?

While investigating the buildings behind The Cannister we discovered that the Thorpes D.I.Y. Store at the bottom of Napoleon Street (‘The Emporium’) is itself a Saved Building, albeit some time ago. More on our Saved Buildings page.

It seems Lafitte wasn’t our only French spy. So we’ve created a new part of our page Characters of St Helena: ‘Some Dishonourable Mentions…’ (we may add more categories later).

From 1978 until 2021 local business was supported and encouraged by a succession of government agencies. You can now read about them on our Glossary page.

The restoration of Teutonic Hall by Thorpes is now complete and we’ve updated the information on our page Saved Buildings to reflect this.

We are now satisfied that the Dutch Territorial Stone found at Teutonic Hall and originally thought to relate to St Helena, actually doesn’t, as described now on our page Invasion!.

We’ve changed our page Quotations - the items are now listed in alphabetic order of the person quoted, not by page as previously.

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29th November 2021

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In the early 19th Century the island faced a labour shortage so hundreds of Chinese were brought here to fill the gap. We talk about this on our new page The Chinese Labourers.

For Remembrance Day this year Nick Stevens published George Edward Scipio a true St Helenian hero, about his Great, Great Uncle who was killed in action during St Helena in World War 1. We have included the story on that page.

We’ve discovered that artist William John Burchell had a sense of humour. See Artists.

We have reported a new theory on where our motto came from. Follow the link to see it. The same also applies to how the Arum Lily became our previous national flower.

The symbol for additional File Data has changed to , which is more intuitively obvious.

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1st November 2021

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We’ve updated our page Government to reflect the results of the General Election held on 13th October - the first for the ‘Ministerial Form of Government’.

As a sign that tourism may be about to re-open after Covid‑19, Tourist Information Office representative Matt Joshua is extensively quoted in a BBC Article about yachties stranded here during the pandemic. It’s reproduced on our page Read articles about St Helena.

Each page that has more than one section has a page index towards the top (‘PAGE SECTIONS: ’). We’ve standardised the location of these and highlighted them to make them easier to use. See our page Important Information for an example.

And again we’ve implemented some technical changes to make pages load faster.

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29th September 2021

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You might think around 4,500 people don’t need much media, and yet we have (and previously have had) rather a lot. Our many media pages now have an index of their own: Island Media.

Another new page: we’ve split the Jamestown page, moving the history information to a new page Jamestown History.

We’ve added Read More items to various pages: Artists; Blue Hill; Gazetteer; The Castle of Otranto; Royalty; St. Matthew’s Church; A Very Brief History; Island Media; Island Nature and Island Structures.

Our Constitution was revised in 2021. We have updated the page to reflect this.

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8th September 2021

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We’ve added a new page which talks about Television on St Helena, containing much more detail than we had included previously on our page Communications.

We have added to our Sounds of St Helena collection a recording of the live entertainment at The Standard, recorded by the editor of this website from his home in Napoleon Street.

We’ve updated the Government page with the latest news about the election that will introduce the Ministerial Form of Government.

The Cable’ has finally landed at St Helena. We have details and photographs{b} on page Communications.

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26th August 2021

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We have a new island map. It’s quite accurate, as far as we can tell from the small image available.

We’ve updated all the figures quoted from Census Reports to reflect the data in the 2021 Census, including some interesting new anaysis and figures on various pages.

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26th June 2021

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The takeover of the island’s main fish processing facility by Saints Tuna Corporation (PQ Trading) is recorded on our Fish Processing page.

The Saint Cooks have kindly allowed us to reproduce their ‘Global Saint Community Map’ on our page Saints.

There is also news about the The Historic Environment Record.

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31st May 2021

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There are details of the rather muted commemorations of the 200th anniversary of the death of Napoleon, which were heavily curtailed due to the Covid‑19 pandemic.

Our slavery pages (Slavery on St Helena, Attacking the Slave Trade & Slavery and the enslaved) record the placing of a wreath at the Pipe-Store in Jamestown to commemorate the cultural impact of slavery on St Helena today.

You can link to the Historic Environment Database from our page The Historic Environment Record and now you can also download the full Historic Environment Record from the same page.

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26th April 2021

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We have revised our page Government in accordance with the new ‘Ministerial form of Government’, as best we understand it, though as it seems many of the finer details still remain to be worked out this page will remain subject to change. Also please note that the new system does not actually come into force until after the next General Election, expected August 2021.

Why do cars visiting Jamestown go all the way to The Wharf to turn around? See our page Ghost Stories of St Helena to find out.

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25th March 2021

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We’ve added Yoga to our Sport on St Helena page because we now have qualified local yoga instructors.

There’s an update on the Governance Reform process on our page Government and an update on the sell-off of our fishing industry on our page Fish Processing.

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23rd February 2021

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We have a fascinating new contribution for our Memories page - from a VSO teacher in 1966/7. His experience of St Helena adds an interesting perspective to the other stories. How much of what he says remains true today? See Memories of St Helena.

The 2021 Wirebird Census results show another year of decline in total numbers but there is hope for the future. See The Wirebird.

We have further information on the shape of the Fort of St. John - a painting from 1705 showing no triangular buildings.

Just when we thought nobody was writing Blogs anymore a new one arrives! See Blogs.

There’s an interesting new video about Jonathan, on his page.

We’ve improved the way the annual-events data is presented on our pages On This Day, In This Week, In This Month and This Year.

You can see and download the island’s official tourist map for 2021 from our page Maps of St Helena.

All current dates & times on this site are now displayed as St Helena time (GMT). This means you are seeing St Helena as it actually is; as if you are here. Depending on where you are in the world, at certain times of (your) day your date may be different from St Helena’s. This is intentional.

The alerts for people who don’t activate Javascript have been removed. Nobody these days turns off Javascript - in most modern browsers it isn’t even possible. If you do turn off Javascript the site simply won’t work properly, but then neither will most others…

There is a fascinating article about the history and origins of our place names on our page Place Names.

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30th January 2021

This is a technical update that fixes a few minor issues with the previous release.

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26th January 2021

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Was the original Fort of St. John really triangular, as it is usually drawn? Maybe not. See What shape was the fort, and where exactly was it?.

We know why The Cannister (the building at the top of Main Street which houses the Tourist Information Office and the Arts & Crafts Centre), is spelt with a double-n. See our page Glossary.

We have two new pages. You can learn more about how St Helena is seen on Social Media on our new page Social Media. There is also now a calendar, featuring the facts and events of the current year, on our new page This Year.

Lastly, there are lots of technical changes that should make pages load faster on a slower Internet connection.

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15th December 2020

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Our new pages St Helena in World War 1 and St Helena in World War 2 summarise St Helena’s involvement in the world’s biggest conflicts of the 20th Century.

Related to World War 1, thanks to Eric Constantine we now have a photograph of the unveiling of the Bridge Memorial Clock.

The enslaved usually only appear in the Records where they fell foul of the law, but Toby was an exception. Read about him on our other new page.

We’ve added two videos to the page The Flax Industry. One describes the industry in 1962; the other describes the attempted revival in the mid-1980s. On the page Building St Helena Airport we’ve added a video showing the First Fixed-Wing Plane landing.

John Coyle has kindly shared some high-quality colour photographs of St Helena in the late 1960s, which we have included on various pages.

There’s an interesting new German map of St Helena on the Maps page Maps of St Helena which has a unique (wrong!) shape for the island and a nice drawing of Jamestown. There’s also another new map from 1683, also with the wrong shape for the island!

Read about the card game Napoleonplayed while he was here: Napoleon at St Helena.

You can now go Go-Karting on St Helena…

Finally a quick ‘Did you know…?’: There are quite a few places in the world called St Helena (or some variation thereof), but our island has the distinction of being the original! Our St Helena was discovered and named in 1502. The places in America and Australia now called St Helena were all not named such until the 19th Century, at least 300 years after we claimed the name…

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26th October 2020

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Clara’s School’ was a remarkable achievement, providing mostly-free basic education for the enslaved and ‘Free Blacks’ and the first known establishment to teach lace making. It gets a special mention on our Education page and Clara herself features on our Important People page.

Thanks to a contributor we have learned more about the time ball system, so have updated the description on our Time page.

In 1872 they installed new guns at Mundens Fort. How did they get them up the steep, narrow path? See our Guns page for photographs.

The MFV Westerdam was the centre of the first modern attempt at offshore fishing. Read about her on our Fish Processing page.

We have continued to expand our Slavery and the enslaved, Slavery on St Helena and Attacking the Slave Trade pages.

For the first time we have added some short videos to the site, on pages National Flower, The Governor of St Helena, Famous Visitors and RMS St Helena. (Previously we only linked to videos available on YouTube™.) There is also a new page, Videos about St Helena, presenting an index all the videos linked or shown on the site.

We’ve improved the layout of all our Group Index pages, making them clearer and easier to use: Island Activities, Community Pages, Island History, Island Information, Island Nature, Island People, Island Pictures, Island Places and Island Structures.

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22nd September 2020

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In the light of the global Black Lives Matter movement we’ve reviewed our coverage of slavery and decided to split our Slavery and the enslaved page to give more emphasis on the two distinct phases of St Helena’s involvement with slavery. The new pages are Slavery on St Helena which describes how St Helena was built by the enslaved, and Attacking the Slave Trade which talks about the way, after slavery was abolished here, St Helena went on to help disrupt the International Slave Trade. The page Slavery and the enslaved remains to introduce these two and discuss common issues. In the process we’ve significantly added to the information presented.

We also decided our sister islands deserved pages of their own. See Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha. There is also additional material and many more images.

In September the Equality & Human Rights Commission wrote to Governor Rushbrook about the changes being proposed to our constitution, making comprehensive proposals. You can download this from our page Our Constitution.

Read about the laws governing St Helena in 1672 (ish) on our page The East India Company.

Our page Zzyzx, the repository for anything we found interesting but which didn’t seem to fit anywhere else, now has content again. Read about the Crime of the Week

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26th August 2020

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If you need just the basic facts about St Helena you want our new page Quick Facts. Each item links to a detailed explanation if you want to know more. In parallel this has resulted in tweaks to several other pages, especially Visitor Information and National Symbols.

The controversial plans to turn Ruperts into an industrial site are discussed here.

We finally found a scan of the 2002 Quincentenary Photomosaic Poster made from islander’s faces. It’s here: Quincentenary of St Helena.

We’ve also been working on the inter-page links, and inter-alia many pages now have a SEE ALSO near the sections index.

Previously images were limited to a maximum of 2400 pixels in either direction. The limit is now 10000 pixels (higher for maps) and over time we will be re-publishing existing images in higher resolution. Enjoy!

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1st August 2020

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This is mostly a technical update. The only significant content change is the reporting of the second ‘repatriation flight’ on pages Covid‑19 and Fly here.

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28th July 2020

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It looks like our Constitution will be changed in 2020/21. We report what is said to be needed on our Our Constitution page.

We have a new Community Page for the island band Forgotten Colony. You can even hear a clip from their song Caught in a Moment.

For some time we have collected mis-descriptions of St Helena from the world’s press but the example we’ve now added may win the prize… See Do they mean us?.

We’ve put in lots more Location Maps, to help you find places, particularly on page Historic Buildings In Brief - Jamestown.

Previously the icon (in the Control Icons, top right) only allowed you to tab through the Colour Scheme options. Now it links you to a separate page with various parameters you can set - still including Colour Scheme (of which there are now many more{1}) but also fonts, font sizes and more. More here. It is our intention to expand the selection of configurable parameters in the future. Please contact us if you have any suggestions.

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24th June 2020

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We’ve finally got round to setting up St. Matthew’s Church with a page of its own: St. Matthew’s Church.

Our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page is now split into two. FAQ about St Helena appear on page Frequently Asked Questions about St Helena, and FAQ specifically about Saint Helena Island Info appear on page Frequently Asked Questions about this site.

Can you help us identify the mystery building on our page Lost and almost-lost Buildings?

We almost have democracy on St Helena but compared to our overall timeline this is only a tiny proportion. See the chart at the end of the History section of page Government.

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26th May 2020

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Peter Neaum, who was a priest here in the 1980s, let us use his many photos across the site, but paticularly here: Photography.

We have a pilot’s eye view of landing at St Helena Airport (runway 20) here: Fly here.

There’s now an alphabetic index of our Governors at the top of the page The Governor of St Helena.

We have more on the Diana’s Peak name mystery, but still no solution. See Diana’s Peak. Can you help?

The little moon-phase image in the Current Astronomical Data on page Astronomy now changes daily - not a big change but, we felt, worth making! And on the same page we now have some useful information on the Southern Cross, a constellation you can only see from here in the Southern Hemisphere.

We have an intermediate resolution copy of the new official island map at Maps of St Helena.

And, as noted in the last release, all support for users who do not enable Javascript has been removed. See here: About This Site.

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27th April 2020

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There’s a new feature on our Introduction page which helps first-time visitors know where to begin. See What do you want to know about? on Introduction.

There are some pictures from the 1960s showing the Diplomatic Wireless Station being constructed, on page Diplomatic Wireless Station.

George P Reynolds shared with us a wonderful picture of Matty John at the White Horse in the 1970s. See it at Characters of St Helena.

Finally, please note that some time ago we posted a notice for users that do not enable Javascript, warning that we would disable non-Javascript features unless we heard reasons not to. We have heard nothing so our next release will remove all processing for users that do not enable Javascript. For such users the site will still work but some content will no longer be available. Modern browsers enable Javascript by default, and on some it is actually quite difficult to disable, so we are confident this will not affect many, if any, users.

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8th April 2020

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This was a technical update. There was little by way of content change, just a few revisions to reflect recent changes.

There is only one item worthy of note - the article about the longevity of Whale Sharks - see page Whale Sharks.

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25th March 2020

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We knew the ‘Liberated Africans’ were employed on the island as labourers but we hadn’t realised that they were, initially at least, unpaid. We think this is not much different from the slavery they were liberated from. We discuss this here: Attacking the Slave Trade.

There is something deeply magnetic about this tiny piece of South Atlantic rock. Read more here: Read articles about St Helena (and other pages).

We’ve improved the astronomical data for star-gazers on our page Astronomy.

We have more complete data on Wirebird numbers on our page The Wirebird.

Once again we’ve updated our page Fish Processing with the latest news.

We have the latest information about Governor’s Cup 2020 on our page The Governor’s Cup.

There’s a new island map from 1815 looking only at the sea features. See Maps of St Helena.

Finally, the Covid‑19 global pandemic is fast-developing and we do not attempt to provide up-to-the-minute news. See A Brief History for useful sources about the situation on St Helena.

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26th February 2020

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We now have astronomical data on many pages. Sunrise, Sunset, current moon phase, etc. There is additional data of use to star-gazers on our page Astronomy.

There’s a great new article about realising a dream of swimming with whale sharks on our page Whale Sharks.

The 2020 Wirebird Census has been published and we have the numbers on our page The Wirebird.

We have a new building on our page Lost and almost-lost Buildings - can you help us with its history?

Did Charles Darwin really, as has been reported, uncover the Windshear problem with our Airport as far back as 1836? See Famous Visitors for our thoughts.

New sounds on our page Sounds of St Helena include ‘Playtime at Pilling Primary School’, ‘The Run flowing’, ‘The Run being flushed’ and ‘The Dawn Chorus at the Duke of Edinburgh Playground’. If there’s a sound you’d like included please contact us.

We’ve tried to stay up-to-date on Fish Processing on our page Fish Processing.

You wait ages for a decent article about St Helena and then two turn up at once! See Read articles about St Helena.

And lastly the new page In This Month documents events past, present and future for whatever is the current month.

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27th January 2020

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All these updates relate to sounds on the site.

We have a new page bringing together the Sounds of St Helena. Go to Sounds of St Helena to learn more. We plan to keep adding to this page. New sounds in this update include the waves at The Seaside in Jamestown and the bell of Jamestown Baptist Church.

We also now have an index of all the audio files on the site, at Audio Index, and whenever an audio file trigger box appears there is a link to this index (ⓘ).

And finally on Audio Files, the trigger box has changed. Either, as before, click where it says to open and play the audio file in a new browser tab or window (depending on your browser) or hover over the icon to achieve the same without opening a new tab/window. The latter seems to work on most modern browsers. The former works on everything, so you always have a fallback.

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21st January 2020

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We have a new page on bees, beekeeping and honey production. Did you know our honey is 100% organic? See Bees and Beekeeping.

There are no deadly or truly dangerous animals here but there are a few that might cause you a problem if you encounter one. We detail these on our new page Problem Animals.

If you want to actually hear the Bridge Memorial Clock there’s now an audio file on Bridge Memorial Clock.

Our page Cruise Ship Days now lists the future ship calls, which we will keep updated as the data becomes available.

Want to overtake a slow vehicle but it won’t move over? The answer’s on our Driving in St Helena page.

We now know what a ‘Kissing Dance’ was, and why it scandalised Governor Robert Jenkins. See our Glossary page.

And, naturally, we took the opportunity to update the Christmas images on our page Christmas.

Finally, you should note that only those tours listed on our Visitor Information page are recommended. If you can personally recommend a tour we have not listed please contact us.

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LOL

Credits:
{a} Boris Johnson, while campaigning for ‘leave’ in the 2016 BREXIT Referendum{2}{b} Copyright © South Atlantic Media Services Ltd (SAMS), used with permission{3}.

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Footnotes:
{1} .{2} In which, by the way, the people of St Helena were not permitted to vote, even though people in other Overseas Territories were.{3} @@RepDis@@

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