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Zzyzx

Anything that didn’t fit in elsewhere

Our world is a thing of utter inordinate complexity and richness and strangeness that is absolutely awesome.
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A collection of items that, while about or related to St Helena, did not justify a page of their own or fit into any of our other pages.

Zzyzx

Below: Mystery Helicopter - Resolved! • Old photographs • End to Isolation • Anniversaries

Why this page is called ‘Zzyzx’

Zzyzx is the last word that appears in the online dictionary ‘Wiktionary’. It is actually a place name in California and various other things. It seemed a more interesting name than ‘Sundry’ or ‘Miscellaneous’. We could have called it ‘ort’, meaning a small scrap of food left after a meal is completed, but we didn’t.

It should be noted that the contents of this page may be fluid. At the time we add an item here it may not fit in anywhere else, but as Saint Helena Island Info continues to develop, we may find a better place for it and thus remove it from here. So if this page is empty please don’t contact us!

Mystery Helicopter - Resolved!

Some time ago we posted as below. We are grateful to all the contributors (further below) but are pleased to announce that the mystery has now been resolved. John Coyle contacted us with more information about his photo, as follows:

The photo was taken by me in either 1968 or 1969, when I believe HMS Zulu was in the bay. I am also sending you a better quality scan!

That’s good enough for us and we now consider the mystery resolved.

Our original query

We have seen the image below, thought to date from the early 1960s, of a Navy helicopter landing on the lawn of Plantation House. We are curious to know what ship launched it and when it was visiting. If you can help, please contact us.

Mystery helicopter
Mystery helicopter{a}

Responses

We received three replies:

  1. My guess is that it’s from HMS Leopard or HMS Lynx, which visited St Helena together 15-17th August 1959 (see royalnavymemories.co.uk/hms-leopard-1st-commission). I remember the RM Band concert.
  2. Firstly, it appears HMS Leopard and HMS Lynx were Leopard class Frigates, which didn’t have a flight deck, so couldn’t have launched this helicopter. The helicopter is a Westland Wasp anti-submarine helicopter. A helicopter with large number 442 and airframe number XT439 is registered to HMS Zulu. The website helis.com, gives more detail on Westland Wasp XT439. It was in service from 13th December 1965 to 25th March 1986. It was known to have served with 845 Naval Air Squadron; and with 829 NAS on board the frigates HMS Ajax (F114), HMS Zulu (F124) and HMS Rhyl (F129), and possibly others. So we know which helicopter airframe it is, we just don’t know which year or which ship it was from. From photos of Wasps, the paint colour for the numbers seemed to change from white to black in about 1983 (approximately June). XT439 was delivered in 1965, so the photo is between 1965 and probably about 1983.
  3. I looked up XT439 Westland wasp C/N f.9609 on the Helicopter Database www.helis.com/database/cn/213 and the 442 call sign was only used between Aug 1977 until c Jul 1979, whilst it was on board HMS Zulu. On 5th Sept 1977 HMS Zulu departed Her majesty’s Naval Base Devonport in Plymouth as part of Task Group 317.6 for a 7½ month Australia and Far East group deployment, led by HMS Tiger. They would have travelled down the west coast of Africa before going around the Cape before heading for Australia. With that in mind it would have been between 5th Sept 1977 and 21st April 1978 as per the HMS Zulu’s records.

Old photographs

Problem with mynah birds
We caption this picture: Clearly mynah birds were a problem in the ‘before days’ too.

An End to Isolation

Broadcast on New Hampshire Public Radio, 21st July 2015{1}

New Hampshire Public Radio

Click here to hear this audio file

Click To listen

The tiny island of Saint Helena remains one of the most inaccessible places on earth, but that is about to change as a British government-funded airport opens in the spring of 2016. Filmmaker Dieter Deswarte made two short films about life on the island for the BBC and he’s currently working on a feature-length documentary about life on the island.

Anniversaries

Laugh at funny Zzyzx humour - LOL

Credits:
{a} John Coyle

Footnotes:
{1} Reproduced for educational non-commercial use only; all copyrights are acknowledged.

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