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Gazetteer

Places and structures

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.
Nido Qubein

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Significant places on St Helena, and where to learn more

Gazetteer

This is a form of Gazetteer. The information about each place or structure appears elsewhere in Saint Helena Island Info and rather than repeat it here, this page simply provides a link to the page or pages where the relevant information is presented. Please note that this table does not list every page where the place/structure is mentioned; only those that ‘define’ it. For a more extensive list of mentions use the Subject Index, following the handy link for each item. Also note that some of the places listed are historical and do not necessarily still exist.

You could also try searching the Subject Index.

The Index

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Article: Home Once More

By Dulcie Robertson, published in the ‘Wirebird’, the magazine of Friends of St Helena{1} #4 Winter 1991{2}

Every trip home begins with boarding the R.M.S. St Helena, that metal umbilical cord that unites every wandering St Helenian with his or her home land.

Boarding the ship at Cardiff is usually a simple affair. The moment soon arrives for fond farewells and the ship slowly manoeuvres out of the docks and down the Bristol Channel. The ship’s company always excel themselves beyond the most demanding expectations. Nothing ever seems too much trouble and the result is that the journey is a holiday - an experience to remember in its own right

The first sighting of the island is always an emotional one. Cameras are clicking and video machines are whirring as the various landmarks are named for the newcomer or the seasoned traveller. Getting ashore can be pretty hectic, especially if there is a good sea swell. However, these hazards are usually ignored in the process of identifying relatives, friends and acquaintances waiting near the customs sheds. Getting through customs formalities on the ship is a friendly and fairly quick affair.. However, once on the island, things slow down dramatically.

I began queuing for my luggage at 9:30am. By 12 noon I was feeling hungry and with still no sign of my luggage I went to Ann’s Cafe for a lunch of delicious fish cakes and salad. A leisurely stroll back to the customs shed an hour or so later revealed to me that I still had no luggage ashore. By 3:30pm my patience was exhausted. I was tired and wilting in the heat.

Forgetting the luggage I telephoned a friend who took me to Red Hill, where my sister lived. I stayed with her during my visit to the island. That long tedious wait in the soaring temperature was the only blot in an otherwise lovely holiday of three and a half weeks.

This was my fifth visit to the island since I had first left in 1947. Previously my visits had been to renew old acquaintances, renew family ties and to experience again that sense of nostalgic longing that affects every traveller who leaves home. However, my visit on this occasion had an extra dimension. I was hoping to purchase a house - a St Helena home for my husband and myself in retirement and hopefully a place for my children to visit. I was lucky in my search. I had an initial disappointment but then was fortunate enough to purchase Terrace Knoll. The house nestles between Sunnyside and Rosemary Plain with a stunning view down Friar’s Valley to the sea.

Unlike in the U.K. where legal transactions are a quagmire of indecision and red tape, the house purchase transaction on St Helena was simple, straight-forward and inexpensive. With my business concluded I settled down to await the return of R.M.S. St. Helena from Cape Town and to enjoy my short stay on the island.

The weather was warm and sunny and in spite of a desperate shortage of water the island pastures and trees looked exceptionally lush and green although the autumn colours of gold, yellow and red were making themselves more apparent each day.

One hears so much about the build up of housing on the island that one’s imagination can run riot thinking of sprawling suburbs and high rise flats. Fortunately, most house building is in isolated pockets such as Half Tree Hollow and in the Levelwood area. What is true is that Jamestown has run out of parking space especially during the Saturday shopping times or when islanders gather for a social event.

Crowded school buses and lorries crammed with workers help to create a weekday bustle, especially in the mornings and early evenings. The period between 10:00am and 3:30pm however is free of traffic. This is the best time to visit Jamestown. One thing in particular that shocks the visitor is the high cost of food and commodities. The shops are fairly well stocked and the only shortages or scarcities are of fresh fruit and vegetables. Few people now-a-days make full use of their gardens and the climate.

There is much to love on St Helena. The peace and quiet have no equal in England . The countryside and coastline recall images of the Scottish Highlands and the Cornish coast. Above all else there are the island’s beautiful, friendly people. They are and always have been courteous and helpful. Childhood memories and adult escapades are continually recalled . Laughter and music come easily to the islanders and although one can ‘disco’ to the music, for me the ‘St Helena Shuffle’ dance and accordion music are a ‘must’ on the list of enjoyments.

My last visit was nearly three years ago. I now look forward to a yearly visit. My husband is also looking forward to renewing friendships and extending acquaintances.

England is a beautiful country. I have prospered here and I am happy. My own family is well settled here. St Helena is not a better place than England. It is a different place that has beauty and magic all of its own but then it should be, for it is where the Saints live.

LOL

Footnotes:
{1} The four ‘Wirebird’ publications should not be confused.{2} Reproduced for educational non-commercial use only; all copyrights are acknowledged.

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