Friday, 25 May 2012

The St Helena Independent Makes a Lazarus Like Recovery

Somewhat old news now, but for completeness I really should report the resurrection of the St Helena Independent at the end of April, barely a month after the demise that was solemnly reported here and elsewhere.

The latest issue (May 25th) has a front page editorial about the need for sea links after the airport, and wonders why no consideration has been given to this before. I have to say that I have been wondering about this for some time. Doubtless all will be revealed eventually, but I am not convinced that anybody has got any answers at present. I will be very happy to be proved wrong.

The editorial also notes that current thinking is that Rupert's Bay should be the cargo terminal, and points out that EU money has been spent demolishing Jamestown's historic wharf buildings.

The raising of the roofs of the low stores at the wharf has taken away a lot of the original char acter and obviously, the new cargo and passenger terminals are in the wrong valley if the sea access point to the Island is in Rupert’s. The changes/improvements to the Jamestown Wharf would obviously have looked different if the new DfID schemes had been known a few years ago. Then, we could have developed the Wharf as a tourism destination and not so much as a cargo terminal. With this background, we could say that we have wasted much of the EU money put into the wharf development.

On a less solemn note, the following rather unusual advertisement from today's issue caught my eye.

I don't think I should offer any comment!


Hels said...

Why were Jamestown's historic wharf buildings demolished? If they wanted wharf development, the buildings could have been renovated and modernised. If they wanted tourist facilities, the buildings could have been adapted.

Destruction never seems to be a useful answer.

John Tyrrell said...

Apologies for delay in replying to your comment. Unfortunately I cannot really answer the points you have made. I have studied one of the recent reports on phase 2 of the developments,
The report contains some computer images which do not fill me with confidence. It also contains some rather worrying vague statements such as
The extent of the demolition needs to be clearly defined and strictly adhered to as the result of encroachment onto the historic structure behind would result in an unacceptably high impact on the historic asset (a major adverse effect). The work should be monitored by an individual competent in recognising historic structures.
I fear that in responding to the economic need to attract more tourists, i.e. by making it safer for passengers from cruise ships to land, the island is in danger of destroying one of the features which makes Jamestown famous, the historic quay on which Napoleon landed.
I am planning a return trip to the island, so before too long I will be able to judge for myself.