St Helena is rich in interesting personalities. And occasionally, the island asserts its own personality – as it did when rocks tumbled down on the Baptist chapel. Andrew Gurr captured much of the island’s life and people on camera during four years as governor. Here he shares a third selection of images he showed at an address to the Friends of St Helena.
St Helena received a visit from a high-level delegation of French visitors, at the invitation of Michel Dancoise-Martineau, custodian of the Napoleonic properties on the island. “That person there, on the left, is a direct-line descendant of Napoleon, Count Walewska. He’s a lovely man, and I made the mistake of asking where he lives. He had about ten houses.”
In August 2008, there was a serious rock-fall in Jamestown. No one was injured, though a car was crushed only moments after its occupants had walked away from it. The Baptist Chapel suffered severe damage. “A terrible mess.”
An unusual lunch party, overlooking the site of the proposed Wirebird Hills eco resort. “That was Christmas Day, with the public solicitor and his wife and the vet – sitting on top of his Land Rover, for some reason. We went and had Christmas lunch up there and made rude noises at all the traffic that went by, and people couldn’t believe their eyes.”