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Probus Club members enjoy St Helena talk

Speaker Graham Ball with Pocklington Probus Club chairman Richard Hawkins.
Speaker Graham Ball with Pocklington Probus Club chairman Richard Hawkins.

An unusual way of life was how St Helena was described to members of Pocklington Probus Club when Graham Ball addressed the group.

Mr Ball, a former chairman of the club, told members that St Helena had always held a special fascination for him and that he had been lucky enough to visit it on two occasions.

Famous for the exile of Napoleon Bonaparte after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, it became his home until his death in 1821.

The island, like many outposts of empire, had seen many rulers until the British took control in 1659.

There are even fortifications built as recently as the Second World War to prevent it being used as an enemy base.

Graham said that on his visits there was a hotel, although it wasn’t very busy (and subsequently closed).

The local islanders relied on the RMS St Helena for all their supplies, including potatoes and tomatoes.

The capital, Jamestown, sits at the end of a steep narrow valley and Jacob’s Ladder is a stairway consisting of 699 steps to get to the top of the hill. Apparently, local school children will sit sideways on the two railings and slide all the way to the bottom.

In the news recently due to the construction of an (expensive) airport, regular flights are now being established from South Africa and Namibia to encourage tourism.

A new hotel has been built.

Several members asked questions and Graham was thanked by the club chairman, Richard Hawkins, followed by an enthusiastic round of applause.