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Tristan's links with Malvern, Worcestershire

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  • bobconrich
    Malvern Gazette Malvern, Worcestershire Malvern s link with South Atlantic 3rd December 2010 TRISTAN da Cunha is the most remote inhabited island in the world,
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 4, 2010
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      Malvern Gazette
      Malvern, Worcestershire
      Malvern's link with South Atlantic
      3rd December 2010

      TRISTAN da Cunha is the most remote inhabited island in the world, and when the Reverend Chris Brown went to serve as minister to the tiny community there, the last thing he expected was to find any link to Malvern.

      But he was astonished to discover that he was not the first, not even the second, but the third clergyman from the town to serve on the tiny speck of land in the South Atlantic.

      The first was Edwin Dodgson of Malvern, who was the younger brother of C L Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll of Alice in Wonderland fame.

      His arrival in 1881 was dramatic, as the ship which put him ashore was wrecked on the rocks very shortly afterwards and most of his belongings were lost.

      After such a beginning, it's not surprising Dodgson became depressed, and after his four-year stint, he recommended the complete evacuation of the island.

      But back on Tristan, disaster struck, when a boat carrying 15 islanders went out to meet a passing ship - and vanished. 15 dead out of a population of just over 100 was a catastrophe, and Dodgson selflessly returned to minister to the stricken community for a further four years.

      The second Malvern man was John Graham Barrow, from the parish of St Andrews in Poolbrook, who served from 1906 to 1909.

      Again, his arrival was dramatic: the seas were mountainous, and the spot where he was put ashore is still known as 'Down-where-the-minister-land-his-things'.

      He brought a bell donated by the St Andrews' parishioners, which still hangs outside the church on Tristan, and a collie dog; most families of Tristan have a collie to this day.

      Unlike Dodgson, Chris Brown found his stay on Tristan an exhilarating one. He said: "When I was initially offered the post, it all seemed to be so dreary and bleak, and I was ready to turn it down. But that Sunday I went to the service at the Priory, and met a couple who had just come back from a wonderful holiday there. After talking to them I changed my mind."

      The island is hard to reach - it is on no regular shipping routes - but once he had got there, Chris found a world of natural marvels, from 60-foot waves to unique Tristan thrushes, from amazing rainbows to brilliantly starlit night skies.

      And he also found a community which is at the same time reserved and friendly.

      "There are 261 people living on Tristan, and of course they all know each other," he said. "In terms of attitudes, values and way of life, it reminds me of rural Britain in the mid-Fifties."

      The biggest upheaval in Tristan's recent history was in 1961 - 50 years ago next month - when the island's volcano erupted and the entire population was evacuated to the UK.

      "It was a great culture shock to most of them - they'd never seen TV, for instance - and they were glad to return as soon as they could," he said.

      The island depends on fishing and farming, with potatoes being a staple crop, and wool being a major product. In fact, knitting is a major preoccupation, and when he left, Chris was given over 20 pairs of socks and other knitwear items by wellwishers.

      "It's a remarkable place with remarkable people, and I would urge anyone who gets the chance to visit Tristan, to do so," he said. "I'd like to go back."


      Picture of Rev. Brown with his Tristan Socks:
      http://tinyurl.com/33lfkyk
    • Wolfgang Schaub
      Just looking at the picture. This is NOT Chris Brown, I m afraid. But it doesn t matter Wolfgang ... Von: tristan-da-cunha@yahoogroups.com
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 4, 2010
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        Just looking at the picture. This is NOT Chris Brown, I'm afraid. But it doesn't matter
         
        Wolfgang
         
        -----Urspr√ľngliche Nachricht-----
        Von: tristan-da-cunha@yahoogroups.com [mailto:tristan-da-cunha@yahoogroups.com]Im Auftrag von bobconrich
        Gesendet: Samstag, 4. Dezember 2010 12:45
        An: tristan-da-cunha@yahoogroups.com
        Betreff: [TdC] Tristan's links with Malvern, Worcestershire

         

        Malvern Gazette
        Malvern, Worcestershire
        Malvern's link with South Atlantic
        3rd December 2010

        TRISTAN da Cunha is the most remote inhabited island in the world, and when the Reverend Chris Brown went to serve as minister to the tiny community there, the last thing he expected was to find any link to Malvern.

        But he was astonished to discover that he was not the first, not even the second, but the third clergyman from the town to serve on the tiny speck of land in the South Atlantic.

        The first was Edwin Dodgson of Malvern, who was the younger brother of C L Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll of Alice in Wonderland fame.

        His arrival in 1881 was dramatic, as the ship which put him ashore was wrecked on the rocks very shortly afterwards and most of his belongings were lost.

        After such a beginning, it's not surprising Dodgson became depressed, and after his four-year stint, he recommended the complete evacuation of the island.

        But back on Tristan, disaster struck, when a boat carrying 15 islanders went out to meet a passing ship - and vanished. 15 dead out of a population of just over 100 was a catastrophe, and Dodgson selflessly returned to minister to the stricken community for a further four years.

        The second Malvern man was John Graham Barrow, from the parish of St Andrews in Poolbrook, who served from 1906 to 1909.

        Again, his arrival was dramatic: the seas were mountainous, and the spot where he was put ashore is still known as 'Down-where-the-minister-land-his-things'.

        He brought a bell donated by the St Andrews' parishioners, which still hangs outside the church on Tristan, and a collie dog; most families of Tristan have a collie to this day.

        Unlike Dodgson, Chris Brown found his stay on Tristan an exhilarating one. He said: "When I was initially offered the post, it all seemed to be so dreary and bleak, and I was ready to turn it down. But that Sunday I went to the service at the Priory, and met a couple who had just come back from a wonderful holiday there. After talking to them I changed my mind."

        The island is hard to reach - it is on no regular shipping routes - but once he had got there, Chris found a world of natural marvels, from 60-foot waves to unique Tristan thrushes, from amazing rainbows to brilliantly starlit night skies.

        And he also found a community which is at the same time reserved and friendly.

        "There are 261 people living on Tristan, and of course they all know each other," he said. "In terms of attitudes, values and way of life, it reminds me of rural Britain in the mid-Fifties."

        The biggest upheaval in Tristan's recent history was in 1961 - 50 years ago next month - when the island's volcano erupted and the entire population was evacuated to the UK.

        "It was a great culture shock to most of them - they'd never seen TV, for instance - and they were glad to return as soon as they could," he said.

        The island depends on fishing and farming, with potatoes being a staple crop, and wool being a major product. In fact, knitting is a major preoccupation, and when he left, Chris was given over 20 pairs of socks and other knitwear items by wellwishers.

        "It's a remarkable place with remarkable people, and I would urge anyone who gets the chance to visit Tristan, to do so," he said. "I'd like to go back."

        Picture of Rev. Brown with his Tristan Socks:
        http://tinyurl.com/33lfkyk

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