Reports on damage within the Post Office and Tourism Centre, and progress with provision of alternative facilities.

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The July 2019 Storm and the Post Office and Tourism Centre

Reports by Iris Green and Dawn Repetto. Photos by Lorraine Repetto

The Post Office and Tourism Centre is the hub for all visitors to Tristan and for many community events. Sadly, it was one of the buildings badly damaged by the storm that descended on Tristan on the night of the 18th and 19th July 2019. The places most affected in the building were the gift shop, serving area, Café and museum areas.

Iris Green writes: All philatelic material and postcards situated in the serving area were ruined. Even though the whole building was flooded, the majority of our bulk stock was kept dry in cabinets, apart from some FDC envelopes and maps. The remaining stock was salvaged and relocated to the Prince Phillip Hall, where the department is now situated.

As of the 1st August, we are now up and running in our new location, although we are currently awaiting a new telephone, and we have to go to the Internet Cafe to access emails, etc.. We are able to accept online orders, and sell souvenirs and philatelic items locally. Due to our bulk stock being salvaged we still have all items available for sale.

Café da Cunha is out of order at the moment, but we are confident we may be able to set this up in the community centre.

Chaos and water damage viewed from the entrance of the Post Office and Tourism Centre

A scene of chaos and water damage faces visitors at the entrance of the Post Office and Tourism Centre after the storm

Slightly less devestation within the Post Office and Tourism Centre's office space.

Everything topsy-turvy in the Museum and Café da Cunha.

Missing roof over the Post Office counter and Café da Cunha

Roof damage above the Post Office counter, Café da Cunha and the Museum

Museum and Archives

Dawn Repetto writes: We managed to save everything in the Museum except the paper documents. However, none of these were originals, and I think we can get them reprinted when the time comes. We managed to get out the three oil paintings, Crawford's photos and a few others. The large black and white photos were also OK, but a little torn.

I went in on Saturday 27th July and managed to retrieve all the items from the Archives. The floor was wet but everything else remained dry. Thank goodness there was not a lot of documents in the archives or else I would have had a real job on my hands. This has got me thinking though that it is very risky to keep an archives room here and we maybe better off sending all originals to the British Library. We could still continue digitising here, and could then keep digitised copies here as well as sending the originals and digitised copies on to the BL. In the case of people's personnel stuff, I could digitise items here and return them to the individuals if they would not like to part with them.

The thatched House suffered very little damage. It lost a piece or two of turf from the roof and so the water got in, but nothing too serious.

Slightly less devestation within the Post Office and Tourism Centre's office space.

This picture was taken in the Prince Philip Hall when we were relocating stock. This has now become our store room. We were trying to dry out some stamps and paper that had got wet. However, in the end the stamps were too damaged to use.
(N.b. This replaces our original caption, which was incorrect.)

Rainbow over the Post Office and Tourism Centre as another storm approaches, showing the partly missing roof

A rainbow over the Post Office and Tourism Centre with the roof partly ripped off as another storm threatens