Gib’s history is vastly underused.
For such a small place it oozes history of all types on every street. And yet, most tourists jump in a taxi or the cable car, look at the monkeys, buy cheap perfume, spirits and tobacco, and clear off.
If I was running tourism, I’m not – the Right Hon Neil Costa is in charge of that – I would have a huge programme of development to emphasise the history of the place.
Not necessarily expensive projects either, a few well-placed information signs, maybe short walking tours – not everything should be glimpsed out of a taxi window.
Deciding to record a quick piece of history before it was demolished, I ran up the steps to Wellington Front defensive walls to take a shot of the old military medical centre.
Wellington Front was built in 1840 (or 1850 according to the inscription) by convicts on reclaimed land. Apparently more than 900 convicts worked on these walls, bastions, and other defences.
The convicts were based on a ship, the Owen Glendower, and the ship’s bell rang whenever one of them was lucky enough to escape. The bell is now in the Gib museum.
However, the convicts lost their jobs because they didn’t work hard enough to earn their keep and local Gibbos took their place as labourers. Given the pace at which some Gibbos work, I’m somewhat surprised they turned out to be cheaper.
Bounding around Wellington Front, it struck me that it would be an excellent place to develop as a tourist asset. Everyone likes walking around city walls – eg York and Chester (both UK) for example.
But how to keep the essential historical features of the place while making it an attractive place to walk, sit, enjoy life? To start with, there is a rather nasty low wall on one side (the Line Wall Road side) that would not be safe for adults like me, let alone kids. Probably safer for fearless kids than for me in truth.
Build it up? Railings? Either would detract from the original. Maybe put a pathway through the centre and tell people not to leave that or it is on their own head? Literally.
Well someone was obviously channelling me when I was thinking all this, as within a few weeks there was a government proposal to develop Wellington Front as a promenade (and part of a longer cycleway). Amazing. Or just plain spooky.
The low wall problem has been solved by the proposal of a glass screen. I don’t know about the gun emplacements, I guess they will get the same treatment or maybe railings. Far too easy to fall out of one of those.
I wonder if the street art on the portacabin will stay? Doubt it somehow.
And great views up the Rock from there too.
From the nineteenth century to the 21st with more Gib news. The government has installed cameras at the frontier to monitor the queues. More to the point, the rest of us can look at how busy it is and decide whether or not to get stuck for a few hours. A good move.
It was pretty quiet when I was looking at the frontier webcam today.
This is not bad, but it isn’t brill either. Apart from anything else, it is rather too gaudy for my taste. On top of that, it doesn’t mention the number 5 route from the Frontier to Reclamation Road. Presumably because that one is a paid-for bus route. The others are free if you have the necessary ID. Although apparently a Gib ID card isn’t included. Ah, that will be why we get free travel using it won’t it? Wonder who proof-read the copy for their site?
The bus service is good, and some newly introduced routes have improved it further. And even if you have to pay, a single is £1 and an all-day pass is £1.50. Good value there.
Good one WordPress. It only took me five goes to set a fucking featured image. Get a life please. And stop disrupting mine. As for trying to change the order of a slideshow. Words fail me. How to make something simple incredibly painful.
No slideshow available as I couldn’t get it to work in the correct order. Awaiting instructions from WP Happiness Engineers …