General’s Quarters Reconstruction Almost Finished
People involved with providing tourism services are taking a close interest in the reconstruction of the General’s Quarters at the rear of Longwood House. The French Consul, Michel Dancoisne-Martineau, gave a member of the St Helena Tourism Association a conducted tour of the General’s Quarters last February and outlined his plans for this new facility when the work is finished. This week Michel Dancoisne-Martineau offered to show us the progress that has been made in the last seven months.
The reconstruction is now almost finished, leaving the all important internal decoration together with some of the fixtures and fittings to be completed. Michel is now coming to the end of a lengthy and complex project involving the French Government and The Foundation Napoleon as well as the usual authorities and agencies in St Helena. The work was always intended to mark the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s exile to St Helena and it has been successfully completed well in advance of the October 2015 anniversary.
The reconstruction of what was the accommodation for Colonel Marquis Montholon, General Baron Gourgaud and Napoleon’s physician, Barry Edward O’Meara, has formed rooms of various sizes for public events. The large and well-equipped kitchen will provide catering for small dining parties in one of the smaller rooms or buffets for large gatherings in the main public room.
There are also two private, self-contained suites that will provide living accommodation for special guests. The attractive garden at the front of the General’s Quarters is also being improved and will be used for outside events during the summer months.
Michel explained he has arranged for 25 people to visit St Helena to mark the bicentenary of Napoleon’s exile. They will be using the facilities at the General’s Quarters for some events during their visit but will be accommodated at various Jamestown hotels and guesthouses.
Michel pointed out he used only local construction workers and craftsmen for the entire work and is very happy with job they have done.