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Tour Guiding

Or should I have called these reminiscences of a tour guide? Looking through some of the previous newsletters, I found an article I had written ‘Training new leaders’ in the autumn 1998 edition. I had not realised that it would be 10 years, this year that I first visited and became entranced by the island.

How time flies…. Many events have unfolded. I’ve met many interesting new people and made wonderful friends, however I’ve also lost a few dear and cherished friends- Cliff Wakeham started my training on tour guiding and Tony Sharp helped me settle into guiding to name but two.

Both had such interesting tales to tell of the island, which helped me when I was at ‘the sharp end’ giving my tours to the general public. However, there are many in the society and project office that will be able to answer my many questions, together with the Internet, once I’ve got over this technophobia!

It has been a good year for tour guided visits to the island with the weather in our favour, and few tours being cancelled. Fortunately there have not been any incidents. I remember one year, my first three visits were very dramatic.

A gentleman slipped on the steps when we were leaving the island for home, so an ambulance was waiting at the Pierhead for him on his return. He was shaken up but only had minor injuries, thankfully. Next time a lady fell off the seat due to rough weather on the return journey and spent the rest of the trip lying on the floor of the boat, so as not to injure herself further. Again, her pride was all that was really hurt.

Finally on the 3rd trip, we were leaving the island when a helicopter was circling overhead. Mark, who was the coxswain at the time had answered a ‘mayday’ from a yacht. Together with Chaela who was assistant warden at the time, and with help just arriving from Penarth inshore lifeboat, they rescued the three men who were clinging to the upturned yacht The helicopter took the casualties to hospital from From Holm island. Luckily there were no serious injuries. The rest of my tours that year were ‘very boring’ in comparison.

Well, all I can say is I look forward to 2006 tour guiding for my fellow tour guides and myself and hope it will be an interesting season with no major incidents, just memorable stories and people.

Jane Baltzars