Friday, July 01, 2005


A Cat and mouse tale - continued

Somebody who read the previous posting ("A Cat and mouse tale") thought that when I wrote "If it can't be fixed with a screwdriver and a monkey wrench it's too technical for St. Helena" I was impugning the skills of the local mechanics.

Let me clarify.

It's not the quality of the mechanics that causes the problems, its the availability of technical equipment. There is an ongoing project to import proper electronic diagnostic kit onto the island, but like so many St. Helena projects, it is proceeding at a leisurely pace.

Actually, I have immense respect for the mechanics of St. Helena. It must take considerable skill to keep the island’s collection of antique cars roadworthy (even by St. Helenian standards), despite limited access to the necessary equipment and especially to spare parts. Does anyone still make spares for a Mark 1 Capri?

My guess is that it is all done by cannibalisation, and the quantity of mostly-stripped cars around the island seems to support this theory. I assume that, when something breaks, the group of people who own that sort of car get together and draw lots to see who’s vehicle gets stripped down for spare parts to keep everyone else’s on the road.

Anyway, I have immense respect for the mechanics of St. Helena and would not wish to appear to have said anything to offend them.

Now please can I have my spark plugs back …….?

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