Flying the Lieutenant-Governor's Flag in Alderney
The Lieutenant-Governor took a bold decision and moved Government House to Alderney for a whole week, and what a week! Taking Mrs Cripwell and five of his staff from the house and office, they rented the beautiful Pipedreamer as their base, loaded up the hold on the Access Challenger, threw in a couple of bikes and headed out in the fog to Alderney.
A regular visitor to the island in order to attend the States of Alderney meetings, His Excellency and Mrs Cripwell had a list of establishments they wanted to go to and the diary had been jam-packed with visits to the emergency services, states facilities, the hospital, forts and war graves. They hosted several dinner parties at the house, all catered and served by the Government House staff and had a drinks party at the Island Hall filled with 80 guests from various services, clubs and communities around the island. Additional help for the party coming from the lovely staff at The Coronation pub who gave the GH staff some valuable insight into the social antics of the Alderney people!
They were thrilled to take a trip out on the Alderney Lifeboat, where they were dressed for the experience and took part in an exercise that travelled all round the island and within sniffing distance of the Gannet Colony. There were big smiles and excited faces as they came off the Lifeboat having thoroughly enjoyed their trip.
They visited the Fire and Ambulance stations to watch an exercise where the emergency services were extracting someone (Mr Dummy) out of a crashed car using cutting equipment and then performing emergency first aid at the scene. His Excellency always loves to meet the emergency services and he was very pleased have the opportunity to thank them for their hard work on the island.
And there was also a visit to the Police Station where they met up with Chief Ruari Hardy, over for the day from Guernsey and were able to spend some time talking with the Police Officers who look after the people of Alderney.
Taking part in the Archaeological dig at Longis Common was certainly the most physically exhausting part of the visit to Alderney but His Excellency's dedication never wavered and very morning he could be found at the bottom of a trench with a mattock, spade or a trowel and a big smile on his face. Searching for Roman and Iron Age settlements, Dig Alderney are spending three weeks on Alderney at their annual dig and on His Excellency's final day, after a dig full of pottery and bits of bone, we left them scraping in the sand around a pile of stones looking for all the world like an Iron Age burial site that was getting bigger by the day. We shall await the end of the dig and the write-up and look forward to seeing what the archaeology team make of this year's findings.
And so as the week draws to a close and the team start to pack up the house, we are already thinking about next year's plan to spend a few days in Sark. After all, the Bailiwick of Guernsey is more than just the one island and it is important never to forget that.