These works were essential due to the deteriorating state of the yard arm and top section of the mast's flagpole, which had been brought to the attention of the Emergency Planning Department by the tenant of Signal House. As a result, the yard arm and top flagpole sections of the mast were safely removed.
Sections of the Signal House mast at Ladder Hill were dismantled by the St Helena Fire & Rescue Service and the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate (ENRD) between 10 and 16 January 2019
The ENRD technical team have now carried out an initial inspection and assessment of the flagpole. The next step is to remove the paint from the lower pole and repaint. A more detailed assessment will be carried out of the top section of the pole to determine the extent of the wear. It is anticipated that this work will commence during the week beginning 11 February, by the ENRD yards team, and is estimated to take up to three weeks to complete.
The yard arm section of the mast is beyond repair and will have to be replaced. This will either have to be using a wooden replacement or replaced with a non-wooden alternative. A decision will be made as to whether the flagpole is reinstated after repair or after the yard arm has been procured (from offshore).
Notes to Editors:
According to the manufacturers stamp, the mast was originally manufactured in 1853. The original purpose of the mast was to fly various different coded flags, which would convey messages to ships anchored in or passing James Bay. However, with the introduction of ship-to-shore radio, this purpose became redundant, although it is still used on ceremonial occasions.
Following discussions with various stakeholders, it has been determined that Signal House and mast are not currently listed landmarks, although they are a significant part of the history of the port of Jamestown and its fortifications.
Source: St Helena Government