Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Aden Old Photos 8: Steamer Point

I loved Steamer Point. For me it had a hustle and bustle that Ma'alla lacked. It was like life back home where we lived at RAF Innsworth and went into Gloucester for our big shopping expeditions.

Steamer Point was where all the good shops were. I bought books and even started my, then, modest record collection in Aden. The first photo is looking towards the rocky remnants of the crater which outside Steamer Point and the clock tower was known as "Little Ben". The other photo, looking the other way, is the Crescent Hotel where Queen Elizabeth II is supposed to have stayed in 1954. According to an entry on Lonely Planet, this is now defunct and was guarded by a surly soldier. Even in our time I think the Crescent was a throw back to the past. The Rock Hotel was the place, but I guess that has dated and is now a thing of the past.

If only things were better in Aden, somebody could revitalise the Crescent Hotel and, as with the Raffles in Singapore and the Eastern and Oriental in Penang and bring colonial past into the present era but in a new way. I have stayed at the E&O and while I found it strange to have a butler, it was a level of service that gave me much enjoyment. The butlers we came into contact with were very polite and professional, though I fear some other white people do not treat them with the respect professionals in the leisure and catering industry deserve.

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