Freetown, Baby!


Echoes of Empire by jc2010sl
April 12, 2011, 3:19 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

It’s easy to forget that Sierra Leone was once part of the British Empire. There aren’t many colonial era Government buildings in town – just the Law Courts and the Finance Ministry. The only houses left from the 1940s are the lathboard abodes in my neighbourhood – reportedly bought flatpacked from Harrods! There is the odd colonial-era building still standing in town, but they have often acquired a distinct West African patina.

Just occasionally though, there is a sight that reminds you that the Union Jack once flew. I’ve never heard of letters being delivered by anything other than hand, but on the Murray Town Road is a faded red letter box. I wonder when the last letter was collected, and I dread to think what’s in there now.

Out of the way on the peak of Sugarloaf mountain outside Freetown is a survey stone which has sat uninterrupted for over a hundred years.

And on the road round the peninsula there is a disused railway station.

Were it not for the walls made of laterite blocks and the tropical trees one might almost be on the South Coast.

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