Steamer Point & Tawahi

 

It was always difficult to define the boundary between Steamer Point and Tawahi. Whilst our address was Tawahi, the shops around us were often said to be in Steamer Point. The following photographs were taken by me using my Braun Paxette Super III Automatic purchased at one of the shops in Steamer Point from which we bought many of our luxury goods in those days including my Rolex watch, a Sanyo transistor radio and other treasures, all of which remain in use to this day.

Here are a random selection of photographs taken around Tawahi and the coast road to the Gold Mohur swimming club where my wife and I had a membership and spent such leisure time as we had available. They are presented in no specific order.

 

P&O Building at Tawahi, location of Marconi Marine's office and workshop, February 1965.

 

P & O Building from the harbour side looking towards the shacks on Shamsan.

 

Tawahi from the roof of the P & O Building with my wife surveying the harbour.

 

Me feeding one of the two resident gazelles outside the Crescent Hotel 1962. These timid creatures seemed to like tobacco but lived a miserable existence. We always felt they deserved to live in a sheltered grassy park rather than in their shabby 'home' outside the hotel.

 

Bedded down in the dirty sand in what little shade they could find outside the Crescent Hotel.

 

A view down on the Victoria Park Gardens and the town of Tawahi. Many of the dwellings high up on the hillside were made of old packing cases or whatever discarded materials, including cardboard cartons, that were available.

 

The statue of Queen Victoria in the Victoria Park Gardens, Tawahi.

With acknowledgements to Mrs N Lilburn.

 

My wife walking down the Crescent with the Rock Hotel to the right.

 

The Crescent Hotel and Arab lads playing a football match in the foreground.

 

The P&O Building at the opposite end of the football pitch.

 

Bhicajee Cowasjee - a favourite local shop on the Crescent with the Marina Hotel in the background.

With acknowledgements to Mrs N Lilburn.

 

National & Grindlays Bank at Steamer Point with the Victoria Hotel in the background and the popular Italian restaurant to the left of the bank with blue sun blinds over the windows.

 

View from Steamer Point toward the Crescent and National & Grindlays Bank, February 1965.

 

Aden was a place of extreme light and shadows which caused severe problems for patrolling security forces during the rise in insurgency with the terrorist hiding in the shadows.

 

Sunset highlights the mountain and deepens the shadows.

 

Our local BP petrol station on the corner of the road from Steamer Point to the Crescent close to the P & O Buildings.

 

Looking from the Crescent toward Steamer Point. The last block of flats (white) on the left of the photograph is Palida Terrace with the Aden Bookshop underneath and the BP Petrol station on the right hand side. February 1965.

 

Palida Terrace above the Aden Bookshop in Tawahi. Initially we occupied the flat with the first railed balcony (flat 3) but moved to the second balcony (flat 5) during the latter half of our time in Aden.

 

The side street between Palida Terrace and Orient Pharmacy, March 1963. The flats above the department store were rented by Aden Public Works Department for staff.

 

The famous "Orient Pharmacy" agents for "Boots". This shop was in the block next to our flat in Palida Terrace and the photograph was taken from one of our balconies. Some street traders have set up stalls awaiting the disembarkation of passengers from a visiting ship.

 

The passengers have started to arrive. Note the postman on his traditional red bicycle.

 

Another day, another ship.

 

A rare sight - a cat scavenging in the rubbish alongside a goat which appears to have been tethered to the old oil drum with a piece of rope. Goats were a familiar feature in the back streets of Aden and seemed to survive on eating the glued seams of cardboard cartons. At the time it is highly probable that the glue used was a bi-product of fish meal or crushed animal bone which would have been nutritious. February 1965.

 

Photograph of a young Arab boy on his donkey taken from the balconey of my flat.

 

In June 1962, two labour MP's, George Thomson and Bob Edwards came to Aden as guests of the Aden Trade Union Congress and addressed a meeting of Yemeni workers. Soon after their departure to the UK general strikes followed. This was a street protest against the handing of governance to the Federation of South Arabian States in 1963. Our neighbour and his heavily pregnant wife were jostled in their car by the protestors and very frightened by the incident.

 

As is often the case in street protests the men were proceeded by their women folk dressed in burkhas and ululating loudly. This noise was very intimidating at the time.

 

 

The protest over, people start to return to their normal business.

 

A Federal Regular Army Camel Troop heading for the Office of the Chief Minister for Aden in Steamer Point. These photographs were taken from our balcony in Palida Terrace, December 1962.

 

 

 

The Office of the Chief Minister for Aden in Steamer Point flying the new Federated States flag.

March 1963.

 

A close call. This photograph was taken from our balcony after terrorists exploded a grenade in the street outside our flat in Tawahi. The white particles on the pavement are pieces of rendering from the wall blown off in the blast. The heavy curtains over the open windows in our flat protected us from flying shrapnel and debris. It was reported that the grenade detonation had been accidental - either the terrorists failed to throw the grenade or had fumbled with it on withdrawing the pin and dropped it in their haste to get away. April 1965.

 

The British Sailors' Society's "Sailors Club" at Steamer Point, also known as the "Seamen's Mission".

Their Church organ was in need of repairs when we first arrived so in exchange for my repairing it I was allowed to use it whenever I wished to practice. A popular meeting place for a cold beer by all the residents of Aden, March 1963.

On June 19th 1965 at about 19.00 hours terrorists threw a hand grenade into the Club. One of the perpetrators was caught in the back streets of Tawahi by the Security Forces leading to the break up of a complete local cell. More details of this incident can be found on the following web site: -

http://www.britains-smallwars.com/Aden/Creggan.htm

 

Another view of the Sailor's Club, February 1965.

 

The Catholic Church of St. Francis of Assisi at Steamer Point, February 1965.

I am grateful to Diana Lobo for advising me of the correct name for this Church which I had believed was called "St. Anthony’s".

Bishop Paul Hinder, in Abu Dhabi, has confirmed that the Church was dedicated to St Francis of Assisi and that according to 'The History of the Church in Arabia' by Fr. Egidio Picucci it was consecrated on the 26th June 1892. Sadly the figure of Christ with his arms outstretched ‘calming the seas’ situated above the main entrance became a target on nine different occasions for attack by insurgents.

"St Anthony’s" was the boy's school which was situated behind the convent close by the Church. The Church compound is now separated by a wall from the road and the main entrance to the Church is no longer used. The school, confiscated by the Communist government, has not been restituted to the Church and a wall has been built between the school and the Church areas.

 

The Catholic Church of St. Francis of Assisi, March 1963.

 

The Ministry of Health buildings, which later became the Office of the High Commission, located near to the Catholic Church of St. Francis of Assisi, March 1963.

(My thanks to John Ducker for identifying this building for me.)

 

Aden Broadcasting Service located on the main Steamer Point road in the vicinity of the Harbour Signal Station, March 1963.

 

Renamed British Forces Broadcasting Service, January 1965.

 

The Baptism of my son Mark. Photograph taken outside Christ Church Steamer Point, 24th May 1964.

Left to right, rear row, Major Stan Symons (Royal Corps of Signals) personal friend and Godfather to my son, Stan's wife Marie (holding Mark), Elsa (my wife) and Mrs Sheila Webster. Front row the four daughters of Stan and Marie and two of their friends.

 

A good view of the Hogg Clock Tower, known locally as 'Little Ben', from the road at Steamer Point, February 1965.

 

The Police Commissioner's residence, located between the Aden Forces 'Lido' and Gold Mohur Bay.

 

Another view of the house and the bay beyond with the Gold Mohur lighthouse in the distance.

 

Elephant's Trunk on the road from The Gold Mohur Club to Steamer Point, March 1963.

 

Fishermen on the beach at Gold Mohur Bay.

 

View across to Little Aden from Gold Mohur /Telegraph Bay beaches.

 

A popular pastime - digging out your car when it gets stuck in soft sand, Telegraph Bay.

 

H.M.S. Sheba, the Royal Navy Base in Aden, December 1962.

 

The famous Gold Mohur Club, now the site of a modern hotel.

 

Sunset from the beach at Gold Mohur Bay, December 1962.

 

A rare treasure, the Christmas Card sent by Mrs N Lilburn to her parents in the U. K. - 1961.

A view across Tawahi towards the Crescent Hotel and P & O Building.

With acknowledgements to Mrs N Lilburn.

 

A 'Christmas Greetings' card from my own collection. The photograph was probably taken from the roof of the Crescent Hotel or the Hotel Annexe looking across the P&O Building. The centre white block of flats with the short balconies is Palida Terrace and the adjacent white block on the left hand side is Baharistan Palace, circa 1961.

 

© Charles D Harrington 2006. All rights reserved.