John and Gabriel's

B.V.* Montserrat photos

* = before the volcano

This small photographic archive is to remind ourselves and others of Montserrat as it used to be, before the volcano.

In 1992 we bought a house in Spanish Point, Montserrat. Known as the Villa Virginia, it was originally built in the 1960's by a Canadian couple, the Picketts. In 1989 it was devastated by Hurricane Hugo, and the wrecked remains passed into the hands of Adolphus Morson, Gabriel's brother. He rebuilt it and then sold it to us. Our plan had been to keep it as a holiday home for ourselves, our family and our friends, with a view to moving there permanently once we had retired. But it was not to be.

The last time we were able to stay there was in April 1997. In September of that year it was obliterated by pyroclastic flows. It now lies deep under several metres of pyroclastic debris, and no trace of it remains.

The photographs are organized into several sets:

John Wells and Gabriel Parsons, London SW19

Placed on the web 1999 May 08, extended 1999 05 09