St George's Mayor Kenneth Bascome says taxis and tour operators should take visitors to Ferry Point Park. *Photo by Simon Jones
St George's Mayor Kenneth Bascome says taxis and tour operators should take visitors to Ferry Point Park. *Photo by Simon Jones

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 22: A sharper focus on St George’s ‘untapped treasures’ could hold the key to helping the town rejuvenate itself.

This according to St George’s Mayor Kenneth Bascome who today urged islanders as well as taxi drivers to incorporate Ferry Reach into the tours they offered visitors from abroad.

He said the park was ‘packed full of history and culture’ and needed to be exposed to more visitors.

Mr Bascome added: “We need to grasp the culture and the history that is here and make it more sustainable.

“Mass tourism does not work in Bermuda. We do not have the infrastructure for it and we cannot move visitors about comfortably.

“Places like Ferry Reach need to be highlighted more to our visitors.

“It has one of the longest stretches of Railway Trail without asphalt on the island and there are three historic forts, a graveyard that dates back more than a hundred years and a lime kiln that is a piece of history in itself.”

Three forts were constructed at the western end of Ferry Point Park by the British Army; Martello Tower, Burnt Point Fort and Ferry Island Fort.

The forts date back to the early 1800s and were built to protect the channel running from St George’s Harbour to Castle Harbour.

While the walled military cemetery to the east of Whalebone Bay marks the burial spot of several officers and privates who died during a Yellow Fever epidemic in 1864.

Remnants of the pilings used to support the old railway track can still be seen traversing Ferry Reach.

And the park is also home to the island’s only Muslim Graveyard and the St George’s Oil Docks where gas, jet fuel and diesel are siphoned into Bermuda off passing tankers.

Mr Bascome added:  “These are areas that our taxi drivers and tour buses should be visiting.

“I love to bring people up here to Ferry Reach and tell them about its history but I don’t see many other people doing that.

“Everyone wants to go to the Town Square.

“But the entire parish of St George’s is steeped in history.

“Just out of the town there are lots of areas like this that are just as important historically to St George.

“Some of the people that died here are responsible for the freedoms we enjoy today.

“We need to use our culture and heritage and capture visitors’ imaginations. Even places like the Oil Docks are interesting to visitors because many want to know how we get our fuel and energy.

“More of a light needs to be put on these places and Bermudians need to have pride in these areas and expose their guests to them.”