Monday, 16 August 2010
Noel Coward discovered Jamaica as a result of a trip in 1944 and Ian Fleming discovered it on a Naval mission at about the same time. Fleming was the first to commit to building there and returned after the war, bought land off Blanche Blackwell on Oracabessa Bay (Orcabessa means 'Golden Head') and built a simple Spartan house, which he called after a Naval operation; Goldeneye. It was here that he created James Bond, taking the name of his spy from the author of the reference book Birds of The Caribbean. For the rest of his life, he left England in the first week of January and spent until the first week in March, each year, at Goldeneye, turning out the Bond novels. In 1948 Noel Coward rented Goldeneye from Fleming and set about finding his own land on which to build. At first he bought land on the seafront at Ocho Rios and built a villa which he called Blue Harbour. Shortly after this, he also found land high up, over Port Maria, called Lookout, which had belonged to the pirate and sometime Governor of Jamaica, Sir Henry Morgan (there is in fact still a little building in the grounds there dating from Morgan's time). He named this house Firefly because of the abundance of these creatures there.
Goldeneye (first picture) is now open as a private resort; Blue Harbour (second picture) is an hotel and Firefly (third picture, showing where Noel Coward is buried) is a Museum to his memory. All are worth a visit, if you happen to find yourself in that part of the world.
Posted by NJS at 09:56