More thrills than skills – A half-life in journalism, part 25

Over the next few weeks, is to publish, each weekday, edited extracts from the memoirs of Scottish war correspondent, Paul Harris. ‘More thrills than skills: A half-life in journalism’, is being scheduled for publication next year.

ERNESTINE M Y Cassell, director of Montserrat Tourist Board, was a real trooper.

‘The show must go on’ seemed to be her motto: in the midst of all this, she announced a rather extraordinary and forward-looking tourism initiative for the beleagured island.

As the volcano threatened to blow its top, she announced a campaign to attract ‘adventure tourists’.

“Montserrat is currently the focus of world interest and now is the time to market the island,” she resolutely declared.

“I can’t sit here until the volcano subsides.”

She thought there is a niche market for people looking for thrills and for serious vulcanologists: people in anoraks – to you and me – who get seriously excited by pyroclastic folows, magna domes and mega-eruptions.

She admitted to me she was breaking new ground, so to speak.

“My university course in marketing never told me how to market a volcano.”