The People of Gibraltar
1903 - Sarah Acland - A Visit to Gibraltar - Part 3

The Lecture
Occasionally pedlars would bring up wares to exhibit. Here are two Spanish gypsies. As it was necessary to use an interpreter it was difficult to pose them so as to obtain an artistic photograph.

Sarah’s Spanish gypsies 
( Courtesy of the Museum of the History of Science - Colour composite by Giles Hudson )
Looking west and just across the Bay is the town of Algeciras, about four miles off. The Governor of this town has always been very courteous and civil to the Admiral giving him permission to land from his launch, or torpedo boat, on the Spanish coast and calling on him. When my brother returned his cal he found that the Governor was styled the Governor of Algeciras and Gibraltar in the temporary occupation of the English.   
Going towards Europa Point, the southernmost part of the Rock, we get a beautiful view towards the coast of Morocco, and looking over Rosia Bay (see LINK) with its fort and barracks you see Ape’s Hill. The distance is about 16 miles. You will notice a promontory jutting out, it forms one side of Bensuse Bay and round it lies Perigil Island about 400 feet high, the home of wild sea birds and blue rock pigeons.  
We went over one day on the torpedo boat, but it was not considered wise to land as the last time that a party had done so Moors came down armed with guns and knives. We saw a few men as we were close in shore, and we were told that had we landed the shore would have become alive with armed men, who would have poured out of the caves.
By Perigil Island Aclund is referring to the Isla de Perejil still an awkward place to land as it is a disputed territory between Morocco and Spain. Bensuse may refer to the nearby Bay of BenzĂș.
I now show a picture of a Moor named Conda who worked in the Mount gardens; his dress is the ordinary dress of his country, covered by a warm thick (P5) brown, burnous, with a hood. But Conda had been for many years in Gibraltar and loved to dress himself up in any old clothes that he could pick up so that he was not always so tidy as the picture represents him to be. In the hot weather in summer the Moors wear a long white burnous and pull the hood over their heads the instance that the sun shines.

The Prince of Wales talking to an Arab leader at the Convent during his visit to Gibraltar - It must have been sunny  ( 1921)  (See LINK)
You will notice that Conda has a scarf, or turban, badly enough put on his fez, which he told me is the sign of a married man, unmarried men wear the fez only. I should be glad to know if this is correct.

Two photos of Conda  ( 1903 - Sarah Angelina Acland  )
( Courtesy of the Museum of the History of Science - Colour composite by Giles Hudson )
Going on towards Europa Point we pass Glenrocky on our way and into the deep fissure hard by many of the women were placed for safety during the Great Siege. (See LINK) Having crossed Europa Point and turned round towards the Governor’s Cottage we are pretty sure to get to a typical scene, goats feeding among the rocks. Hardly anyone besides the Governor and the Admiral is allowed to keep cows, and the flocks of goats go round and are milked into jugs at the doors of houses.

Maltese milkman in Gibraltar   ( 1876 )
The goats are not allowed beyond the unclimbable fence, above which no-one can go without a special pass. Owing to this restriction the Rock has of late years has become much less barren looking, as formerly the goats browsed down all the shrubs and plants.  
The next view was taken looking north, with the coast of AndalucĂ­a in the distance. Over the end cave is a ledge and with a good telescope you can see an osprey eagle sitting on her nest. Colonel Verner told me that Gilbert White’s brother was stationed at Gibraltar 150 years ago, and wrote home to his brother at Selborne (sic) to tell him that an osprey was nesting on the ledge. When colonel Verner first went to Gibraltar as a young man, he went in nesting time to see if any descendents of the osprey were still there, and sure enough one was still there, and when this photograph was taken one was still there. 

It is impossible to tell from Sarah’s photograph on which ledge and over which cave the osprey was visible ( 1903 - Sarah Angelina Acland  )
( Courtesy of the Museum of the History of Science - Colour composite by Giles Hudson )
On the day that I took these photographs a smuggler’s boat, heavily laden with tobacco, was creeping along close to the shore to discharge its cargo into one of the caves. Smuggling of tobacco is extensively carried on from Gibraltar into Spain. (See LINK)  Dogs are trained, often with great cruelty, to run home when landed at night. They carry saddlebags strapped on, or even have the skins of larger dogs stuffed out with tobacco fastened on to them.  
They are thrown out of boats into the sea and have to swim for their lives, only to be attacked when reaching the shore by the Guardia Civil and their dogs. We came one day on a boatful of dogs anchored out on the east side of the Rock, waiting without food for the night. The smuggling dogs are most intelligent and become very valuable when well trained and they have made successful runs. We saw one being trained at La Linea and, alas! Several dead on the shore of the bay.
The next paragraph serves as an introduction to the problem posed in taking photographs of children that find it hard to keep still - in this case that of Conda’s young brother, Mustapha. She managed it and having made some prints sent one to the Sultan of Morocco. His “Sherifian” majesty sent his thanks via his English military commander - Kaid MacLean - (see LINK) with the rather unlikely message that he too had taken and developed colour photos himself.

General Sir Harry Aubrey de Vere Maclean aka Kaid Maclean - seated on the left
Outside the wall of the Mount grounds is the old Jews’ cemetery used long ago, and . . .  one tombstone is still left by the roadside. The road leads on towards the military prison and the naval signal station and past the rain-water catchments of the Mount. Gibraltar is entirely dependent on rain for its drinking water. This caught in great catchments and stored in tanks.   
The largest of these catchments is on the east side of the Rock, where corrugated iron is being placed on slopes of sand (when we were there about 13 acres had been covered), and water is to be stored in huge tanks in caves, The only other source of water is pumped up on the neutral ground. It is brackish and comes from the neighbourhood of the cemetery, so it can only be used for baths and sanitary purposes. 
By 1961 the area of the water catchments had increased from the 13 acres to about 60 - or 243 000 m2. They were dismantled around 1991. 

Top photo - water catchments as Sarah would have known them in 1903/4 - Bottom photo the east side of the Rock with a heavy levanter cloud showing the water catchments as they were in 1944

Then follows a lengthy discussion on the technical aspects of her work after which she resumes her narrative about her stay on the Rock.
Just before we left Gibraltar this year the Mediterranean fleet with the Channel and Cruiser Squadrons arrived and were a most wonderful sight as they steamed in. The day after the arrival of the fleets, I made a panorama of three negatives, as the ships lay anchored in the harbour and bay. There were 18 battleships, 18 cruisers, 24 torpedo boat destroyers and with details - such as water ships, artificers’ ships and hospital ship Maine - in all 70 of His Majesty’s ships with about 30 000 men.

Unfortunately I have never seen the panorama mentioned by Sarah. However, the photo above is dated 1904 and shows part of what looks like the Mediterranean fleet anchored by the South Mole. The fifth ship could be a “Drake” class cruiser

The battleships ranged up to 15 000 tons and the cruisers 14 000, the “Good Hope” and the “Drake” being the largest iof the later. Each of the big ships had a complement of 700 to 800 men. . . .  the Naval Hospital at Gibraltar (was) pretty full during the stay of the fleets  . . . 

The Old Naval Hospital in the late 19th century

Sarah continues to offer other details concerning the fleet and then finishes off her lecture by showing a slide of her brother whom she thanks for allowing her to take some of her photos - photographing anything that was considered of military importance was frowned upon by the authorities and permits were often requires to take snapshots of even the most innocuous subjects. 

Several more or less technical questions from an appreciative audience,  votes of thanks and that was it - or perhaps not quite! The lecture had proved enough of a success for a repeat performance in 1907 by “special request”.

1903 - Sarah Acland - A Visit to Gibraltar - Intro
1903 - Sarah Acland - A Visit to Gibraltar - Part 1
1903 - Sarah Acland - A Visit to Gibraltar - Part 2