If you’ve stayed at the New Inn you’ll know that there’s always a friendly face to welcome you and make you feel at home, most often that of Rachel Young, New Inn receptionist. Rachel remembers her first visits to Tresco as a holidaymaker and the pull of the island that eventually made her return to become a permanent resident.
I was introduced to Scilly (but not Tresco) on two occasions as a child; both visits, out of season, travelling on the Scillonian and staying on St Mary’s. My enduring memories are of being happy but drenched through! I enjoyed these trips but didn’t fall in love with the islands until years later.
My mother and stepfather, like others, were clearly hooked, addicted and head over heels with the ‘whole Scilly package’ and on a visit to Hell Bay Hotel in the mid 80s, stumbled across the latest project on Tresco and went to have a look. Timeshare, as I remember at that time, was new and a bit of a gamble and people were cautious of this radical new idea, and my very prudent family, who were definitely not risk takers, bought into it – probably the best investment they ever made!
They had enjoyed almost 10 years of timeshare heaven, visiting twice a year, before I had the opportunity to visit and as soon as I set foot on Tresco I was entranced. From that first holiday on I spent my days dreaming of Scilly and counting down the weeks until my next instalment.
I found my visits to be tremendously uplifting (and not just the helicopter ride); a real escape from my noisy and hectic job in pre-school education and a break from all the demands of my personal life, like a holiday should be I suppose! I felt that Tresco was incredibly spiritual, a place where I could recharge and more than anything I felt at home. Like most people I hated going back to reality and my No.1 desire was to really experience living on Scilly.
A few days after my 35th birthday I arrived on Tresco to work for one summer season in the old garden cafe; 9 years on and I’m still here! Not a day goes by when my heart doesn’t skip a beat even from a mere glimpse of my surroundings, and making Tresco home, for me, has been effortless. I gain so much from being part of the population of the island; it’s like travelling back in time to a safe environment where you know your neighbours (although sometimes this can be a hindrance – sneeze at one end of the island and the news will travel like wild fire to the other!). Even though our community is small there’s always something in the social diary; for me it’s a far more diverse life than on the mainland and a terrific one with such a varied assortment of characters, backgrounds and ages.
Due to my job at the New Inn I am constantly coming into contact with other ‘addicts’ (holiday makers!) who return every year as well as those who are finally fulfilling their life long dream of visiting the Isles. Obviously the job, like most, has its moments but the greatest reward is seeing how happy people are during their stay. I feel for them when they have to leave, but I’m greatly relieved that it is not me flying out on the 10.40 flight!
Rachel was born and educated in Cheltenham. She qualified as a Nursery Nurse in 1989 and spent 20 years working in different fields of childcare, pre-school education and teaching English as a foreign language. During this time she spent years living and working in Canada, Finland and London.