The Hilltop's Journey Through Montserrat's Timeline Offers A Deeper Understanding of The Island


Jeevan A. Robinson

Release Date

Monday, January 4, 2016


To understand a country and its people, an effort has to be made to first understand its history; its culture; its heritage, and the institutions and personalities that have helped to shape that place to its present day representation.

The island of Montserrat has undergone of monumental shift, and social transformation unlike any other place within the Caribbean region. Some say culture has been dimmed. Some even say history is ignored. But how can history be ignored if it is preserved, documented and given life by both private citizens, and governmental agencies charged with continuity and preservation?

The Hilltop Coffee House and Family Center is very unassuming from the outside, but enter this establishment at the top of Fogarthy Hill, Montserrat, and you will encounter possibly the richest collection of artefacts and memorabilia that tell, in a wonderfully organised sequence, the story of Montserrat both pre and post volcanic birth in 1995. For it cannot ever be mistaken that there is but one island of Montserrat, but there are two stories to be told about this island – what she was before and what she has become.

Within the Hilltop Coffee House and Family Center is a vast collection of photographs, videos, items that invoke nostalgia and deep pride.

In MNI Alive Media's estimation, what proprietor David Lea has managed to accomplish at the Hilltop is a fine representation of what has been called for, for years! To have a representation via various media forms and with vivid imagery to showcase aspects of Montserrat that are no longer accessible. This concept serves well both as an addition to the tourism product experience of Montserrat, and also for local knowledge engagement for school children and newcomers particularly, to the island's shores.

David Lea has created something here that is timeless, and worthy of full endorsement and support.

An Air Studios walk through and time line is included in very vivid forms. Also, a section is dedicated strictly to the now deceased King of Soca, Arrow. Chairs that The Beatles and massive stars like Sting and Elton John sat on whilst recording their albums are also vey much on display with the Hilltop.

Moving from there, we go on to witness a collection of signs and other items from the now destroyed city of Plymouth when it was adorned in its full glory. Place names that tear at heartstrings are proudly displayed equally.

In addition, there is the opportunity to watch a 20-minute video that shows viewers what Montserrat was, and some of her most vibrant personalities before the onset of the volcano in 1995.

There is so much creativity, history, emotional draw, and educational excitement within this establishment, that I am surprised it has remained a virtual unknown for so long.

Having toured the location, and having experienced what they offer, it is a recommended stop and a must do for any visitor to Montserrat; or for anyone seeking to know what Montserrat was pre 1995.

Not to mention coffee, tea and various pastries can be enjoyed whilst savouring the energy of the contents within the Hilltop.

I am very thrilled to be speaking about this establishment. Montserrat is better served by its presence on island.

There is a full experience to be enjoyed for sure, but you’ve got to visit the Hilltop Coffee House & Family Center to have that experience all for yourself.

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