Stephen arrived on St. Helena in 1979 after accepting the role of purser in customer care aboard the RMS St. Helena. In 1885 he decided to buy an old farm house and spent six years converting it into a country house hotel. The Rolls Royce was purchased for 3,000 to use as a courtesy car when picking up guests from the harbour. It then cost a further £3,000 to repair the breaks.
Jon Tonks' series 'Empire' follows his journey across the South Atlantic, exploring life on four remote islands - the British Overseas Territories of Ascension Island, Tristan da Cunha, the Falkland Islands and St. Helena - relics of the once formidable British Empire, all intertwined through their shared history.
Travelling 60,000 miles around the Atlantic over six years, Tonks spent up to a month at a time in each territory, documenting these landscapes, and within them, traces of imperial history. Writing about the series, Christopher Lord describes Tonks as hinting at 'a skewed vision of an older, distant but not-quite-departed Britain'.