Daily Archives: January 23, 2007

Barbados Music Awards Need A Little Credibility Boost

The Bajan Reporter blog continues asking questions about the judging process of the Barbados Music Awards – and the bloggers aren’t the only ones raising eyebrows. According to Ian Bourne at Bajan Reporter, some Barbados entertainers are grumbling too.

Like we said… there has been a change of mood in this country insofar as transparency, integrity and accountability goes – and it is flowing through Bajan society at all levels. The elites had better take notice…

Bajan Reporter: More Entertainers Carp On B’dos Music Awards Under Cloak Of Anonymity

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Island Life, Politics & Corruption

The Great Barbados Landslip Of 1901 – Will It Be Repeated At Greenland Dump?

barbados-landslip-greenland-boscobel.jpg

Lessons From Our Past – Barbados Is Not The Rock Of Gibraltar

Here is an article that appeared in the Advocate in 1901, shortly after the largest landslip on record occurred. The article is written in the language of the time and that in itself provides an interesting window on how things were 106 years ago on this little island. We presume that the article’s author, W.G. Hutchinson – Vicar of St. Philip’s, Boscobel, was a white person of British heritage. (This is neither bad nor good, just a statement of who the author was. If we’re wrong, someone tell us please.)

Boscobel is a bit further north than Greenland – but not by much.

Greenland Dumpsite Is So Very Close To The Largest Recorded Landslip In Barbados History

The first lesson of the 1901 landslip is that Barbados is not a stable rock. Even today, and especially in the Greenland area, the land slips and slides considerably as photographs of the paved roads prove. (See here and here)

The second big lesson to be learned from the disaster of 1901, it is that Greenland should not be used for a dump. Those who continue to take Barbados down the path of relying upon the stability of the Greenland substrate must be blind, incompetent or have ulterior motives that cannot be in the best interest of Barbados and it’s citizens.

Thanks to our friend Satellite John for transcribing this article and for providing satellite images of the area. We have published all John’s satellite images and this entire article on a separate page. (link here to be published in a few hours – after dinner!)

The Advocate newspaper, 4th. Oct.,1901…

TERRIBLE LANDSLIP IN BOSCOBEL

* Hundreds of Acres Silently Disappear
* Estate Buildings, Mills and Cottages levelled and submerged
* Work of destruction not yet complete
* Houses still sinking whilst the terror stricken people work
hard to save their effects.

Perhaps a description given by an eye witness of the terrible calamity that has befallen Boscobel district may be of interest to your readers and may serve as I trust it will, the further purpose for which it is written.

To begin then at the beginning. On Friday, the 27th. ulto., the present writer spent a long time looking at the magnificent view to be seen from above the Boscobel Vicarage. It was not that I was not familiar with it but because everything on that day was

SO ASTONISHINGLY DISTINCT,

and distant objects seemed so near. According to the sense of sight it seemed that the voice would scarcely require to be raised to attract attention at St. Andrew’s Rectory, four miles away, and it seemed only natural to expect to see people at Bathsheba. But from my experience in another place, there was one thing that stood out in my mind, as clear as the atmosphere itself, and that was that there would soon be a heavy fall of water.

It was on Saturday that the rain began. One may see when looking south-west from St. Nicholas estate, two others, Adventure on the left and Castle on the right. St. Nicholas buildings are near midway between these places and this house. Rain clouds began to form in the south-west in the morning of saturday and were borne by the wind over Boscobel village. But it was only when they got over this vicinity that they seem to have

EMPTIED THEMSELVES AS “CLOUD BURSTS”.

Adventure had 9.31 inches of rain from Saturday to Tuesday morning, the Castle, 9.50, St,. Nicholas 15.17, while over this place much more fell than on July 5th. when over 20 inches were recorded. Observe the great difference in rainfall at St. Nicholas, and the two nearest estates below it.

On Tuesday morning, a neighbouring manager riding by, stopped for a few minutes. He remarked that he had been riding near the cliff and had heard

A CURIOUS GRATING SOUND

among the rocks.” It would have been interesting to have found the cause”, I observed. “It might have been a landslip to carry me away”, he replied jestingly, “in which case it is far more interesting to my family for me to be away”. Yet neither of us thought that this was really the beginning of the

GREATEST LANDSLIP EVER KNOWN

in this locality, involving hundreds of acres of land and a great many houses. At about 11 a.m. the alarm was raised of a serious subsidence to windward of the cliff, and hurrying up to this, I saw a scene I am not likely to look upon again. A vast extent of land beginning at the foot of the cliff was in motion. Yet, for the most part it was silent motion, save when here and there, huge masses of rock breaking from the hillocks, which used to form a feature of this place, thundered away to the level below, or again when, with less noise they sometimes turned over their ash grey heads and rolled away from sight. Fissures appeared in all directions and now and again

SMALL STONES WENT TINKLING DOWN

their depths. Yet, considering the vast convulsion, the distinguishing mark was silence. In the distance were to be seen a few sheep which could not be saved, and which betrayed great uneasiness, but on the other hand, three goats some further distance on continued to graze with the utmost indifference, merely starting back occasionally when fissures opened before them or a stone rolled by. The writer saw the site of a house of one of the congregation at Boscobel Chapel. There was no house and not so much as one stone of the wall remained standing on another. Just before this place was another house, a wooden one, from which the family had fled carrying

AN INFANT JUST TWO WEEKS OLD.

Nothing could be done to save this house and I watched it as its position varied with the variations of the land beneath. At one time it was level, at another, it was leaning, and again later on, it had twisted somewhat round. Further on, several wooden houses were being removed with all haste, but it was no longer possible to get to this. Yet, like many an abandoned ship, it was not wrecked up to the time when I last saw it. At this time a few people were to be seen in the yard of Boscobel estate, and a little later a great part of the mill wall was observed to fall. At the same time, information was brought that

BOSCOBEL HOUSE WAS FALLING IN.

I set out to get to it, and at the entrance of the village, stopped to give an assurance that the house of a terrified widow was safe. Above it, a fissure had appeared, but it was built on the edge of the solid coral formation, and to my mind was safe, as well as the one opposite. All through the village an endless stream of people was pouring, bearing away furniture and parts of wooden houses which were being removed from danger. But alas, wooden houses are few in this village, and I was called here and there for an opinion as to whether the occupants of some of the many wall houses should begin to trek at once, or bide a wee longer. Up to this time, the road had remained almost intact, and the estate house was reached in time. Here, I found that the removal of furniture had begun, and until daylight began to fail, the work of clearing out was vigourously prosecuted amid the falling plaster, and the more dangerous incoming of stones from the walls. Much valuable furniture was got out, but much also was left, and eventually in the failing light Mr. Skinner’s family left the place, and they passed by daylight over the worst part of the road that meanwhile had become almost impassable.

When early on Tuesday morning I looked out from the cliff it was over a scene from which almost

EVERY FAMILIAR LANDMARK

had disappeared. There in the distance, however, Boscobel House was still standing. Half the boiling house had gone while the remains of the millwall had reached the ground. Again I went down to the house. Large cracks had now appeared in the exterior walls, while within it was found that part of the upper floor and much of the wall had come down. Many damaged articles of furniture were recovered, which had come down from above with the floor. Subsequently, a ladder was fixed against the window of a room from which nothing had been removed and through this all the furniture was removed. Such a feat was done at

TERRIBLE RISK,

and would never have been attempted had not Mr. J. Bovell, manager of Morgan Lewis, been on the scene. He and his book-keeper, Mr. McConney, walked over floors of which part had collapsed already and where no others would venture, and amid falling walls, pulled out furniture, taking with genuine bravery risks that would have made the Directors of the Life Assurance Company stand aghast. While they were clearing this room, the remainder of

THE BOILING HOUSE CAME CRASHING DOWN.

Yet at this moment of writing the house has not collapsed. Possibly, this is due to the varying motions of the land at this place. The general motion from the cliff down to the house sets in one direction and when strong cannot be resisted, but the substratum now exposed about the house shows a decline another way, and the loosened soil obeys this formation when the other motion is not in full force. So between the two

THE HOUSE HAS SUNK

on the whole as much as it has leaned. Early on Tuesday morning, the pond below the buildings was finding an outlet towards the mill; the slope at that time was in that direction, but two hours later the outlet was nearly on the opposite side over the road. The other tendency at that time had asserted itself. This is not the case elsewhere, as over

HUNDREDS OF ACRES

the slide is well defined. Here and there the soil has parted from the substratum, exposing it, and this is found to be dark bluish clay, very smooth and very slippery. The slip is distinct from the subsidence. This latter has been over forty feet in some places and was caused apparently in this way. The heavy rains had reached this clay and rendered it slippery, and the saturated earth, now greatly increased in weight, broke away from its slippery surface.

In closing this article, the writer, on behalf of others must assume the role of beggar. In this village over

FORTY HOUSES ARE HOPELESSLY WRECKED.

My assurance to the widow unfortunately proved wrong. On Tuesday morning her house was broken in half, and the opposite one has crumbled away. About a year ago, two industrious and steady young men completed their houses. For a long time they had been about them. Then they married and so started their wedded life in as

NICE LITTLE HOMES

as an ordinary labourer’s highest ambition would reach to. These houses are ruins now and the patient work of years has gone for nought. Last month I was talking to a young woman about her approaching marriage. It would soon be, she said, for the house (of wall and stone) is finished. But on Tuesday morning the bridegroom elect was removing the wooden parts of it from the shattered wall. Is there a need to say more? Will those who are interested enough to read this extend a helping hand to those who merit aid? I have said forty houses because the

THE FULL EXTENT OF THE DAMAGE IS UNKNOWN

up to the present, but someone familiar with the village points out that the number eighty would probably be no exaggeration. Be it forty or eighty, any contributions entrusted to me would most thankfully be acknowledged on behalf of the sufferers. Postal Orders even for the smallest sums can now be cashed in this parish, while unused postage stamps are easily converted to money.

W.G. Hutchinson
Vicar of St. Philip’s, Boscobel

13 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Environment, History, Politics & Corruption

Cowardly Barbados Advocate Newspaper Caved To Screaming Government Minister

noel-lynch-barbados-tourism.jpg

Barbados Government Minister Threatened To Withdraw All Advertising If Columnist Was Not Fired

The Wikipedia entry for “Media of Barbados” has needed correction for some time. It says in part …

“The Media of Barbados have had a long history of being entitled to an open policy by the Government, and by the citizenry with respect to press Freedoms… In terms of Broadcast-media the Barbados Government largely has a hands off policy, as long as the content being aired by a media outlet is not profane, libelous, lude, slanderous or vile…”

We all know a hundred times over what a lie that statement is, and here’s more proof…

Hotelier Adrian Loveridge used to write a weekly column for the Barbados Advocate – which ended suddenly (rumour had it) after the Government of Barbados became weary of criticism and truths contained in Mr. Loveridge’s articles. Now, directly from someone who appears to be Adrian Loveridge, we learn the truth about how the cowardly publisher and editor of the Barbados Advocate said “YES MASSA!” to Owen Arthur’s Government and fired their columnist.

Adrian posted this comment at the Barbados Free Press article How Much Is The Barbados Government Paying To Moor Cruise Ships In Other Countries?

From Adrian’s post, it seems that current Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch was the Minister who threatened the Barbados Advocate’s publisher to fire Loveridge…

“In a nutshell, we do not get any assistance from BTA or Ministry of Tourism. Each year we organise a trade/consumer show dedicated to building Intra Caribbean travel, called re-DISCOVER the Caribbean and despite being captured by the media on film and in print, where the Minister of Tourism promised $25,000 towards promoting the event, absolutely nothing has been forthcoming.

Intra Caribbean travel is the ONLY major market where Barbados has seen consistent above inflation growth over the last 12 years.

The same Minister screemed down the phone at me for twelve minutes one Sunday morning and the next day the publisher of the Advocate (where I had a weekly column on Tourism) told me that Government had threatened to withdraw all paid advertising unless my column was terminated.

The previous MOT dismissed me from my post as unanimously elected chairman of a small hotels committee on which I served (unpaid) for two years as ‘being not sufficiently indigenous’ and for the same reason we were denied membership of the Intimate Hotels group. It was up until recently the ONLY trade association of Barbados that denied membership to permanent residents (contrary to the Laws of Barbados – 1966 Act of Constitition).

I could go on, but its hardly likely to make a difference.

I am outspoken because there are so many things going on in this country where there is no degree of accountability or transparency.

During the years I wrote a weekly full page column on tourism in the Advocate, no-one was able to dispute its contents because they were factual and well researched. Thats the reason (I think) that pressure was applied by Government to terminate it.

The reality about tourism on Barbados is that we are not doing very well in comparision to our competitors.
As Peter Morgan used to point out, we are the only Caribbean destination (apart from Haiti) NOT to have grown our hotel room stock in the last 12 years.

In fact over 18 hotels have been lost (conversion to condos) or remain closed.

Between 2002 and 2004 over 2,000 jobs were lost in our tourism industry or put another way one in eight or 14% percent of the workforce.

The Minister may brag about increased arrival numbers, but again in fact many of being counted twice (home porting) and how visitor spending has increased, by 4%. But if inflation is running at 7%, what is the real gain?

Don’t anybody take my word for it, speak to the taxi drivers, room maids, waiters, restaurant owners etc.”

Adrian Loveridge

46 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Times Article Brags About “Hidden… Cut Off Beach” At Cove Spring House Barbados – No Unwashed Masses To Harass Movie Stars

cove-spring-house-barbados-beach.jpg

Times Says Hidden Beach Protects Movie Stars From Paparazzi & Unwashed Bajan Masses

With all the hoopla over some Barbados hotels advertising that they have “private” beaches, we happened upon a Times Online article about Cove Spring House – one of the haunts where the rich and famous celebrities hang out to be away from the unwashed masses. (Villa website link here)

The owner of the home, Ajmal Khan, bought the place in 2001 for US$15 million, and keeps a Gulfstream 4 bizjet on standby at Grantley Adams airport to fly in his famous guests – including movie producers who bring along their latest little starlets for, uh…. what’s the word? ah… interviews. Yes, the movie producers interview the starlets at Cove Spring House. Says so in the Times article – sort of.

So Cove Spring provides all the privacy needed for the rich and famous and their interviewees.

Hey… at US$7,000 per night nobody has to worry too much about the likes of BFP’s Cliverton or George showing up at the house to crash a party hosted by movie star Glenn Close – but the beach? Now that’s a whole different wicket…

“Technically It’s A Public Beach, But … “

The Times writer says…

“And while Cove Spring is on the famous platinum coast — just ten mins by private yacht from Sandy Lane, darling — it has, uniquely, its own hidden beach. Technically it’s a public beach, but two rocky headlands jut into the sea, cutting it off from passing paparazzi and hoi polloi…” … Times article “The Villa Crowd On Barbados

Hmmmm… “paparazzi” I know, but what’s “hoi polloi” ? Being an uneducated chap who often smells of fish, I’m obviously not in the same league as the Time’s readership, so I had to look up “hoi polloi”. Thank God for Wikipedia and the internet… should be here somewhere… what the? HEY!

I’ve Just Been Insulted And I’m So Stupid I Didn’t Even Know It!

Hoi Polloi means “riffraff, the great unwashed, masses, the herd” … The only unwashed masses I know of ’round this place are Bajan unwashed masses. And as the definition says, the term is usually used “in a derogatory sense”…

Hoi polloi (Greek: οἱ πολλοί), an expression meaning “the many” in both Ancient Greek and Modern Greek, is used in English to denote “the masses” or “the people”, usually in a derogatory sense. For example, “I’ve secured a private box for the play so we don’t have to watch the show with the hoi polloi.” According to Thesaurus.com, synonyms for “hoi polloi” include “Middle America, commoners, great unwashed, multitude, plebians, proletariat, rabble, rank and file, riffraff, the common people, the herd, the many, the masses, the working class”

Time For A Beach Party, Folks!

This Sunday (and every Sunday) would be a fine day to pack up the kids and the women and take them down to Cove Spring House for a beach picnic! Imagine sunning yourself next to Brad Pitt, Carmen Electra or some of the other famous folks who have touched the same sand. Heck, I don’t care if there are no movie stars on the beach – anybody who can pay seven thousand dollars a day for such a beach is welcome to sit by me anytime…. on OUR Bajan public beach.

Calling Satellite John!

Hey John – how about locating some satellite shots and maps of Cove Spring House beach for us? Maybe locate the best access paths, parking areas and the nearest public washrooms? We’ll publish it all here and then we’ll declare a certain Sunday to be an official Cove Spring House beach picnic day!

How About It Folks?

Shall we Bajan “great unwashed masses” have some fun with the elites who can shell out seven grand a day? What do you think? Join us for a beach party at Cove Spring.

Who’s in?

23 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Culture & Race Issues, Environment, Traveling and Tourism