Daily Archives: July 27, 2012

The heartache and frustration of renovating historical buildings in Bridgetown

Building before renovation

From a mutual friend we (and every other news media outlet in Barbados) received another sad tale of outrageous abuse by our government officials against an investor and business person who was doing something positive in the community.

You want a lesson in how a few narrow-minded bureaucrats can take six years to pass a few pieces of paper around and discourage even the most enthusiastic foreign investor? Read on…

The document speaks for itself, so we’ll let ‘er rip…

By Ryan Thorpe: property owner, business investor

Telephone (246) 2687665
Email : RyanThorpe69@hotmail.com

Historical Building : Violet Bourne’s Bar and Andy’s Bakery & Deli 116 Roebuck Street
Bridgetown

This property was on the market for sale over 6 years (1999)

Mr recommendation to: The Bill for the preservation of places, structures and relics or other object of archeological, historical and cultural interest.

To :

Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, the Hon Stephen Lashley,

Permanent Secretary, Division of Culture and Sports, Ms Shirley Farnum

Deputy Permanent Secretary, Division of Culture and Sports, Ms Celia Toppin:

Dear all,

Site Description

The subject site is one of the typical small urban lots on Roebuck Street. Roebuck Street is a Class 1 road according to the Town and Country Planning Development Order 1972. This street is one of the seven Cultural Heritage Conservation Areas identified within the Bridgetown Community Plan Boundary. The sites contain a two storey stone building that has been identified by the Barbados National Trust and UNESO as a building for its historical and architectural value. The building on Lot 116, like most other heritage buildings along the throughfare of Bridgetown occupies the majority of the land space zero degree to the boundaries lines.

The property was formerly known as “V Bourne’s Bar” which was a popular Rum shop for liquid lunch, cutters, rock cakes, lead pipes and fish cakes in the 1970’s situated on the ground floor. The first floor was living quarters for the same shop keeper’s family and later in the 1980’s was a Tailors shop.

This property was renovated to almost the same architectural design alike the 1800’s, approximately six years ago by me (Ryan Thorpe) the owner and property developer resulting in a change of use to facilitate more up market retail space and corporate offices, harmonizing the old with the new designing. I have injected 40% physical labour and design into this project for this final finish.

I have resided and worked in the United Kingdom for the past ten years as a Multi-Skill Engineer with a International Blue Chip Companies and the United Kingdom government.

I was very happy with the area as an investment, having done tremendous historical research about the area, which holds so much history for Barbados and the Caribbean trading communities. I had some costly delays and setbacks with the Chief Town Planner, since it took that Department one year before the approval of my building plans, and one of the main requirements was to locate twenty five (25) parking facilities in Roebuck Street to accommodate my business venture i.e Change of use to public entertainment and Sports Bar (2011). I believe the government of Barbados should pay more attention to the Town Planning Department as these delays can hinder returning nationals and foreign investors from coming to Barbados to invest in our heritage. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Economy, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

The post turtle and the Prime Minister

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old ‘livestock specialist’, whose hand was caught in the squeeze gate while looking after black bellied sheep, the doctor at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital struck up a conversation with the old man.

Eventually the topic got around to Freundel Stuart and his role as our Prime Minister.

The old man said, “Well, ya know doctor… Stuart is a Post Turtle.”

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him, what a ‘post turtle’ was.

The old man said, “When you’re driving along a road up near Grape Hall and you come across a fence post with a land turtle balanced on top, that’s a post turtle.”

The old man saw the puzzled look on the doctor’s face so he continued to explain.

“You know he didn’t get up there by himself,  he doesn’t belong up there,  he doesn’t know what to do while he’s up there,  he’s elevated beyond his ability to function, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put him up there to begin with. It was all an accident, and not meant to be!”

Best explanation I’ve heard yet.

(Our thanks to an old friend!)

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Filed under Barbados, Politics