To extract sugar from sugar cane Calcium Oxide (CaO) known as lime has to be added to the cane juice. This allows the impurities to precipitate and be removed from the juice. This is done in large settling tanks after the cane juice is heated. The residue, called mud, is filtered out and used to fertilise the cane fields. The lime is made in lime kilns. This is the story of Arthur Hutchinson’s abandoned lime kiln at Ragged Point.
Lime, as it is called, was made by heating coral rock which is made up of Calcium Carbonate CaCO3. In late December and January the smell of the lime kilns signalled that the crop was about to start.
Mr. Arthur Hutchinson worked at Pool and Kendall Plantations. He was dissatisfied with the treatment of the overseers and tried to form an Overseers Union to represent those working in the factories and plantations.
The Plantation owners (the Barbadian plantocracy) heard of this and told him that if the Union was formed he would be fired, which he was. The Estate Owners made sure that he could not get another job in the island.
Mr. Hutchinson then purchased the Lime Kiln at Ragged Point to supply Three Houses and the other Sugar Factories in St. Philip. To get back at him a Lime Kiln was built at Three Houses. This forced the closure of Mr. Hutchinson’s lime kiln operation.
The Barbados Labour Party (BLP), led by Sir Grantley Adams, won the election the following year in December 1948. Mr Adams knew about these events and offered Mr. Hutchinson a job as liaison officer for the workers who went to Florida to cut canes and pick fruit.
David Marshall, who grew up at East Point, told me this story about Mr Hutchinson.
“Mr Hutchinson lived in Marley Vale in 1946. It was the first year after the war that the blackout was lifted and you could have outdoor lights. The old lady was showing baby John (better known as Chimp) the pretty lights at Three Houses when this shot rang out and landed between my sister, Dorothy, and Chimp. Well we had no phone and the old man (aka The Okra King) could not drive at night. We battened down the house, inside shutters and all, until morning. At daybreak we found the 303 bullet in the verandah. The old man then went to District C Police Station. When the police came they said the only person that had a 303 was Hutchinson and they went to his house in Marley Vale. The police soon came back with him and he admitted that his dogs had a fight in the back yard and he discharged his rifle in the air to scare them and the shot must have come down in the verandah. He and the old man then shook hands and that was the end of that.
Mr. Hutchinson liked guns and from the many stories I have heard he was not afraid to fire off a few shots.
Arthur Hutchinson was not the only white Barbadian to run afoul of the elite Barbadian plantocracy.
In 1949 Atholl Edwin Seymour Lewis, known as T. T. Lewis, a member of parliament with the Adams BLP Administration, was dismissed by his employers. This caused outrage among the working class of the island. After weeks of demonstrations, called the “Lewis Demonstrations”, he was represented by Sir Grantley Adams at a Board of Enquiry. Mr. Lewis was not reinstated but paid severance of one month for every year he worked and his pension contributions with interest.Ref: “Grantley Adams & the Social Revolution” by F.A. Hoyos