Peter Burton

Peter Burton maintains the BajanThings website. He is William Burton's cousin. Peter writes the occasional BajanThings post.

Aircraft landing at Kai Tak airport Hong Kong

Kai Tak airport, Hong Kong – the Bajan connection

Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong closed on 6th July 1998. Landing at Kai Tak was a one-of-a-kind experience for pilots and passengers alike. It was breath-taking. With mountains on the port [left hand] side as you flew through a very distinct urban corridor of medium rise buildings bound by high rise buildings on either side, …

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NAVFAC Barbados - © Stanley Peck October 1958

Barbados Oceanographic Research Facility 1957 – 1979: a top secret US cold war submarine listening post

The old US Navy Facility – Barbados at Harrison’s Point, St. Lucy on the North West coast of Barbados is back in the news.  In the 1950 and 1960s this US Naval Facility in Barbados was a very important shore based soviet submarine listening station.  It had many names: US Navy Facility – Barbados, NAVFAC …

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Ra II entering the Careenage 12 July 1970 - Craig Burleigh

BajanThings six years on…

It is that time of year to reflect on BajanThings six years on since launch and over the past twelve months.  We hope you had a Happy Christmas even if you had to self-isolate away from your family. What was your BajanThings all time favourite post?  What was your BajanThings 2020 favourite post? My all …

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Alan Emtage creator of Archie ftp search engine

Alan Emtage – the Bajan who invented the ftp search engine in 1989 while a post-grad student at McGill University

Bajan Alan Emtage in 1989, aged 25, invented the first internet (ftp) search engine – Archie (Archive without the v).  At the time he was a post graduate student at McGill University working as a volunteer systems administrator for the School of Computer Science where he conceived and implemented: Archie, a pre-web internet search engine …

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The Balloonist of "The Small World" Bridgetown Barbados

Four days up and twenty days down – The Small World crossing of the Atlantic December 1958

The Small World was a silver and black hydrogen filled balloon captained by Arnold  “Bushy” Eiloart, whose quest was to be the first balloon to complete a transatlantic voyage from Tenerife to the east coast of the United States.  The Small World balloon had the registration G-APOB.  The gondola had the registration The Small World …

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Troops of the British West Indies Regiment -1916

George Blackman BWIR – There were no parades for us

In 1915 Britain’s War Office, which had initially opposed recruitment of West Indian troops, agreed to accept volunteers from the West Indies. A new regiment was formed, the British West Indies Regiment (BWIR), which served in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “They called us darkies. But when the battle starts, it didn’t make a …

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P/O Andrew Cole in Lockheed Hudson cockpit

The Beautiful Blonde in the Bank – F/L Andrew Leslie Cole AFC RAF

Errol Barrow was Andrew Cole’s navigator while he was in the RAF, firstly with 88 Squadron during World War II and for two years post-war they both flew with the BAFO Communications Squadron, assigned to Commander-in-Chief and Military Governor of the British Occupation Zone in Germany, Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir William Sholto …

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Firing of HARP - 17th June 1963

Observation Mission – Firing HARP:
Monday 17th June 1963

The McGill University High Altitude Research Project (HARP) space gun project commenced in Barbados in 1962 under the direction of Canadian ballistics scientist Dr. Gerald Bull in his quest to economically launch a satellite into space using a huge artillery piece. The project was abruptly abandoned in 1967.  It’s unlikely we will ever know the …

Observation Mission – Firing HARP:
Monday 17th June 1963
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Dr. C. J. Davis - The Good Black Doctor

Christopher James Davis (1842-1870) – Le Bon Docteur Noir

Christopher James Davis was born at Whitehaven, St. Philip, Barbados on 23rd April 1842.  He was baptised on 4th June the same year. He was the youngest of 10 children. His Father, John Thomas Davis, was a Carpenter. His mother’s name was Mary Ann.  His family were Wesleyan Methodists.  Christopher Davis worked as a schoolmaster …

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Rocket launch from CSG - Mike duTo

Rocket payload fairings wash up in Barbados post launch from Guiana Space Centre (CSG), French Guiana

Barbados has always been the destination for things that drift across the Atlantic such as: Thor Heyerdahl’s Ra Expeditions , Dr. Alain Bombard, The loss of The Kent – a letter in a bottle story, The story of John Heller, Survivors arriving in Barbados in May 1942 from ships sunk by German U-Boats and British …

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Mbissine Thérèse Diop

Millie gone to Brazil, Oh Lawd, poor Millie

In the 1920s a man called Bailey murdered his common-law wife Millie and deposited her corpse in a well.  There are conflicting reports about the location of that well. Below are the words to a well-known Barbadian folk song written by an unknown author in the 1920s. Millie gone to BrazilOh Lawd, poor MillieMillie gone …

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