BajanThings nine years on…

This is the ninth year of BajanThings. We celebrate achieving over 180 posts that educate, enlighten and inform our BajanThings readers. BajanThings was conceived at a bar over a few beers in December 2014 and a rough note on a napkin. Well not the napkin as this is the digital age.

The BajanThings crew
The birth of BajanThings back in December 2014.

Within a few hours of getting home Peter had a version of BajanThings setup and had published a few test posts: Bajan Seasoning, Hot Pepper Sauce, Rum Punch and Bajan Flying Fish. These are still among the top posts every year! Bajans – there is an opportunity out there for a Bajan foodie website sharing handed down recipes!

The original aim was to record the verbal history of Barbados and some of our travels. We would stay away from Politics and Religion. That has not changed.

By the end of 2014 I added articles on Cordillera Huayhuash, in Peru, and Mount Roraima in Venezuela. BajanThings was up and running…

As the years passed we have been honoured to have guest authors who have added very in depth articles on their own research. This has given the site a wider base while keeping to our original mandate.

Peter maintains the BajanThings website and has done some highly researched articles on Barbadians who fought, and died, in the Great Wars and Bajans who immigrated to the UK and left a positive legacy. This part of our history is not readily available and is overlooked by the school system. This is sad.

There are also articles on those who stayed on the island and helped to make Barbados a successful small island state.

Peter has focused on two major things this year:

The first has been recording WWI and WWII stories. With both great wars there was nobody to record the stories of those valiant young men and women who volunteered and did not return and those that did return who did NOT speak about their often horrific experiences of war, and who, post war just got on with life as best that they could – often suppressing those war-time memories, living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (see Katharine Campbell’s (née Douglas) book on her father: “Behold the Dark Gray Man Triumphs and Trauma: The Controversial Life of Sholto Douglas”).

In 2023 we have documented the stories of two Bajan aircrew that were killed: P/O George Inniss who died on what appears to have been his first operational sortie with 106 Squadron Bomber Command and P/O Keith Proverbs who survived WWII and was killed soon after the end of the war when his aircraft crashed in dense fog trying to land having completed a meteorological reconnaissance sortie over the Atlantic.

If you or your family have a story of a family members that served in either WWI or WWII we would love to be able to document and record it.

The second has been removing some legacy that had built up in the back end of BajanThings over the last nine years as technology and ways of doing things have changed, moved on and evolved. Peter has spent the last three months of his spare time doing some serious tinkering at the back end of BajanThings. Now when BajanThings is viewed on a mobile device or a tablet it should load faster. You can read all about his trials and tribulations of increasing the mobile page load speed of BajanThings here! Note its very geeky – it may put you to sleep!

BajanThings is a very much a hobby site. We use advertising within the posts to help us cover the costs of maintaining BajanThings as it expands. Advertising revenue from Google contributes to the cost of maintaining the site. Contrary to popular belief it does not cover the cost of hosting, domain registration, cache management, dynamic image delivery or specialist plugins needed to maintain BajanThings. We are very fortunate that BajanThings is are not driven by financial goals. BajanThings is driven by altruistic goals. Recording handed down Bajan history and some of our travels, plus tickling the brain cells and keeping us ahead of digital publishing technology (for Peter at least) as we older ones get older.

A question we often get asked is where are the BajanThings readers based. They are based in 5 roughly equal areas:

  • Barbados
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • Others

The make up of Other looks like this:

  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Australia
  • China
  • Germany
  • France
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand…

We are very grateful to all those that support us by documenting their stories – many of whom have never published anything before. The BajanThings team wish to thank all of our readers and guest authors. Thank you for you support and helping to make BajanThings the resource that it has become.

By this time in 2024 we also hope the world will be a more peaceful place.

We welcome anyone who has a story on bygone Barbados – please reach out to us by clicking on the Contact Burts link. If you have additional information or an addition to any of our articles feel free to add a comment. Or send us the information and pictures and we will add them.

Cousins: William Burton & Peter Burton
BajanThings – All things Barbadian. Bajan history. Bajan folklore. Interesting Bajan people. Hiking in Barbados and Overseas. International Travel…

What keeps amazing us and keeps us motivated is the breadth and range of the stories that BajanThings has covered. Out of an idea that emerged on a family island tour in December 2014, BajanThings has now posted 180 stories. Below are the top 50 all time post at the end of 2023. We have excluded from this top 50 list the:

Top 50 BajanThings posts at the end of 2023

RankTop All time posts in 2023
1How “badjohn became a word”
2Thor Heyerdahl’s Ra Expeditions to Barbados: RA-I 1969, RA-II 1970
3Torpedoing of the Cornwallis in Carlisle Bay, Barbados, 11th September 1942
4St. Philip, Barbados in the 1950s & 1960s. A very brief recollection of the people and events
5The Printed Maps of Barbados 1500s – 1980s
6Millie gone to Brazil, Oh Lawd, poor Millie
7The Colin Hudson Great (Barbados) Train Hike
8F/O Errol Barrow RAF Navigator World War II & Prime Minister of Barbados
9A Fisherman’s Tale
10Ronnie Hughes: Barbadian Sugar Plantations Index 1640 – 1846
11High Altitude Research Project (HARP) 1962 – 1967
12Hurricane Janet – 22 September 1955
13Chicken Rita’s. Where Bajan’s go for seasoned fried chicken!
14Handbook of Barbados: Plantations & Sugar-Works 1912 – 1924
15Memories of Growing up in Barbados in the 1950s
16Lord Nelson’s statue – Bridgetown, Barbados
17Barbados Oceanographic Research Facility 1957 – 1979: a top secret US cold war submarine listening post
18Football (soccer) in Barbados in the 1950s & 1960s
19Andromeda Gardens – the location of a covert US Navy cold-war submarine tracking station in Barbados from 1954 to 1985/87
20How they came to Barbados and found no men therein…
21The Seimstrand, St. Vincent & The Grenadines
22Anti Submarine & Torpedo Net – Carlisle Bay, Barbados 1942
23Plantation Life in Barbados in the 1950s
24Richard Goddard – 1935 to 2021
25Peddlers All: Stories of the First Ashkenazi Jewish Settlers in Barbados
26St. Philip, Barbados in the 1950’s & 1960’s. Growing up in Wellhouse and Marley Vale in the 1960’s
27Operation Carlota – Cuba’s secret flights to Angola via Barbados
28Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? The Empire Windrush story.
29Cable & Wireless in Barbados
30Barbados Almanacs: Plantations & Sugar-Works 1848 – 1871
31Celestine’s Bajan Food Restaurant
32The game of Warri
33British Ship: SS Scottish Star Torpedoed – 19th February 1942
34Banja in Barbados and its influence on calypso throughout the West Indies
35Black Bajan footballers who were English Football League Club pioneers
36Sid Graham. A forgotten Bajan WWII hero (1920 – 2017)
37Rocket payload fairings wash up in Barbados post launch from Guiana Space Centre (CSG), French Guiana
38The New Joe’s River Pedestrian Bridge
39Prince Albert and Prince George visit Barbados while Midshipmen aboard HMS Bacchante in 1879
40Kai Tak airport, Hong Kong – the Bajan connection
41Arthur Hutchinson’s abandoned Lime Kiln at Ragged Point, Barbados
42The Man Who Carved a Lion. The story of Henry John Wilkinson 1829 – 1911
43Pitching Marbles in Barbados
44Survivors arriving in Barbados in May 1942 from merchant ships sunk by German U-Boats
45Barbados Blackwood Screwdock (dry dock)
46Rediffusion Barbados (1934 -1997)
47The Canadian Lady Boats
48Ben’s Spring
49Cooking on a cast iron coal pot stove
50Adam Straughn (Straw) Waterman (1803 – 1887)

Click here to see a full list of all the BajanThings posts to date.

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