Barbados Post World War II

Barbados after Word War II (post 1945 to present).

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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Empire Windrush docking at Tilbury Docks, Essex, on 21 June 1948

Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? The Empire Windrush story.

Only five of the 1,027 passengers on board the Empire Windrush began their journey in Barbados. Bill Hern writes about them here and explodes some myths about the iconic ship and its historic journey to England in June 1948. Background:The Windrush scandal erupted in 2018 where people mainly of Caribbean descent were wrongly classified as …

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Black Bajan footballer Walter Tull

Black Bajan footballers who were English Football League Club pioneers

Thanks to a select group of pioneering black Bajan footballers, no country in the world has had a greater impact on the history of English football than Barbados. That statement might come as a shock to some. After all, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica have reached the World Cup Finals whereas Barbados has never come …

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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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Sugar Cane Harvesters - Barbados

Plantation Life in Barbados in the 1950s

I grew up in St. John and St. George in the middle of some of the best agricultural land in Barbados, among numerous sugar plantations, at a time when sugar was still king and was the lifeblood of the island’s economy. During the 17th century, Barbados was celebrated as the richest colony in British America. …

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The new Joe's River pedestrian bridge

The New Joe’s River Pedestrian Bridge

After approximately 15 long years of waiting the Joe’s River Pedestrian Bridge was officially re-opened at the handing over ceremony on 17th December 2020. Joe’s River is one of only  a few above-ground rivers found in Barbados. It has gone through many name changes since the 17th Century which included being called a Streamlet and …

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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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Score for "Massa Buy Me"

Banja in Barbados and its influence on calypso throughout the West Indies

The story of Banja and its development and its influence on calypso though the West Indies told by our guest contributor Roger Gibbs – who is Toronto based.  Here we re-publish Roger Gibbs’ video presentation: Early Calypso in Barbados.   In addition to the video Roger has also provided us with a transcript for those that …

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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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CNS Lady boats poster

The Canadian Lady Boats

Between 1928 and 1952 The Canadian National Steamship Company Lady Boats operated two routes from Canada to the West Indies the: eastern-route route: where steamships, Lady Nelson, Lady Hawkins and Lady Drake, provided a year-round service every two weeks from Halifax to Bermuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Montserrat, Dominica, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent, Grenada, …

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Col. Reginald Michelin, Commissioner of Police, Barbados, 1949 to 1953

It was always hot – Memoirs of Col. Reginald T. Michelin, Commissioner of Barbados Police 1949-1953 post Col. Oriel St.A. Duke

Reginald Townend Michelin (1903-1998), CMG (1957), CVO (1953), OBE (1952) took the post of Sub-Inspector, Police, Jamaica, 1924 and Inspector, Police, Leeward Islands, 1928. He was made Assistant Commissioner of Police, Nigeria, 1930, and Commissioner of Police, Barbados, 1949 and Jamaica, 1953, retiring in 1958 from the Colonial Police. In 1940 he married Nina Gladys …

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