Fort George Horror

No words can describe the horror of learning this week that ‘intelligent’ Barbados Water Authority (BWA) workers proceeded to destroy 50% of a historical site while doing excavation work at Fort George Heights. The callousness of thinking and ignorance appeared to know no bounds.

The following was extracted from Grenville Phillips II Facebook page – BU, Blogmaster

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Approximately one week ago, I learnt of a magnificent coral-stone structure found at Fort George Heights. It reportedly had 26 beautiful arches, and a series of coral-stone masonry arched roofs approximately 12 ft high.

This seemed to be a rare find. These were not the typical decorative archways. Rather, these were structural unreinforced arches out of coral-stone masonry. I could not believe Barbados’ good fortune.

We have lost the art of stone masonry. But here we had an almost perfect example of highly complex coral-stone masonry. It is more complex than our Parliament buildings, which are simple walls.

I am unaware of a similar series of coral-stone arched roofs on any structure on this planet. It is a unique and priceless international historical treasure.

Last week, the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) destroyed approximately half of this wonderful structure, before the Barbados National Trust got them to realise the horrific blunder they were making. To their credit, the BWA stopped the demolition.

The next obvious steps were to: prepare as-built drawings of the structure, do a structural condition survey, and manage this priceless treasure on behalf of all humanity.

The structure had survived gravity and lateral loads, so I planned to visit the site today to check whether there were any cracks in the blocks or mortar joints. There are so many scientific papers that could be published on this most important find – perhaps the ninth wonder of the world.

I had heard a rumour that the Government demanded that the remaining structure be demolished. I dismissed it as fake news, because no one could be that stupid.

As I made my way up Fort George hill, I was overcome with excitement at the anticipation of examining the beautiful unreinforced stone arches – the only such arches on this Earth (to my knowledge). However, when I approached the site, all I saw was rubble. The Contractor had completely demolished every single arch. I was overcome with a different emotion – anger.

How could we. How could we be so stupid. We have demonstrated that of all of the people who came from Adam, that we are the most … stupid. It is not thought possible that such stupidity could reside in humans, but we proved otherwise.

The BWA Board and CEO should resign immediately. All 30 MPs and all senators should resign in shame and disgrace – tonight. Everyone who knew about the lunatic decision to demolish this priceless international treasure, should be taken to Jenkins for a psychiatric examination. How could they?

This is no low order idiocy. This is idiocy of the highest order. They are worse than ISIS. ISIS uses Islam to justify destroying world treasures. We have no such excuse. If we cannot be trusted with this priceless treasure, the only one left on this planet, then what can we be trusted with? How could we be so blasted stupid? Good grief!

 

143 comments

  • @TLSN
    If you can search our newspapers and tell me the name of the demolition company, I will tell you
    (1) The name of the American company
    (2) The date they flew to Barbados
    (3) The date they took the pictures
    (4) The date that the complete structure was demolished
    (5) Who the US handed a copy of the digital images to
    (6) the data the US company departed the island
    (7) The price of the bridge I want to sell to you.

    Like

  • So what is next on the hit list for this government of cultural heritage Philistines: The Empire Theatre or perhaps the near ruins of the old QEH?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Q WHAT DO THE FOLLOWING STRUCTURES HAVE IN COMMON?

    ST LEONARDS BOYS SCHOOL
    CHRIST CHURCH INFIRMARY
    STRUCTURE AT FORT GEORGE?

    A. DEMOLISHED UNDER BLP ADMINISTRATIONS & COMPOSED OF GOOD CORAL STONE BLOCKS

    FURTHER QUESTION

    WHERE WAS THE “RUBBLE” TAKEN TO IN EACH CASE?

    Like

  • If you wanted to buy 14 acres of land at Fort George ,,, in fact the site itself … who would you pay …. and how much?

    Who owns this Brooklyn Bridge and what are they charging?

    Like

  • @ TheoGazerts,

    Thank yourself fortunate that you do not have to make Barbados your home. Stories such as this will discourage many from the diaspora from investing in the country of their ancestors. It is simply not worth it. Life may be difficult in the UK for the diaspora but it will always remain infinitely better than risking all on a return to Barbados.

    Like

  • John August 31, 2019 8:00 PM

    Fort George was the intended first location for the garrisoning of British troops before lands for the Garrison were acquired.

    “The need for a permanent major garrison in Barbados was born out of conflict between Britain and France in 1778 by France’s allegiance with the USA during the War of Independence. Work on a 14 acre (5.7 ha) citadel at Fort George commenced in 1779 with troops being sent out in 1780 as a result of the capture, by the French, of several neighbouring British islands…”

    Like

  • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND INSIGHT…FORT GEORGE NAMED AFTER KING GEORGE 111

    ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY > SEPTEMBER 1, 1775:
    KING GEORGE REFUSES OLIVE BRANCH PETITION

    “Richard Penn and Arthur Lee, representing the Continental Congress, present the so-called Olive Branch Petition to the Earl of Dartmouth on September 1, 1775. Britain’s King George III, however, refused to receive the petition, which, written by John Dickinson, appealed directly to the king and expressed hope for reconciliation between the colonies and Great Britain.

    Dickinson, who hoped desperately to avoid a final break with Britain, phrased colonial opposition to British policy this way: “Your Majesty’s Ministers, persevering in their measures, and proceeding to open hostilities for enforcing them, have compelled us to arm in our own defence [sic], and have engaged us in a controversy so peculiarly abhorrent to the affections of your still faithful Colonists, that when we consider whom we must oppose in this contest, and if it continues, what may be the consequences, our own particular misfortunes are accounted by us only as parts of our distress.”

    By phrasing their discontent this way, Congress attempted to notify the king that American colonists were unhappy with ministerial policy, not his own. They then concluded their plea with a final statement of fidelity to the crown: “That your Majesty may enjoy long and prosperous reign, and that your descendants may govern your Dominions with honour to themselves and happiness to their subjects, is our sincere prayer.”

    By July 1776, though, the Declaration of Independence proclaimed something very different: “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.” In fact, Congress insisted that Thomas Jefferson remove any language from the declaration that implicated the people of Great Britain or their elected representatives in Parliament. The fundamental grounds upon which Americans were taking up arms had shifted. The militia that had fired upon Redcoats at Lexington and Concord in April 1775 had been angry with Parliament, not the king, who they still trusted to desire only good for all of his subjects around the globe. This belief changed after Congress learned that King George refused to so much as receive the Olive Branch Petition.

    Americans had hoped that Parliament had curtailed colonial rights without the king’s full knowledge, and that the petition would cause him to come to his subjects’ defense. When George III refused to read the petition, many Americans realized that Parliament was acting with royal knowledge and support. Americans’ patriotic rage was further intensified by the January 1776 publication by English-born radical Thomas Paine of Common Sense, an influential pamphlet that attacked the monarchy, which Paine claimed had allowed “crowned ruffians” to “impoverish the nation and set it together by the ears.”

    Like

  • Agree.

    Sometime in 1778/9 the then Government of Barbados appears to have bought (and paid for) 14 acres from the owner for the purpose of building a citadel.

    So there should be enough land available to the Government of today if it wants instead to build a third reservoir, this time 300,000 US gallon.

    How many 300,000 US Gallon reservoirs can fit on 14 acres?

    UNESCO should be able to figure out that puzzle!!

    Like

  • If the GOB were to build a 10 foot high reservoir on the entire 14 acres it could store 45.62 million gallons or a bit over what the entire island would consume in a day!!

    Like

  • nextparty246 • September 1, 2019 6:49 PM

    RE “The Government’s public relations agents are working over-time, trying to deceive Barbadians and the international community that there is ‘nothing to see here’.

    The demolition of half of the building could be excused as a mistake. The complete destruction of the remainder of this beauty was a crime against humanity. The attempt by the Government, and its complicit media, to cover it up, will be their shameful legacy.”

    CRYING SHAME…BARBADOS NATIONAL TRUST…
    MORE LIKE, BARBADOS NATIONAL DISGRACE!

    Their Excuse was Lame and they Failed in their Duty and it was a Rush to get the Demolition Done without Due Consultation with the Public.

    They have Lost All Credibility that they might have had with the Public with coming up with such Lame Excuses.

    Barbados is indeed in a Sorry State when the Barbados National Trust is NO LONGER TRUSTED!

    Barbados National Trust “As many of you now know, the remaining sections of what we believe to be a late 19th century cistern, at Fort George, were demolished last Wednesday. It goes without saying that this represents another loss, chipping away at out historic resources. However, unlike the very long list of unjustifiable demolitions of historic structures, such as Belfield Mansion a few months ago, this case is different.

    At a height of almost 400 feet, and once known as Charity Hill, this location was chosen to site Fort George in 1779; though it never saw completion. About 100 years later, the architecturally beautiful cistern was built, utilizing the height of the hill to create the water pressure necessary to supply a large area. Because of the relatively limited size of the hill, when it came time to upgrade the system, a water reservoir tank with a capacity five times greater than the old cistern was placed on the only other remaining space left on the hill.

    Now we have come to the point that this tank must also be superseded or risk the loss of water supply to what is now 25,000 households. It takes 3 to 4 months (at least) to construct a new tank and the only way to do that, without switching off the water for that period of time, is to place the new tank on the only unused space on the hill; occupied by the old cistern. To attempt to place the new tank in another location would have meant fundamental changes to the water supply network. Even if the additional cost for those changes could have been absorbed, the existing tank may not have remained functional before the works were completed. In a sense, the old cistern was doomed from the day it was built.

    When we are faced with the decision to protect an historic structure threatened by a proposed development, the basic question we have always to answer is this: Which is of more benefit or importance to the Country; retention of the historic asset or the proposed development? As much as we argued for the retention of this cistern, our (so far) successful history of supplying clean water to all who occupy this rock is also something we need to preserve, and it would not have been acceptable to put that crucial utility risk.

    A team consisting of both National Trust and Barbados Museum personnel was assembled and the BWA gave us enough time to organise and complete a full record of the site, which included professional photography, by Leslie St. John, and a 3D digital scan. In respect of the scan, a team arrived from Georgia in the early hours of Monday (knowing we were under a Tropical Storm Warning) and worked all Monday and Tuesday to complete their work.

    Clearly, demolition was not the outcome we wished, but it has opened everyone’s eyes to the rich heritage that our water system has provided. We can see this in the underground rivers of Harrison’s Cave, the introduction of piped water following the devastating Cholera epidemic of 1854 and beyond. To assist in this, the BWA has committed to showing us all of their remaining potentially historic sites with a view to avoiding any unnecessary loss of this rich heritage. We look forward to more discoveries, but with happier endings!”

    Like

  • Hi John,
    I was so surprised at your daily use that I went googling to make sense of your numbere.
    I found this source and when I converted from cubic meters to gallons (Table 2.1) , you are in the right ballpark.
    https://www.mcgill.ca/cariwin/files/cariwin/aliciasuchorski_watergender_barbados.pdf

    I scanned the document and I was left to wonder..
    “Is government effectively communicating the seriousness of the water scarce situation in Barbados”?
    Tourists use a large amount of water. Is increasing the number of tourist a wise strategy for a water-scarce country?

    (For the peanut gallery: This is not a B thing or a D thing)

    Liked by 1 person

  • TheOgazerts
    September 2, 2019 8:21 AM

    Hi John,
    I was so surprised at your daily use that I went googling to make sense of your numbere.

    “Is government effectively communicating the seriousness of the water scarce situation in Barbados”?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You can also go to the Public Library and ask to see the 1978 Water Resources Study!!

    Check the projections made in 1978 of consumption and you will see it all came true!!

    We actually “ran out of ” water in the mid 1990’s!!

    All was allocated!!

    All the data and projections are there.

    Technical people I know at BWA told me that they were told that if they valued their jobs, they were not to talk of the water scarcity and the fact that development is not possible as we have known it!!

    The GOB knows but has chosen to ignore and has deliberately misled.

    It doesn’t matter how much water can be stored from the daily output because the daily output is used and there is nothing to store.

    The new reservoir if it actually gets built will just be a way point for water pumped on a daily basis for delivery to subscribers!!

    Let’s say there are 500K tourists who visit Barbados in a year and average length of stay here is a week.

    That means besides the 300K population BWA needs to supply over a week an extra 10K visitors are added.

    Long stay visitors increase the consumption by 10/300X100 or 3.33%!!

    When a cruise ship docks, the most passengers it will be carrying is say 2K.

    The actual increase in consumption for tourists is perhaps 5%.

    The problem comes with the Golf Courses, manicured lawns etc that are necessary to attract the “high end” visitors!!

    We watch COW looking to sell Apes Hill for $200 million we know Rooney sold Westmoreland for $100 million.

    What do you think is going on there … right under your nose?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ TheoGazerts

    The connection between water scarcity and expansion of tourists related facilities was raised several times in the BU blog. This is one of the many factors that are considered by the Town and Country Planning process. The BWA is asked to comment on applications. T& CP process is multifaceted. If there is system failure you should be able to locate it. But somehow, all of a sudden, there is this vague notion that those who went before were ignorant of the requirements of their professions.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ John at 9:07 AM

    The Real Estate Bubble is the next meltdown in this blessed country of ours and it will be of our own creation. We will not be able to blame exogenous factors for it. I think in one of his submissions Wily Coyota did state it had already started.

    Managing a SOE is not easy. I think critics and some politicians underestimate the tasks at hand. The BU household will serve this country better if they critically examine every issue and cut out the theatre.

    Like

  • Grasshopper

    The number of long stay and cruise ship tourists coud double without there being a water problem for the simple reason that they are transient.

    All the luxury villas, golf courses etc however are “permanent” and need water on a daily basis whether they are occupied or not!!

    It is that simple!!

    Like

  • For Westmoreland to even exist in the 1990’s, O$A et al had to decide to allocate the last unallocated water in the Porter’s catchment to that use.

    They then had to supply the houses separately from the same resourse which was already allocated.

    Ionics appeared then and all up and down Highway 2A was dug up laying new mains!!

    Rooney made his fortune when he sold off to Morphet in less than 10 years and Morphet has it for sale if it isn’t sold already.

    Cow and Apes Hill then appeared and water was removed from the Trents catchment to supply that Golf Course in times of need.

    The Trents water had already been allocated.

    Our problem is not tourists, it is the “development” of high end tourism.

    The problem is that real estate is a big ticket item and folks can make a fortune instantly, but unfortunately, the rest of us suffer.

    You will find money launders love real estate!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Grasshopper
    “he number of long stay and cruise ship tourists coud double without there being a water problem for the simple reason that they are transient.”

    Nonsense.
    Transient or not, they will use water.
    Ships will probably full up on water from Barbados

    Liked by 1 person

  • In my layman’s opinion Golf courses with adjacent LUXURY Villas COULD do their own water supply and management.

    ” Large turf areas, including golf courses, are good locations for irrigating with recycled water ”

    ” installing your own water treatment plant on the golf course site.”

    ” Produce Irrigation Grade Water From Brackish Or Seawater “

    Like

  • @Vincent
    A more reasoned and reassuring response.

    I do not believe that people are ignorant of the requirement of their profession or of their responsibilities. I worry that in a sea of cyclical changes there may be a “loss of memory” or ityems may be ignored.

    Look at this Fort George ‘episode’ and see that it appears as if knowledge of the underground chamber was forgotten or ignored.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Theogazerts at 9:58 Am

    You are correct. Barbados water has/had a high rating for potability. The ships do purchase water from us.

    Like

  • TheOGazerts
    September 2, 2019 9:50 AM

    Grasshopper
    “he number of long stay and cruise ship tourists coud double without there being a water problem for the simple reason that they are transient.”
    Nonsense.
    Transient or not, they will use water.
    Ships will probably full up on water from Barbados

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It is simple arithmetic,

    10K tourists per week can easily be accommodated by BWA which routinely supplies 300K per week.!!

    Cruise ships have desal plants and condense waste steam!!!

    Possible because only 2K people need to be supplied and equipment costs small compared with the overall cost of the ship.

    Simple addition, simple economics!!

    Ship does not have to supply 300K!!

    https://www.royalcaribbean.com/blog/how-royal-caribbean-conserves-water-on-its-cruise-ships/

    Like

  • TheOGazerts
    September 2, 2019 10:02 AM

    @Vincent
    A more reasoned and reassuring response.
    I do not believe that people are ignorant of the requirement of their profession or of their responsibilities. I worry that in a sea of cyclical changes there may be a “loss of memory” or ityems may be ignored.
    Look at this Fort George ‘episode’ and see that it appears as if knowledge of the underground chamber was forgotten or ignored.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It isn’t that they are ignorant of their responsibilities, it is because those to whom they owe those responsibilities are themselves ignorant.

    I should not have to explain to you how cruise ships get potable water.

    You seem to think they leave Miami empty just to come to Barbados and fill up!!

    You have made absolutely no effort to try to find out how much water a ship buys from Barbados!!!

    You don’t even know how much water is supplied by BWA to the population.

    Worse, you don’t even know how much water is available to be supplied, whether it is to the cruise ships or the population or tourists.

    The ignorance lies with the populace!!

    Those who owe responsibilities to a largely ignorant populace can and do get away with murder.

    … so long as the populace is prepared to remain ignorant!!

    Like

  • The monkeys are running wild all over Barbados, they can be found in Government orifices, the pricate sector and the general public!!

    Sometimes you wil alsol see a few up in trees or running across a field!!

    Like

  • You posted a nonsense statement and now attempting to cover it up with googled nonsense.
    Before they conserve, they have to get from from somewhere.
    I will not waste time googling the size and output of their desal plants.
    And the hypothetical numbers.
    Not going down the rabbit hole with you.
    It was a nonsense statement.

    Like

  • @John
    Nonsense statement then followed by straw men.
    Have a great day

    Liked by 1 person

  • My original statement…

    “Tourists use a large amount of water. Is increasing the number of tourist a wise strategy for a water-scarce country?”

    You make up questions, invent situations and respond to them. It’s dishonesty at the worst.

    Liked by 1 person

  • TheOGHazerts
    September 2, 2019 10:35 AM

    Before they conserve, they have to get from from somewhere.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Where is the closest source of water for someone on a ship ,,, or boat?

    Like

  • September 2, 2019 10:50 AM

    My original statement…
    “Tourists use a large amount of water. Is increasing the number of tourist a wise strategy for a water-scarce country?”

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I answered the question!!!

    Yes, because tourists are transient and ….. create an economy!!

    Like

  • Transient or not, they will use water.
    Hotel or boat, there will be water use.
    As some go, there will be replaced by others.
    What about tourists that come by plane?

    Sometimes you are incredibly sensible. At times … Nonsensical

    Like

  • Great pics.

    They may be good examples of water use to please tourists or rich expatriates; definitely not the average Barbadian.

    Imagine having more rich tourists using our water.

    My point.

    Google cannot rescue nonsense.

    Like

  • @ John September 2, 2019 12:08 PM
    “Here is where the water is!!
    Sensical or nonsensical, I am a practical sort of fellah!!”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Where is all this water coming from to attract these modern-day English/white settlers and to satiate their wanton desires?

    From the imaginary rivers or from the country’s underground aquifers?

    Sometimes you can, inadvertently, put your foot in your mouth which causes you to accidentally piss yourself as in the case of the South coast sewerage disaster by primarily blaming the movement of the tides.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ TheoGazerts

    Please ease up on John. He means well.

    Like

  • Hants @ September 2, 2019 9:58 AM

    Like

  • The effect of tides on the sewage problem was obvious even to the blind!!!!

    That’s part of the reason why there was no apparent problem on the Oistins side.

    Leaks just flowed through the pourous limestone to the sea … underground.

    I never saw one.

    On the town side, sea level is closer to the elevation of Highway 7.

    Leaks were forced to the surface by fluctuations in the tides and the fact they could not dissipate into the ground and find a way to the sea.

    There is no more treated sewage/effluent on Highway 7 on the town side because it goes directly into the sea at Graeme Hall.

    It means most if not all of the leaks were in the force main going to the Hilton outfall.

    In addition to the tides, the outfall at Hilton was dysfunctional so pressure in the force main increased and forced the effluent through the leaks.

    Like

  • So Miller, are you a sensical or nonsensical sort of person?

    Like

  • TheOGazerts
    September 2, 2019 12:22 PM

    Great pics.
    They may be good examples of water use to please tourists or rich expatriates; definitely not the average Barbadian.
    Imagine having more rich tourists using our water.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Few of the longstay visitors or the cruise ship visitors to Barbados will ever see or go near Westmoreland.

    I live here and I have never entered it ….. except when I used to walk through the cart roads before it became a Golf Course and a haunt of the rich and famous!!

    It no longer has an attraction for me!!

    I doubt is has any attraction for most visitors who come by air or sea!!

    Most of them are not even rich!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ John September 2, 2019 1:53 PM
    “So Miller, are you a sensical or nonsensical sort of person?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Of course the miller is a ‘sensical sort of sentient person’.

    If not I would fall (like stupid blacks) for your bullshit plagiarized myths about Yahweh, Adam & Eve, Cain & Abel, the drunkard Noah & the incestuous Lot while looking forward to meet in the sky your white blue-eyed boy baby Jesus in the sweet by and by.

    The miller would believe in astrology any time than to have it camouflage in Jewish fairy tales.

    Like

  • @ TLSN September 1, 2019 7:04 PM
    “So what is next on the hit list for this government of cultural heritage Philistines: The Empire Theatre or perhaps the near ruins of the old QEH?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Indeed just a bunch of cultural philistines these modern-day ‘managing’ marauders are!

    These so-called governors of the country’s heritage are nothing more than a band of uncultured brigands to allow such archaeological sacrilege to take place right before their very eyes.

    Don’t they understand that such a wanton act of cultural desolation has very serious ramifications for the country’s capital ‘city’ retention of the UNESCO designation of a ‘World Heritage Site’?

    Can’t they see that UNESCO is chomping at the bit to relieve Barbados of the responsibilities of holding such an enviable status?

    If these blooming idiots cannot even protect local places and relics of archaeological significance to help enhance and promote its much talked about (but limited) heritage tourism how can they be trusted with the maintenance of a World Heritage Site?

    Bridgetown is already a veritable graveyard for cultural zombies overgrown with garbage and human bodily waste.

    How can Bridgetown and its environs continue to be expected to be treated as a ‘World Heritage Site’ when public sanitation is like an unpardonable ‘curse word’ to the Bajan authorities?

    How can the cultural vultures in charge of the country’s heritage expect UNESCO to put up continually with the crap which can be seen allover Bridgetown when there are NO public toilets aka public conveniences in town?

    This Fort George sacrilege might just be the proverbial straw which breaks the back of the World Heritage Site camel dying in Bridgetown.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Mighty Chalkdust many moons ago singing about the lack of proper facilities in town:
    (Trinidad and Tobago)
    Bossman the whole ah town
    En got no toilet
    No toilet
    No toilet
    Bossman the whole ah town
    En got no toilet
    No toilet
    For a man to spit.

    Like

  • @ Miller,

    I trust that you and the rest of the BU family will be very interested in this story.

    “Tavira excavations confirm existence of Roman city buildings”.

    https://www.theportugalnews.com/news/tavira-excavations-confirm-existence-of-roman-city-buildings/51070

    Like

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