Yesterday evening the blogmaster was fortunate to tune in to the Voice of Barbados radio station afternoon program hosted by superior radio personality Larry Mayers. He is one of a bare few, Maurice Norville another, who makes a serious attempt to program a message that connects to old Barbados.
Believe it or not his program yesterday featured hills to be found in Barbados with listeners sharing tales about the challenges of driving over Horse Hill in St. Joseph, Baxters Hill in St. Andrew, Bowling Alley Hill which connects St. Joseph to St. John, Sutherland in St. Lucy and a few others back in the day. To anticipate those who will jump in to say Barbados is flat, of course the discussions about hills is in a Barbados context.
Nowadays vehicles are ‘automatic’ and several of the hills have been levelled with the surfaces scuffed to facilitate traction. Today’s generation have limited experience of the harrow of sitting in a bus with the driver having to attack Horse Hill with a stick shift.
The blogmaster gives the King of Hill prize to Bowling Alley Hill.
Those were the good old days we thought would never end?
It’s such a pity that we have to reminisce about what was vintage Barbados and lament that today’s young people know nothing about those days. Yet we continue to pull down, pull up and destroy what is vintage Barbados. If we continue in this vein sooner rather than later “old” Barbados will just be a memory in the minds of the few. Good, bad or indifferent, it’s our history and what makes us truly “Bajan”.
I will never forget Sutherland Hill. As a boy and scaredy cat I would get off my bicycle and walked down that hill. To me it was a steep hill ending in a sharp L at the bottom. Perhaps, if I visited today, I may find that the turn at the bottom was not as sharp as I thought it was.
And it was so steep I never saw anyone ride a bicycle from the bottom Io the top.
Sutherland hill – So challenging, I walked it both ways
…If we continue in this vein sooner rather than later “old” Barbados will just be a memory in the minds of the few. Good, bad or indifferent, it’s our history and what makes us truly “Bajan”.
Sooner rather than later..??!!
Verona, the horse has already left that stable….
Our Supreme leader is currently in the process of selling off the stable door, the hay, and the damn grooms to the highest bidders – in exchange for some shiite dollars that will SHORTLY be devalued into nothingness just now…
…along with all we ever owned.
Larry and Maurice are refreshing reminders of what made Barbados worth celebrating…
May they continue up and on…..
Bowling Alley and the old Horsehill when it rain
For BT & Verona,
Thank God for memories of yesterday.
The proper name for Bowling Alley as found on the maps from the 17th and 18th centuries is “The Devil’s Bowling Alley”.
It is a baby to hills like Spa Hill and Fruitful Hill which have long become impassable to most vehicular traffic, except maybe 4wd or tractors.
Spa Hill is the granddaddy of hills in Barbados.
Baxters to Hillaby past Mount All and White Hill I would rate as the daddy.
Fruitfull Hill comes out by Parkes and the climb to Chimborazo is challenging, but doable and becomes comparable to the other two in difficulty to walk.
Bowling Alley is a breeze to walk up. If you add Horse Hill from the bottom, it becomes a challenge, on its own it is a cakewalk.
Is Bowling Alley Hill and Cotton Tower Hill one and the same?
I don’t know about walking, but it takes some skill to drive a small manual car up what I call Cotton Tower Hill.
My vote is for the old Horse Hill, before the road was “improved”.
On hills, did they mention the ‘magnetic hill’ (optical illusion) just beyond the Morgan Lewis Mill as one heads towards Cherry Tree hill.
You forgot to mention Coggins Hill. First met this hill as a boy scout when our Bethel Troop rode around the island. It was very challenging, so don’t let anybody try to convince you that Barbados is flat… riding over Coggins hill and then descending into Bathsheba…for young boys, interesting times.
Ah @Cummings …scouting! As I sit here and recall my utter folly as a scout riding a fellow scout on the bicycle bar to his home at Horse Hill St. Joseph from the Waterford/Hothersall area! …. Sometimes we feel as if we are absolutely unstoppable 🤣😎 .. now just the mere thought of such a feat and I am already wasted!
But @BushGriot and @Verona are you guys speaking literally or otherwise!!!
Whether actual or figuratively as life changes around us how else can the physical landscapes and the societal norms not be changed and thus many lost forever to new generations!!!
There are many things of “vintage’ Bim that needed to be “pulled down” but surely much also should be retained. Ideally they will remain alive and fresh via the wondrous visual and audio technology available!
When you visit Italy, France, City of London what do you see? Is there not an ultra effort to preserve the old?
Yes @David that’s surely not in dispute and as long as I can recall the National Trust has been working effortlessly to put a ‘badge’ of heritage on buildings to ensure our vintage sites and buildings are not changed or demolished!
They have done well overtime undoubtedly!
But there are some areas and customs that will be lost regardless of such important efforts… that too is inevitable good sir!
We are debating two different points. Change is inevitable based on advancement. The point at focus is that the character of what is Barbadianna must not be further compromised. Ever!
Going to school, many mornings we were late because we had to get off the bus and walk up Horse Hill. The buses could not climb that hill. What they have now is nothing like the old Horse Hill.
By the way David, Horse Hill starts where the old post office and Almshouse used to be, just across the road from Addy Holders bakery. Burkes Village comes before Horse Hill. The picture with the Church is called Church corner which was a dangerous S bend. They changed that road too by buying Kellman’s land and rerouting.
Hills will remain the same so I am not sure why the “I remember when..” stories are gushing from the memory banks in full flow, and the good times and bad times are 2 sides of the same coin.
What you don’t understand is that some of the hills were cut away, levelled/graded, to make transportation easier. In St. Joseph, the changes were welcomed. Another steep hill is Cleavers hill. Round House hill I always climb on a zig-zag.
Cleavers is steep by short, then you get Wilcox that is sidewinding, Farley Hill is long etc. we have to be careful to avoid lumping hills LOL.
The hill that captured my imagination as a youth was Oistin’s Hill, we considered it quite steep and there was barb wire on the left for those who were brave enough to challenge it but paid a price if they miscalculated, today it seems quite tame, and steps have been cut into the side to assist those who walk up the hill.
Another Hill in the same area that was quite an adventure back in the day is the hill from Cane Vale to Welches. If you failed to make the 90 degree turn in the middle of the hill you would end up in the yard of the house (Carter family) at the corner in the middle of the hill. A couple of years ago I drove up this hill and the car in front of me stalled as the driver tried to navigate this corner I guess his gear selection was poor after he made the turn in the middle of the hill.
Old timers like me had to traverse Buckingham hill (stopping in the middle and then taking off without the car rolling back) to receive your license back in the day.
Cane Vale bears a similarity to Wilcox if you combine gradient and degree of turn in order to negotiate.
The Blogmaster has not achieved your vintage but learner drivers had to reverse up Buckingham hill to earn the red book. Fortunately the Blogmaster avoided that challenge.
A proper hill climb is one that starts from close to sea level and goes to the escarpment, like the Sandpit to Farley Hill.
So, Bowling Alley on its own doesn’t really rate with the granddady.
Now Cattlewash to Buckden via Bowling Alley is a proper hill climb but it covers a long distance compared with Spa which is kind of direct from the “new” Saint Saviour’s Church where Baxters Hill starts to Sugar Hill and then to Chimborazo.
Haggatts to Hillaby through the back to Mount All and up to Hillaby will also bring people to tears.
Haggatts is almost at sea level and Mount Hillaby is at 1,115 feet so this would be the highest climb in Barbados, but its gradient is spread over a longer distance than Spa.
Much of the escarpment around the Scotland District is only at 8-900 feet.
One Sunday morning we started at Chalky Mount School and went down the track through Hopewell to the next valley. I made it clear we were doing hills to a new group who said they would have no problem as they were race walkers.
We then climbed to the ridge between Fruitful Hiill and Bruce Vale and down again into the next valley by St. Saviour’s Church. By then members of the new group were flagging so instead of going to Mount Hillaby, I decided to go to White Hill via the path up from Friendship.
When we got to White Hill, they could not take it anymore, so we left some there and someone drove back later and picked them up.
Then, we went down towards Haggatts and took the track that comes out at the bottom of Coggins Hill, then up to Chalky Mount School where we had started.
A flat road walker will always have problems with hills the first time.
A different mental approach is needed.
Police are on site at 1st Avenue Alleyne Land in Bush Hall, St Michael, investigating another shooting death.
Officers have used three vehicles to cordon off all entries and exits.
Spa Hill was my cross when hiking.
I think I lost some of my calf circumference since I came to Canada. I still walk a lot, but it is all on the flat.
Yours@4.11pm reversing and stopping in the middle of the hill without rolling forward, using handbrake, and balancing clutch and gas 😊
Some years ago I drove on Magnetic Hill outside Moncton NB and a few years later did the same on Cherry Tree Hill.
A magnetic pull made me drive from cave hill to a bay house in Bathsheba at night.. lol
Hants, you are so funny. A bay house at Bathsheba….I probably know the chick.