Right Steps & Poui Trees


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Queen Victoria on Parade: Weekly Photo Challenge – Weathered

“This week, show us the effect of time and the elements.”

On East Parade in downtown Kingston, inside St William Grant Park, there is a statue of Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria a

It’s been in the Park (which used to be called Victoria Park) for nearly 120 years and has weathered somewhat over that time.

P1200529

It has even lost its left hand….

P1200524

The statue was unveiled in 1897 as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations; it was a replica of a statue sculpted by Emanuel Edward Geflowski and still bears the inscription: “Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India, and Supreme Lady of Jamaica.” The photo below shows the unveiling ceremony.

Queen Victoria statue - National Library of Jamaica photo

“Unveiling the Queen’s Statue in Jamaica,” National Library of Jamaica Digital Collection , accessed January 10, 2018, http://nljdigital.nlj.gov.jm/items/show/1724. © Copyright NLJ. All Rights Reserved

They say that the statue shifted on its stone base during the 1907 Earthquake, which you seem to be able to see in this photo.

Queen Victoria statue - National Library of Jamaica photo 2 (2)

“Statue of Queen Victoria,” National Library of Jamaica Digital Collection , accessed January 10, 2018, http://nljdigital.nlj.gov.jm/items/show/1725. © Copyright NLJ. All Rights Reserved

A Jamaica Information Service release in the Sunday Gleaner of April 26, 1970 mentioned the story of the statue and the earthquake:

Gleaner Sunday April 26 1970 - statues of Queen Victoria and Sir Alexander - JIS report

Sunday Gleaner, April 26, 1970,  page 1 -“Sir Alex’s Statue to Replace Queen Victoria’s”

On May 12, 1970, Queen Victoria’s statue was moved from its original position on South Parade to make way for the statue of National Hero Sir Alexander Bustamante.

Gleaner May 14 1970 - statues of Queen Victoria and Sir Alexander

Gleaner, May 14, 1970, page 1

The statue was later placed in its current location, where it remains to this day.

P1200536 black & white

Weekly Photo Challenge – Weathered

 

 

 

 

 

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Downtown Kingston Crossing: Weekly Photo Challenge – Pedestrian

“What does pedestrian mean to you? Perhaps this is a great chance to go out and practice some street photography.”

Downtown Kingston. A man walks across the pedestrian crossing in South Parade. In the background is the landmark Kingston Parish Church, built in 1911 at the site of the original church, which was destroyed in the Great Earthquake of 1907. There is much pedestrian traffic in this part of Kingston, but the history of the area is anything but pedestrian.

23a

Below is a postcard showing some of the damage to the original church after the earthquake. (“Parish Church, Kingston Jamaica after earthquake Jan 14, 1907,” National Library of Jamaica Digital Collection , accessed October 4,2017. http://nljdigital.nlj.gov.jm/items/show/254.)Kingston Parish Church after 1907 earthquake - National Library of Jamaica Collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Pedestrian


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J. Wray and Nephew Building, 24 Port Royal Street

If you are walking or driving on Port Royal Street in downtown Kingston, you may notice this old, locked up building that sits between Church Street and Temple Lane.

P1150207It is the old J. Wray and Nephew building, at 24 Port Royal Street.

P1150212Here it is on Google Maps:Wray and Nephew Building - Google map

If you stand at the intersection of Port Royal Street and Church Street, looking down towards the harbour, you can see the overhead crosswalk from the Jamaica Conference Centre to the multistorey parking garage.P1150209And this is what the building looks like when you are standing across from it on Church Street.P1150190An address given in 1975 by then Managing Director of J. Wray and Nephew, Mr. B. E. Latibeaudiere, at the official opening of their new office complex on Spanish Town Road, gives some information about the building on Port Royal Street.Wray and Nephew Story - Gleaner 5-10-1975

John Wray, a Scottish wheelwright from St Ann, opened a tavern in Kingston in 1825. It was a successful business and in 1862 he took his nephew Charles James Ward as a partner and the business became J. Wray and Nephew. (Ward later became a member of the legislative council and custos of Kingston; the Ward Theatre, which he built and donated to the city after the 1907 earthquake, is named for him.)

“[Wray] moved to larger premises on Port Royal Street, which were conveniently near the wharves – in those days rum was brought in barrels by sea from various distilleries in the country parts.

John Wray died in 1864 and Ward became the sole owner of J. Wray and Nephew. The business developed considerably.

The premises on Port Royal Street fortunately escaped the fire of 1882, which destroyed a large section of the city of Kingston. However, the fire which followed the 1907 earthquake completely razed Port Royal Street, causing the loss of all the old records and documents. Most of the company’s thirty-odd retail branches throughout the city were also destroyed.

Although approaching his 70th year, Ward immediately set about rebuilding Port Royal Street and the new building which went up after the earthquake covered the entire block from Church Street to Temple Lane and business was resumed from those premises in June 1909.”

The business remained at this location until 1970, when it moved to Spanish Town Road.

(Sunday Gleaner, October 5, 1975)

Earthquake 1907 - damage on Port Royal Street

Photo showing damage to buildings on Port Royal Street after 1907 earthquake

Port Royal Street hardware store - earthquake

Photo showing damage to a building on Port Royal Street after 1907 earthquake

The iron fretwork is one of the most striking features of the building…P1150200…though now showing the effects of time….P1150118Trees and cut-stone paving would make for a really pleasant area… P1150137…between the building and the multistorey carpark, if the area was maintained.P1150128Vines on the closed shutters…P1150132…and grass on the roof show nature taking its course….P1150182I checked at the National Land Agency to see who is listed as owning the property, but was told that there is no registered title. I wonder what plans there are for this building.