This is the state of the jetty in Speightstown. Austin Husbands feels it should be destroyed and a new one placed where original jetties once stood. (Picture by Heather-Lynn Evanson.)
Last week the Sunday Sun took a trip to Speightstown and highlighted a number of changes in the area.
One businessman is looking to invest millions and has big plans of constructing two new hotels, a specially themed restaurant and a water park. Already there are new businesses operating in the area, including the restaurant Hugos and the international chain Nikki Beach. Sandals Barbados is also set to open its third property in the north.
Today, we revisit the town once known as Little Bristol to hear the views of others, including long-time businessman Austin Husbands, businesswoman Jewell Leacock who has plans to “Uplift Speightstown”, as well as historians Dr Karl Watson and Peter Stevens.
Blow up the Speightstown jetty and rebuild it where the elders originally had it.
Remove half of the 23 no parking spaces and change some of the streets to one way to aid the smooth flow of business.
Give businesses and homeowners Sandals-like concessions to help with rebuilding and restoring the historic town centre.
And, while you are at it, give the first Black Speaker of the House of Assembly, Sir Kenmore “Doc” Husbands, the recognition he deserves.
These are just some of the recommendations of outspoken lifelong Speightstown, St Peter resident Austin “The Baron” Husbands as Barbados-based businessman Mark Daghorn looks to pump millions of dollars into two hotels in the area.
However, the soon to be 68-year-old Husbands, who confessed he has been making the same recommendations over and over, for years on end, did not hold out any hope that they would be taken into consideration any time soon.
But the self-described Speightstonian was willing to repeat himself one more time.
His solution for the dilapidated Speightstown jetty, built in the 1990s, was simple – if not spectacular.
“Dynamite it. Dynamite is the solution to that jetty and place it where it should be which is right at the back of the old bond that was owned by Challenor,” he declared.
“The old folks must have done their research. It is not documented, but they must have done their research about the safest point of construction.”
But, said Austin who has spent his life in and around the sea, the “new” jetty was constructed right at the biggest point of the break. That, he stressed, was why it took such a hammering from the waves. And he did warn officials when they broached the idea of its location, he added.
Husbands noted it was that lack of respect for local knowledge that has seen many “improvements” instituted that have done nothing to improve the area.
Take for instance, the plethora of no parking signs on every street in Speightstown.
“Some years ago a number of no parking signs were put up in Speightstown. So after some protests from us, they put down in front of Fisherman’s Pub and [his former restaurant La Bouche] delivery spaces and then proceeded to put down a slew of no parking spaces all over Speightstown.
“Chapel Street, which is a one-way street, stupidly has no parking signs; Church Street, which is a one way street, stupidly has. And I say stupidly because nobody in their right senses would put no parking signs and make an entire street a no parking street.
“I most definitely cannot understand the ones on Queen Street because you have so many businesses down there. It still boggles my mind that anybody could even seriously attempt to think that putting no entry signs would solve the parking problems.” (HLE)