STREET BEAT: Glebe’s centre of it all
As part of the Nation Publishing Company’s 50th anniversary of Independence celebrations, the WEEKEND NATION is dedicating the Street Beat column to a district in each parish that we believe is the unofficial capital.
THE GLEBE, St George, and its environs can be deceptive if one does not know the area.
Between there and Charles Rowe Bridge, there are so many places of interest, it may cause an outsider’s eyebrows to be raised.
Street Beat visited The Glebe to take a look at the landmarks and the activity there. On the surface, there are already many places of interest – such as the post office, library and parish church, but an encounter with a local really uncovered the true depths of the area.
“There is no conflict here; it is a nice area. You can breeze on the bridge, then go to the gas station to get something to eat or go to the bar and get a drink,” said Shermaine Brathwaite, who was liming at the Sol gas station with friends.
Brathwaite named some of the bars and other places of interest in the area: Sam’s Bar, The Shop Lime, Buddy’s Soca, Babe’s Bar, Marway Bar and
Restaurant, the “sweetest bakeries around” – Carter’s Bakery and Heady’s Bakery – the Bridge Supermarket, the gym, the pharmacy, the doctor’s office, two hardware stores, the Bellyfull Grill and “the most popular Chefette”.
“There’s nuff places to go, that’s why people love out here and I ain’t moving from out here for sure. I love that the gas station open 24 hours, I does be here all 2 a.m. and the management don’t run we because no thief gine want to come out here once all o’ we here,” he said.
Indeed, the Sol station is always active – sometimes too active as the small station can easily become congested.
Manager Tyrone Maycock said they had been going non-stop since the reopening.
“We opened again in August last year. It was closed for a while for renovations so from day one the people were coming because they were happy it was open again. We get hundreds of people a day and it is especially busy on Fridays and Saturdays.
“We are the only station around this area open 24 hours so we also service St John and St Philip. This is a convenient area and you get good service. This is a good business area and there are some nice people here,” she said.
In contrast to the hustle of the gas station, the environs of the St George Church were at peace – with birds singing in the trees and a sweet breeze blowing.
There, men were liming while some were cooking a meal on an improvised stove made of a wheel hub. As busy as the general area has become, one resident recalled a time when it was not.
“Right in front the church here was the road; the [current] road. . . get cut after. They had houses all along the old road but now they all get relocate to Walkers. Right here next to the church used to be the St George Boys’ School. Now it’s a recreation centre where Sunday school does hold.
“As a boy, I remember when the cane truck used to pass going to Bulkeley [factory]. we used to jump on and ride it to the top of the road for fun and to pull off some cane – when you young, y’know? I don’t know why they shut down all the factories – I think they should make Bulkeley into a museum,” he said.
The health conscious man was baking a “simple, healthy meal” of potato wedges and fish for the group, topped with barbecue sauce. He said he had lived in The Glebe all his life, attending school at the St George Primary School, and considered it the epicentre of St George.
Finally, The Glebe complex is another hub which contains Government businesses and the recreation centre. Within, Erskine Springer was practising ballroom dancing with a partner.
“We came here because I know it is free; most other places charge a substantial fee. I know dancing goes on here so I asked a question and here we are. As an amateur ballroom dancer, my partner and I decided to come and get in some practice,” he said.
A woman was spotted coming from the post office. While declining to be identified, she spoke on why she appreciated the complex.
“It’s convenient because I live just up the road. I come here to get cash from the ATM or use the post office. It’s like a centre in the community, which is good as the pensioners in the community don’t have to catch the bus to get their cheques cashed,” she said. (CA)