Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Fri 17 Jul 2009 22:59
A Bimble around St George's
Each and every minibus that passes bibs you to see if you want a lift. We hadn't reached the main gate of the marina before one had stopped to see if we wanted to go into town for 50p. The "conductor" stopped where we needed to get off and gave us directions to the museum. The Grenada National Museum was opened in 1976 at the request of the Government. It was funded by a group of citizens, who later formed the Grenada Historical Society. There was a small display about slavery, a few stuffed birds and mounted butterflies including a surprised looking armadillo. Would have liked to insert picture, but photography forbidden in museum. Any I took I sneaked.
Bear wandering around the sugar producing machinery. What were they doing with Josephine's bath?, and a military folding iron bed.
A standard 112 pound weight made in 1888. A photo I took from outside looking in at the whaling and fishing displays. The lovely metalwork on the canopy outside.
There was a glass cabinet that contained a typed letter from Buckingham Palace signed - Elizabeth - a thank you for the lovely brooch the People of Grenada sent her as wedding present. A photo and letter of the silver salver sent to Princess Margaret on her wedding day and a lovely desk set sent for the opening of The Houses of Parliament.
The foundations of the museum are believed to have been built by the French in 1704 as an army barracks, used by the British as a Women's Common Goal from 1763 to 1880 or 1904 depending which book you read. Then as a warehouse by local merchants, then the Gordon Hotel, Home Hotel and later the Antilles Hotel. We left the museum to walk up to Fort George.
Grenada has had boarding houses and rooms to let since the 1700's to accommodate planters and businessmen visiting the capital, as well as merchants and sailors. Many of the taverns and inns populated the Granby Street or Market Square area and there is evidence that they did brisk trade and the town took on a "boom town" feel with excellent views of the sea. Many ships were prevented from sailing by tavern operators for unpaid debts, as we see that today when signs are put up in Customs and Immigration should a yacht not pay marina or boatyard dues.
Granby Street named after John Manners, Marquess of Granby, an accomplished and popular soldier, showed great concern for his retired men giving them sufficient funds to establish taverns, most of them named after him. Both Monckton Hill Redoubt and Monckton Street were named after British General Robert Monckton to whom Grenada fell without resistance in March 1762. After the great fire of 1771, most of Granby Street debunked to the town of Gouyave - now home of the famous "Fish Friday Oil-Down", a must for on our next visit.
One of Grenada's first hotels was situated on the intersection of Deponthieu Street, Market Hill and Grenville Street, was owned and run by a Irish businesswoman Hannah Roe, as confirmed by French records of 1779-1783. Cockroach was once a polite term for prostitute, hence Deponthieu Street, once a notorious red-light area is still known by the locals as Cockroach Alley.
A picture we took on entering St George's we thought was a hotel. From the top of the hill en route to Fort George it turned out to be the City Hospital now we see it from the back. Nice view for the poorly.
Looking down from Fort George at the Government Buildings - the first one is the Finance Department - along the Carenage. Directly opposite is the Fire Station painted red. To the right the container ship dock.
Hurricane damaged building in the foreground and the Catholic Cathedral behind, currently having the roof repaired, it blew off during Hurricane Ivan.
From the Fort this church looked really cute with the frangipani in bloom beside it, sadly when we got a closer look we found St Andrew's Presbyterian Kirk was quite wrecked. Built in 1831 with the assistance of the Freemasons it is famous for its bell cast in Glasgow in 1833 and its antique clock. Parked next to us was a car with an Irish tourist sticker in the back window. The people of Grenada really love the Brits and always smile and chat. We carried on down the hill and wandered around the Mall which is really geared up for cruise ship visitors. They can walk straight off the boat and into the mall without seeing daylight. We found a Subway for lunch and then went to explore the fruit and veg market. That was a real laugh, Ronda sorted us out a baby nutmeg grater, her husband knocks them up. I was sold a piece of twig for 50p that I am to boil and get Bear to drink the juice, "better than that Viagara, Sweetie, give 'im some pep, let me know", I think for 50p I wont expect tooooooooooo much.
The Grenada Dove (Leptotila wellsi) is a medium-sized New World tropical dove. It is endemic to the island of Grenada and is the National Bird, originally known as the Pea Dove or Well's Dove. It is considered to be one of the most critically endangered doves in the world (Bird Life International 2000) should have lived in the aphrodisiac tree, but we never managed to see it. Something else on the list to do when we come back.
En route to the bus station we passed another first, a dentist sharing a building with a bridal shop. I do hope the wiring is a bit more up to scratch inside.
This beautiful verandah was above the street corner opposite the bus station. A lively and bustling place.
ALL IN ALL A FUN DAY OUT.