Saturday, 14 April 2007

Moving to Kingston: 49 Beeston Street

Before I leave Port Royal I'd like to pay tribute to the Jamaica National Heritage Trust. Since 1958 they have been working to preserve Jamaica's heritage. I was disappointed that I did not have an image of the Dockyard at Port Royal, but fortunately I was able to find one on line on the JNHT website. This image is of the Admiralty buildings and may very well have been where William Dey Smedmore and George Christopher Baylis worked as Admiralty writers.

My thanks to the Jamaican National Heritage Trust for permission to post the above image.

But now to Kingston .... William Dey Smedmore and his family moved to a house in Kingston at 49 Beeston Street, probably some time between 1896 and 1899. At the time this would have been a residential area. Later, as people left the city and moved to the suburbs of St. Andrew, it became less desirable to live there. Beeston Street is located north of the Parade and runs from the Spanish Town Road in the west to Text Lane in the east. Here it is on a current map of Kingston.

Here is how it would have looked in 1897, as found in Stark's Jamaica Guide illustrated (Boston: James H. Stark, 1902). Beeston Street was named after Sir William Beeston, one of the early Governors of Jamaica, who was granted a considerable amount of land, much of which went to make up the original City of Kingston.

The Smedmore family settled at 49 Beeston Street, on the north side at the corner of Love Lane. Across the street from them, at 22 Beeston Street, lived my paternal grandmother, Alice Levy. She did not, however, move there till some time between 1900 and 1917 and she was still living there when she died in 1943. I imagine that it was this proximity that brought my parents together.

I have a couple pictures which were most likely taken at 49 Beeston Street, but they give very little idea of what the house was like. Though I saw it as a child and teenager, I can still remember it and will attempt to paint a picture of it in words in my next post.

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Sorry for offtopic

Arras Memorial

Arras Memorial

Trooper Victor Dey Smedmore

Trooper Victor Dey Smedmore
My uncle Victor