Thursday, 12 July 2007

Holborn Road Families

What I mostly remember about Holborn Road were the families who lived there while I was growing up. Next door to us, at number 3 Holborn Road were the Bewleys, Arthur and Enid. They had three children: Dawn, who married a sergeant in the British Army who was stationed at Up Park Camp; Sheila, who was about my age, and Richard. Sheila and I were best buds, though we attended different schools. She went to St. Hugh's and I went to St. Andrew's. We played together a lot. The Bewley had a badminton court on the front lawn, with lights, so we played a lot of badminton. We also used to go to the movies together ... the Saturday morning serials at the Carib Theatre. We also used to go swimming at Courtleigh Manor Hotel, where for the princely sum of two shilling and sixpence we were allowed to frolic in the hotel pool.

Tourism wasn't that big in Jamaica in those days and the hotel was very welcoming to local people. We had great times swimming there. And this reminds me that in my last post I mentioned the Skyline Hotel and wondered what had happened to it. Well, thanks to a couple of people in the know, the Skyline was bought out by the Hendrickson family and renamed the Courtleigh, and Courtleigh Manor itself, also owned by the Hendricksons was, sadly, demolished a couple years ago.

When I went back to Jamaica in 2003 Holborn Road had changed drastically from a residential street to a very commercial one, and No. 3 Holborn Road, where the Bewleys had lived, is now a guest house, Holborn Manor.

In fact the street looks quite different. Here is a view of it looking towards Trafalgar Road, with no. 5 and no. 3 Holborn Road on the left.

I do not recognize the large buildings on the left, past the Bewley's house. In my time no. 1 Holborn Road was where the Atkinsons lived, and next to them going towards Trafalgar Road, was the home of Eric and June Clark, whose house address was actually on Ruthven Road behind Holborn Road. Their property was contained between both roads, with gates at either end, and with their permission I used to ride my bike through there as a shortcut to go to school

On the even-numbered side of the road were the Tames. I don't recall their house number. They were very close friends of my Mom and Dad. Captain Frederick Tame had been in the British Army and had settled in Jamaica with his wife, May. They had four grownup children, two girls and two boys. Lily and Violet were unmarried and lived with their parents; Cyril was married and worked at Barclays Bank in Kingston, and Horace the youngest, also married, worked at the Cement Company.

That's Vi on the left with Captain Tame. She's holding one of their Pekingese dogs. I remember they had two, at different times.

This is Lily, the eldest. Lily was secretary to Mr. Bertram, the rather august manager of Barclays Bank. Thanks to Cyril both my brother, Micky, and I worked at Barclays. Micky was probably there longer and moved around to various branches. I worked there after leaving school between 1953 and 1957, when I got married and went to Trinidad.

Other families who lived across the road from us were the Parchments, Lal and Cissie, next door to the Tames, and next to them the Evanses, Fred and Sybil with their three children, Bev, Phyllis and Richard. On the corner of Dumfries Road and Holborn Road at no. 10 were first the Williamses, Baba and Verna and their children, (Verna was the sister of my Aunt Maisie who married my Uncle Lucius.), and later on after the Williams family moved, the McCullochs. On our side of the road, next door at us at no. 7 there were the DeMercados, Roy and Rose, sister and brother, and later the Dadds. My mother was very fond of Roy who was quite a character. The funny thing is that in a way our families were connected through marriages between Da Costas and DeMercados, but I don't think any of us were really aware of that. It's something I found out much later when I began to do family history research.

The Evans home is now the Indies Pub, and that section of Holborn Road, looking towards Chelsea Avenue, is much different to what I remember as a child.

In fact, no. 7, next door to no. 5, is now a financial institution, Dehring, Bunting & Golding Ltd.

In my next post I'll describe how it felt to return after twenty years to my old home and experience the changes that time has wrought.


Chris Marley said...

Not many people nowadays know the names of other families that live on their street, unlike when you were living on Holbourn Rd. We have become a lot more isolated.
Best Regards, Chris.

Jamaican Girl said...

I saw the picture of the old Courtleigh...that is where the Bank of Nova Scotia has its big headquarters. Times have really changed....

patricia said...

I agree with Mr. Marley. I can't believe that you can remember all the names of the people who lived on your street, after all these years! I don't recall you talking to us about most of these people – mind you, as kids would we have listened? Perhaps if you had some funny stories to tell about these families!

The Tames seem like they were the quintessential British family, blessed with names like Violet, Cyril and Horace.

Anonymous said...

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Arras Memorial

Arras Memorial

Trooper Victor Dey Smedmore

Trooper Victor Dey Smedmore
My uncle Victor