Thursday, September 30, 2010

Barbados, Tramway, Water, Street Lighting and Telephone

The Tramway

In an earlier blog I wrote about the wonderful Barbados Railway that was. As you may have read it was the scenery that was in fact wonderful but the running of the railway itself was very poor.

Following on the heels of the Railway The Barbados Tramway Company went into operation on Monday February 9th 1885  when the route from Bridgetown to Hastings Rocks was opened. on March the 1st an additional route to Fontabelle was opened. The company was later sold to American interest who had announced plans to extend the tramway company as far North as St James. Sadly these plans never materialized and the Tramway was eventually closed in 1925. The tramway gave way to more modern transportation such as the omnibuses.


In 1857 the Barbados Water Company was formed and was granted a Government Subsidy of 

£5000 to supply Bridgetown with a half million gallons of water daily. Later that same year an Act was passed that gave the government the right to purchase the company in 20 years. The first supply of water for the water works came from springs at Newcastle St John. In 1860 the laying of pipework began and  in 1861 tap water was introduced into Bridgetown. A fountain was later built in Bridgetown to celebrate this event and has been written about in an earlier blog.

Street Lighting

Prior to 1976 the only places that enjoyed street lighting in Bridgetown were the Wharf, Peirhead and the new Bridge. These were light with kerosene lamps but elsewhere would be left in darkness except for the light provided from taverns and homes within the town.

Inn 1876 The Barbados Gas Company was established with the task of lighting Bridgetown by the use of coal gas. For this they were to be paid $30 per lamp. The progress was sadly slow and within a few years modernization won out and in 1891 a meeting was held to discuss the use of electrical lighting. The first demonstration did not take place until 1896. It took a further 15 years for it to be introduced into Bridgetown with the introduction of the Barbados Light & Power Company in 1910.

The Telephone

The telephone was introduced into Barbados in 1882 this was accidentally just 6 years after the invention of the telephone and only 3 years after its introduction to London and Paris.

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