I took this shot in Kingston Jamaica railway station in the early 1990s, shortly before taking a journey on the train across the island to Montego Bay. I clearly remember the station was always full of hustle and bustle, with colourful characters both on and off the train. I particularly love this image of the little girl reading her book in her own oasis of calm, seemingly oblivious of the noisy crowd surrounding her. I was lucky enough to take this journey a few times before the line finally closed in 1992. On this occasion the train derailed about halfway through the journey, something, which happened quite frequently-everyone crammed into the remaining carriages and eventually we continued our journey without further incident to Montego Bay. Over the years there has been plenty of talk about reopening the line, in-fact as recent as last year it was mentioned, but unfortunately the only thing the station gets used for these days is music videos.
Posts Tagged ‘Kingston Jamaica’
In my occasional series where I delve into my archive, I bring you the story Harold Woodrow Willacey, Jamaican street-scribe. Taken from my time living in Kingston, Jamaica, these photos were shot in 2003. I am not sure if Harold Willacey is still alive… Perhaps my Jamaican friends who follow the blog might be able to tell help me out with that bit of information. What follows is a short piece I wrote at the time, to go with the photos. I hope you enjoy it.
If you dally along Barry Street in the heart of downtown Kingston, Jamaica, you might come across Harold Woodrow Willacey. Born in 1927, Manchester, Jamaica, Harold sits patiently for his next customer. Amidst these chaotic and dangerous streets. Harold quietly types away on his German made vintage classic Olympia typewriter; letters, Resémé’s, applications, and pretty much anything that people bring to Harold’s attention.. and all this for the same cost of a cup coffee back in London. Harold has been quietly plying his trade downtown since the 1960s. Harold was in the RAF during the Second World War, based in England. Shortly after the war he sustained an injury while working in a bike factory, damaging his neck so severely that he decided on a doctors recommendation to go back to Jamaica, to a warmer climate.
Harold has fond memories of England, despite never receiving compensation for his injuries. He remembers playing football and “winning the respect of the English men”-due to his ball playing skills-”scoring a goal and getting lots of whistles and cheers.” He was still only a teenager then and still remembers it well. Harold goes on to say, “black people were not considered to know anything in those days”.