Home, Sweet Home

Look up at the beach above the title. Below is another view of the same beach.

These photos are of Spion Kop beach, where I grew up.

Spion Kop

Here are the ruins of the house where I lived. I used to run barefoot on the rocks from which I fished valiantly for years without catching a single fish. A local fisherman used to pull his boat ashore on this beach, and I used to “help” with the net. Those were the only fish I ever got, but they were caught by a true professional.

How to get there

If you enter Maxwell Coast Road from the Bridgetown side, and pass what we were always told was the “cholera graveyard”, Spion Kop is about halfway along the actual coast road. I have heard that it is sold now, but everything is shrouded in secrecy. The last time I was there, besides the few tourists, there were a lot of vendors around and a lady offered to braid my hair in corn rows for a ridiculously low price.

What is the secret?

My mother is a shareholder of Kingsland Estates Limited. Kingsland once owned this house and beachfront land. The entire assets of Kingsland Estates Limited have been valued at $5M Barbados. These assets included over 1,000 acres of prime land at the time, much of it commercial, with planning permissions in place.

Spion Kop/Craigwell was about 2 acres. I have heard through the grapevine that it sold
for $12M Barbados, or more than double the assessed value of Kingsland Estates’ 1,000+ acres, multiple homes and other fixtures, and then was resold immediately for a higher
price. Even $12 M would be a low price for beachfront acreage in this area. But this may just be a rumour.

This property, which was less than 0.2% of the area of total property, that is less than one fifth of a percent of 1,000+ acres, may have sold for $12M Barbados dollars.

The secret is, well really it is a secret to me, what are the details of the transactions of this property? Who negotiated the sale or sale and subsequent resale as some suspect? Who owns it now? Is it being built on? If so, who is doing the work? Will beach access be cut off for the descendants of the many neighbourhood children who used to swim and play with me in the old days?

You may email me anonymously at [email protected] - I would love to know what has become of my old home.