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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Industrial archaeology of St. Lucia - a derelict sugar cane factory

 This derelict roofless building, overgrown with creepers, hides relics of a past age of British empirical power. 
St. Lucia did not escape the terror of the French revolution in 1789.  Plantation owners were guillotined.  The island changed "ownership" seven times between the British and the French, which, to this day, provides many French place names and the Creole language with great French influences.
Sugar cane is no longer a commercially important crop on the island.  This isolated ruin of a cane crushing plant is therefore of extraordinary historical interest. 

This is the view from the right hand side of the previous picture.  The massive cogs were driven by the water wheel, of which you can just see a couple of spokes.
The wheel is huge.
Here is an English aristocrat for comparison.

The year of manufacture, 1876 by W & A McOnie from Glasgow.  Those were the days when Britain ruled the waves... and the empire.

Above and below are views from inside the building.
It is amazing that these relics are still here... and scary that they might disappear as scrap iron at any moment.

By the way, the cast iron structure of the market in Castries was made in Birmingham.  The island is abundant with relics from the past.

We were able to view this site thanks to HF Holidays and our guide, "Vision".

St. Lucia is a great place to visit -- all the more so if you have a great guide.
An expert on the plants, birds, culture and history of St. Lucia, Valance Rodney James ("Vision") is one such expert guide.

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