The talk of plans to revitalize Speightstown just received another blow with confirmation that the largest conglomerate in the country, the now Trinidad owned BS&T, has decided to close down one of the leading shopping outlets in the town - DaCosta Mannings on Queens Street. This comes at a time when the town is struggling to come back from the brink of extinction with the recent opening of the Arlington House Museum and a new mall - Towne Square also on Queens Street. This closing brings to an end a long history of BS&T association with the town going back to the days of "R&G Challenor Ltd.," which operated one of the two jetties in Speightstown for sugar barges and schooners. It will be a great tragedy if the building is shuttered and allowed to deteriorate like so many others in the town. Jobs will be lost and less shoppers will be bothering to stop in the town now that a major Barbadian brand has pulled out.
I guess with the shots now being called in remote Port Of Spain, Trinidad there is little appetite for preserving a town in Barbados whose prospects as a going concern fell with the elections last year. Recent talk about bringing cruise liners back to the town by the current government have come under scathing criticism from the Government’s own MP in the neighboring constituency of St. Lucy whose parochial thinking is legendary in Barbados. Now if cruise ships do come back (Government really has little choice given the current economic climate with an under-utilized jetty already on its hands in Speightstown) there will be one less place for visitors to shop - not that they might want to buy anything from a general store. Still, it is a very sad day in Speightstown where there is now one less reason for local residents and long-stay visitors in the area to want to shop there.