Who recalls those moments by the standpipes?
Those days when it seemed the entire village would gather by this unique source to catch a few buckets while it lasted.
Many were the arguments - some in good fun, some not so funny - as time lengthened and fears mounted that the flow would slow to a trickle and then nothing but wind would be heard.
Some women, having no choice, would 'migrate' to the pipe to do their laundry on the spot!
And the children, not sharing their elders' concerns, would find enough distractions to last a lifetime... And when they finally filled their buckets and mounted them unsteadily on their head, there was no telling how much of that precious liquid would reach their intended destination.
Sometimes none, as with a great splash it was soaked up by the greedy, parched ground, the bucket clanging in one direction and the little miscreant lunging in the other... Oh, well, time to go back to the pipe and start all over again...
Or face the wrath of an unsmiling mother, weapon of mass correction in hand!
Earl you are bringing back some good memories. getting out of the sea water heading for the stand pipe to get the salt off. The older folks telling you,"you wasting the water an a mek mud hole fi di pig dem, go home a yu yaud". Sweet, sweet Treasure Beach..... to bad so many of us had to leave, thinking we reached paradise..
Sandy Bank School Standpipe at recess. We had to climb up, turned the pipe on and quenched our thrist...Ahhhhhhhhhh, warm and delicious.
i too can relate to the stand pipe days me and my brothers and sisters would have to be up at 4:00 am in the morning to catch water from those stand pipes before we all goes to school at 8:00am we had to make sure all our drums were full before we leave to school. as we all know that as the sun comes over the hill the water shuts off so it was not a very joy ful thing for us but we had to do it as earl said if you dont doit then that weapon of mass correction will be there waiting and of course that will not be a pretty site.and of course when there was nowater at the stand pipes we had to go to those big water tanks that they used to have there was one at mass alfred james shop in sandy bank lane but a new house is now there :so thats my not so fun memories of the stand pipes days i could go on and on but it would take up the whole entire forum
What years were the standpipes the main source of water?
i agree with beans, stand pipe days were terrible, i remember getting up in the middle of the night to go carry water from burying ground because water would be gone all day, sometime weeks.
As to when the phase-out of the stand pipes began, Eric, I seem to recall that it was was sometime in the mid '80's to the early 90's.
Residents of each district within Treasure Beach got piped water in their homes at slightly different junctures, over time.
That was the case, similarly, with electricity - it was a gradual process, through the Rural Electrification Programme. Bluntas, let's say, got it one year; Lewis Town another year or two later, Sandy Bank another year (not necessarily in that precise order, of course!) etc.
Suffice it to say that 'progress' in Treasure Beach and many other communities in Jamaica has been a gradual process.
But with the march of time and these signposts of 'progress' along the way, we have also lost (or abandoned) some of our traditional practices, which makes it all the more important to recall "dem good ole days" in this and other fora.
I can't say precisely when the first standpipes were installed in T. Beach (Maybe someone older than me can say when).
Suffice it to say that, as archaic as that method of delivering water to the community sounds, the previous generation was even more trying!
In the pre-Independence era, as I understand it, the few wells in the community were practically the only sources of water.
And there were several 'interesting' features relating to this option:
- The closer the well was to the sea, the greater the likelihood that the water was saline (salty).
- Very often when the bucket was retrieved from the well, it came up, not just with the needed thirst quencher, but a few crabs and frogs as well!
So, innocent me, I asked a few old timers, "What did you do then?"
They laughed and replied: "What could we do? There was no other source, so we just 'skit' them out of the bucket and took the water home!"
I do remember the water tank of which you speak. As you would recall it was right beside where I lived, and so my family bore witness to quite a few of the disputes and jokes that ensued there!
Earl, you are really bringing back the old days for sure. I can vividly remember that big tank beside our shop there, it was funny to watch the last trickle coming out, and the folks running with their buckets. I also recall the stand pipe that was located down beside Comie(Ver), that was where a lot of disputes went on as well. Finally that stand pipe was rooted up and there was a water spout, what fun for all the kids with all the soaked clothes on the backs.
Peco, I remember the day the tank was installed.
It generated quite a bit of excitement. As they said back then, "crowd come dung!"
And I recall your dad, Paapa, and my own father, Carl (who Paapa always called, Moody) being very pleased!
Any standpipe still around in the community?
Can anyone identify the remaining standpipes?
Where are they and are they in good condition?
Curios are one of whom got your first kiss awaiting water to come at night from one of those stan pipe?
One was at sta Sill lane entrance one at Ren shop and the next one one was some where in frenchman.
Ren shop? Is that Ren Lewis? If it is then this has gone way back in the good ole days.
Wow! I cannot forget Christmas Eve morn when we would all gather at the standpipe to carry a good supply of water for Christmas, while the males would go look a nice stock-pile of nicely chiopped wood for the big Christmas cooking. After returning home from the standpipes, the females and sometimes the young males in the household would join in using scrag brooms to sweep the whole yard; clean as a whistle- not even a pebble would be left lying around. Then, the sparkling white bag stocked up with crisp bammy bread. Those were great with the home ground parched coffee beans that was well brewed. They were also a speciality with the freshly cooked mutton soup. As for the home made bun ...geeh! And how can I forget,... a whole bottle a soda for myself. That was such a big treat. Wouldn't want it to finish. I could go on and on but I wouldnt be able to end for now so this is my quatties worth.
One was at Miss Imie Spence
THERE WAS A STANDPIPE IN SANDY BANK BESIDE THE BRETHREN CHURCH (WE CALLED THE MEETING HOUSE)THOSE DAYS WERE SUCH A GOOD OLE DAYS MEMORIES STILL LINGER
Is someone saying you got your first kiss beside one of those stand pipes?
Lots of things happened at those stand pipes, so why not a first kiss as well!
Sometimes the pipe would go bad and water would be leaking away for weeks. Then the hogs would come by to enjoy themselves in the mud as well, right alongside the school boys in particular. They didn't care but their mothers certainly did!
Loads of clothes were also washed right there by the standpipe because it was easier to do it there than the carry buckets of water home for the washing.
There is one down at Martel Clarke (Brother Wire)house.