Reliving our heritage

The sign above the stairs declares The Folk Museum, and once inside you understand why the sign is there.

The larder stood open with the feet in four tin cups.

It is in Foursquare Rum Distillery and not just a recap of old Barbados as we’ve become accustomed to seeing, but heritage like you would have seldom seen it.

On a recent trip to the distillery, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart came alive when he entered the museum and started to regale media and his tour guide for the day, Executive Chairman Sir David Seale with his own recollections of the use of some of the objects on display.

Stuart started with the old cash register, talking animatedly about its uses yesteryear, and by the time he got to the kitchen display with the four legs of the “larder” stuck in old tin cups, he was recalling how those same cups filled with oil or water would deter ants and other critters from getting into the treasure trove that was the store for the family’s food.

Equally lively stories were told of the two tin cans with a string connecting them that were used as telephones by children back then, but the longest time was spent chatting about King Dyal.

The cash register was a fascinating item.

The local character’s bicycle is one of the objects now installed at the museum, which Sir David remarked was something he held particular pride in. He recalled that King Dyal had requested that he, Sir David, be put in charge of his final arrangements after his passing.

In the museum were tools of the trade that told the story of early sugar making in Barbados, with even a section featuring the characters of Barbados like the Mother Sally, and moko jumbies.

Another part of the museum holds an old room where the barrels that once aged various types of rum, where they were corked, and tells the story of how far the process has come, from times when bottles were hand washed to what occurs today. (LB)

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