Government House

A Government house in Trench Town (1998)

Trench Town has been called the birth place of Rocksteady and Reggae music, among other things it has a rich history in Kingston’s reputation. I spent a great deal of time, many years, photographing in Trench Town producing hundreds and hundreds of photos. The idea was to do a book on Trench Town with the help of the residents. I was working with several community members on various ideas about the story and gathering a lot of information regarding the origins and people of Trench Town.

Many famous Jamaicans have come out of Trench Town. Most people only have heard of the Reggae stars, but many sport stars, religious and political figures lived there as well. The Jamaican National anthem was even written by a Trench Town resident, Father Hugh Sherlock, who in 1940 also founded the Boys Town School All Age School which still thrives today.

The book project was eventually put on hold since three of the five people I was working with were murdered (at different times) and one had left Jamaica for his own safety. I would still love to finish the project at some point since much has changed since I started photographing. Trench Town is full of wonderful vibrant people with lots of stories to tell. Bob Marley’s song “No Woman No Cry” describes it well, the photo above was the very yard the song was written about, Bob lived just to the right of this house. It’s so true like he said, good friends we have, and good friends we have lost, along the way ….

“I remember when a we used to sit
In a government yard in Trenchtown,
Oba – obaserving the ‘ypocrites – yeah!
Mingle with the good people we meet, yeah!
Good friends we have, oh, good friends we have lost
Along the way, yeah! In this great future, you can’t forget your past,
So dry your tears, I seh….” – Bob Marley

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