2009 Jamaica

World Norfolk & Norwich communities in Jamaica
Michael and Erica Salt report on their investigations

As with the other places in Jamaica we have visited, Norwich Portland has lost its independent identity over time. The village has been split by the new coast road driven through it, the railway (and Norwich Halt) closed down more than 20 years ago and has now for the most part disappeared, and increasingly it has become an outlying suburb of Port Antonio.

The agriculture which once gave such places an independent existence has withered and the towns now provide most employment (such as there is). There is no council, library or post office and the most prominent figures seem to be head of the local school (Claudia McLean) and a local JP.

The former was away when we passed through, and so was the JP (Albert Holgate), but we found the latter's daughter (Sandra Becca) at his house up a track barely justifying the word road. She seemed knowledgeable, expressed an interest and said that her son had been doing a project into the history of Norwich for his schoolwork a couple of months ago.

We decided that she was the best recipient of Derek's World Norfolk and Norwich Family travelogue book that we could find and so Erica presented it to her (photo 2). She promised to pass it on to the school head when she returned and was sure that good use would be made of it. Sandra's email is sandibec_jm@yahoo.com, and Claudia's is norwich-primary-por@moey.gov.jm.