Haslington (By Traveller)
Sandwiched between Plantation Enmore on the West and the village of Golden Grove on the East is Plantation Haslington. The original owners, according to information supplied by those supposed to have had some connection with it somewhere about the last quarter of the nineteenth century, was a Mr. Bayley who seemed to have had some proprietary interest in the adjoining village of Golden Grove.
How long the Bayley family retained ownership of the Plantation there is no positive evidence; but from their hands it became the property of the Beckwiths and Alleyne, the former a name that was very closely associated in the colony with horses and horse-racing and many a colonist who can carry his mind back to the days when horse-racing on the Belfield race course was the outstanding holiday feature on the East Coast, and who can remember the sensational private race of over two miles between Arabs and Bristoleon, the latter the property of the sporting Assistant Inspector of Schools, Mr. H. A. Bartleyt, when those two horses were made to fight it out in order that their owners and supporters might reach a decision as to which of them was the better racehorse, will certainly remember very much about the Beckwiths of Haslington and particularly Jimmy Beckwith, there interest and their activities, in the horseracing of that period as carried on both at Belfield and Georgetown. There can hardly be any doubt that the Beckwiths raced many a colt and filly from the stock bred on the pasturelands of Haslington.
LEADING SUGAR PLANTER
The respected, old and colony-wide known Brassington family, of which the late Mr. R. G. Brassington, a leading sugar planter of his day, was the head, became owner of the Plantation, and it was during their proprietorship that the estate was managed by Mr. Lynch King, who bore matrimonial relationship to the Brassingtons. During his management, his residential quarters and their immediate surroundings were said to have suffered a most complete destruction from a fire. It was after the property passed out from the hands of the Brassingtons that it was acquired by the proprietors of Enmore, of which estate it now forms a part.
PHYSICAL AND ECONOMIC DIVISIONS
Like its immediate neighbours and not at all unlike the villages, plantations, and settlements along the east coast of Demerara, it runs in a north to south direction and extends from the seashore to the Crown Dam or Conservancy Canal, with the public road and the Demerara Railway line running through it in an east to west direction, the former separating the northern most or first section from the second section or pasture lands, while the latter separates the second from the third section or rice field portion. The fourth section consisting of the lands between the rice fields and the Crown Dam comprises the cane fields.
Haslington East is divided from Haslington West by a middle walk dam or a canal or drainage trench along the bed of which the waters from the land comprising the basin (geographically speaking) runs to the sea pulled thus wards by means of a koker affording some natural drainage.
There are no political divisions but Haslington is not singular in that, as for all such purposes it is considered what it really is, as a part of Plantation Enmore. Its economic divisions have been in existence ever since the days the Plantation was in the hands of its original proprietors who resided in the northernmost section, which they had planted up as a provision farm.
A portion of this section was used as the township, and in it lived those who privilege it was to manage the estate, as well as those to whom several of the plots were rented and who farmed the land and grew provisions for which Haslington was famous, especially in the days when its management was in the hands of a Mr. Trotman, a powerfully-built and robust man, a much admire horseman and a sportsman who was a very popular figure on the coast. Either prior or subsequent to Mr. Trotman’s regime, a portion of this inhabited area was managed by a Mr. Bristol, a Mr. Hendy, and their several brothers all of whom were born at Haslington. Many of the features that prevailed in that section sixty years ago are still present today.
RICEFIELDS, HOMESTEADS, CANEFIELDS
The second economic section comprised the lands between the public road and the railway line and have always been used as a pasture where horses, cattle, and sheep owned even by the inhabitants of Golden Grove had been allowed to graze without their owners paying agistment fees. This section was made great use of during the regime of the Beckwiths, in the days antecedent to the planting of rice on the Coast, the plots between the railway line and the area now under cane cultivation were occupied by a few settlers who carried on gardening on a very large scale.
Since, a great portion of the lands has been converted into rice-fields those who inhabited them have trekked about three-quarters of a mile southwards and have set up homesteads almost opposite where the Golden Grove cultivation begins. There from about five to six miles, right on to the Conservancy Canal, are the lands under canes, and this fourth section is undoubtedly the most important and most valuable of the economic divisions of Haslington.
“Around the Country Districts” the Sunday Chronicle, May 12, 1946: page 7.