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After all that nervousness amongst the highheidyins of the Paxton House Trust the media reaction to the Descendants concert has been entirely favourable-even if media is mostly confined to that well known organ-the Berwickshire News. Story as follows (but remember, you first read it here)Bicentenary of slave trade abolition marked
Former Paxton House owners was killed in slave uprising
CARIBBEAN CHOREOGRAPHY: Visitors performed a selection of dances throughout the
CARIBBEAN music and dance came to Paxton House on Saturday June 30 as descendants of slaves celebrated the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade at the former home of a slave owner.
Ninian Home of Paxton had two sugar plantations in Grenada, he became Governor of the island in 1793, but he was killed in a slave uprising in 1795.
The Paxton Trust invited members of the Descendants organisation in the Grenadian community in London to mark the bicentenary of abolition at Paxton. Descendants coordinator Margaret Noel explained that the group was encouraging young black people in Britain to understand the past and to look to the future.
She expressed pride in the contribution that Grenadian descendants are making in Britain today, including Johnson Beharry who won the Victoria Cross in Iraq and Lewis Hamilton, the new star of Formula One Racing.
Forty Descendants members, including young people, parents and teachers spent the weekend in Berwickshire, staying at Coldingham Youth Hostel, viewing documents and paintings of 18th century Grenada at Paxton, and performing caribbean dance, drama and music to celebrate the bicentenary of abolition. Paxton Trust staff and members of the Eyemouth Scouts were the hosts for the day's activities.
Lord Soley, the former MP for Ealing Acton and Shepherds Bush, who helped to organise the contact between Descendants and Paxton, congratulated the Paxton Trust on a courageous initiative to understand the history of slavery and to build a new link with the afro-caribbean community in London.
Paxton trustee and former local MP John Home Robertson said: "The abolition of the slave trade in 1807 was a turning point in history.
"I am ashamed of the fact that a member of my family once owned slaves, and I was thrilled to see young Londoners celebrating the bicentenary of abolition at Paxton and learning from a historic link in Scotland.
"There is more to learn from our archive of documents from Paxton and Grenada,- we even have an extraordinary letter from Ninian Home saying that 'a manager of a plantation should consider himself as the father of the slaves… They are human beings as well as ourselves'- obviously slavery was a complete denial of humanity."
Paxton Trust Director John Malden concluded "This has been a successful event and a very moving occasion. We thoroughly enjoyed the visit by some lively and enthusiastic young afro-caribbean Londoners, and we intend to build on this contact with the Descendants organisation".
Go to www.berwickshirenews.co.uk to comment on this story. (Huttonian suggests that you do)
So perhaps 'next time' Mr Malden et alios might spread the word more widely and share a fun event with more people.
(* An eighteenth century slogan from Sir Morrisons? Granada Store?. Dunno. Blog ed
Labels: Descendants, Merse, Paxton House, Sir Morrison's, Slave trade