Sun | May 28, 2017

Bauxite mining nears, Mile Gully looks to community tourism

Published:Thursday | September 3, 2015 | 9:00 AM

WITH FARMERS in Mile Gully, North West Manchester, set to be displaced by bauxite mining, the member of parliament (MP) is banking on history and community tourism to be the next major economic activity in that area.

MP Mikael Phillips said that North West Manchester is a farming community but stressed that "in a few years time, they will start to mine bauxite in the greater Mile Gully area".

"Some 70 to 80 per cent of those lands that are to be mined are currently under agricultural production," he said.

Phillips said that the Mile Gully Loop Tourism Product, a creation of the Manchester Parish Development Plan, is being implemented as a way of cushioning the fallout from agriculture.

"We will be using the churches in North West Manchester, and we will be creating a product," Phillips said.

He told parliamentarians that the Tourism Enhance-ment Fund (TEF) has provided financial support to the project, which is being used to transform the com-munity of Maidstone, the first free village in Manchester.

Maidstone was a 349-acre coffee plantation originally owned by Thomas Frith. In 1840, the Nazareth Moravian Church, located in Adam's Valley, bought 341 acres of the estate and subdivided them into lots of one to 15 acres, establishing a free village for former enslaved Africans.

Phillips said that the residents of Adam's Valley have collected artefacts, which were recovered from the free village, and they are being stored in a classroom. He said that a museum is to be established to showcase the artefacts.

Phillips said, too, that in addition to placing storyboards throughout the communities, a cut-stone walkway was being constructed in Adam's Valley as a way of allowing people to be transported back to the past.

- D.L.