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History (His Story) :: The Trench Town Rock Experience

September 11, 2016


History (His Story)

Errol McKinson

Oil on canvas 24x24


The new residences consisted of one- and two-storey 'knog' buildings, built in clusters or around a central courtyard with communal cooking and bathroom facilities. These residences became the famous Government Yards of Trench Town. Knog construction refers to a labor-intensive traditional method of construction where a timber frame structure is in-filled with brick or rubble then covered with a wire mesh and plastered. The architecture used was that of a rural Caribbean vernacular with hip roofs and wide verandas. Trench Town was a planned community with a hierarchical grid of streets and central sewage and garbage disposal systems.


Trench Town became famous for the talent which emerged from the project. In the 1950s and 60s bread and milk were delivered door to door, each month the CHA would inspect the residences to ensure compliance and tenants paid their twelve shillings per month on time. Trench Town is mainly known for the vast number of musicians it produced. The community has also produced some of Jamaica's top professional, business and political leaders as well as famous sports and religious personalities. This small area contributed widely to global awareness of the impoverished and politically corrupt conditions in Jamaica.