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“A hidden gem”

Frank Hutson Sugar Museum
Attraction details
Guildford England
Level Contributor
94 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
“A hidden gem”
Reviewed May 2, 2014

Screeched into this place en route to the west coast and what a find. Yes the museum building is dusty and tatty but its full of interesting artifacts, stories and history all re-told by the ancient former member of staff in such a colourful and knowledgeable way.

We did go in cutting season (it would appear) and huge lorry loads of long (hand cut) and short (machine cut) cane were arriving continuously.

Hard hats on we were shown through the entire functioning factory. Noisy steamy, dirty but utterly fascinating and as we arrived around the back of the building a rusty, vibrating conveyer duct was bouncing demerara sugar onto a lifting mechanism to fill a giant hopper. We tasted some and suddenly a lorry turned up, opened its lid and toms of sugar flowed down from the hopper to fill the truck.

So we have seen it from end to end and I now understand about the growth cycle, the ratio of cane to end product, the large grain size of Bajan sugar, how you get darker or lighter or white sugar and myriad of other aspects. Why do we feel good about water being sold in bottles such that we know its source yet sugar is just sugar? I suspect you know the big business answer but I, for one, have sourced and will now only buy Plantation Reserve.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Tellitasitwas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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30 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Warsaw, Poland
Level Contributor
71 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“The only working sugar factory in Barbados”
Reviewed February 25, 2014

All the not-so-positive and positive reviews of the place are pretty true... The museum is small and old, the place is not clean... BUT please remember, that it is not a museum, but a working factory with a museum being only a part of this place. So...The highlight of the tour is not the museum as such, but the factory tour. It is in fact the only working sugar factory on the island. The last one out of 16... It makes the place a must-see,

The gentleman - the guide - is very knowledgeable, seems to know everything about the place and the sugar production. What I loved about his work was the chance to actually taste the raw sugar cane... It IS sweet.

I live in Poland, the country where cane sugar is still considered a specialty. I learned how the cane sugar is made, i tasted the cane, i visited the factory... Is there anything else we should expect from a visit to such a place ?

And yes, it does cost 5 USD pp, but I think the tour is worth the price.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
6 Thank macieii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quorn, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
70 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Walk from Holetown”
Reviewed February 24, 2014

We found this by accident on a circular walk from Holetown and thought the visit was time well spent. It is of course a bit faded and shabby but so is the sugar industry. We would have preferred to see the machinery running but the harvest was still a month away. Verdict? Give it a visit whist it is still there.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Ray G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge
Level Contributor
251 reviews
128 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Interesting but not what you would expect”
Reviewed February 23, 2014

We turned up to find a shack of a building suddenly an elderly man appeared and said for $10 barbados we could go round the factory. We looked around the displays, many of which were ripped and torn, such a shame as it could be an amazing attraction. The man had worked all his life in the sugar industry he was so interesting and the factory was interesting too. We wore a hard hat but forget Heath and safety, we found the whole experience interesting and the same tour can be done when the harvest is happening which would be great, we missed that by 3 days. If you get the chance go but don't expect a state of the art museum.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank nickyw61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Worth a visit, disrepair aside”
Reviewed June 18, 2013 via mobile

The potential in this museum is limitless. Not only is this the perfect place for a museum of sorts, Bajans, being proud of their heritage and country are the perfect people's to give information on the sugar industry. Unfortunately, this site is on the grounds of a sugar factory that will be shut down in the near future, so upkeep has obviously not been a priority. With that said, however, I learned more about sugar at this museum than anywhere else. As a high school history teacher, I was able to take away pictures, information, and hands on interactions that are priceless.

The tour (if you'd call it that - the facility is about 2000 square feet) was conducted by is man in a hard hat that looked like he had been hard at work all day. Wouldn't have trusted anybody more. He went through the stages of sugar making and old time techniques. The displays are worn out and tired, but still contain a lot of great information, as do the pictures. Hopefully Mount Gay is willing to take up another museum in the future, if restoration of this facility is out of the question.

If you are in Barbados and staying on the west coast in hopes of taking in be beaches and beauty, this might not be your place. However, if you are looking to learn something and interact with locals, grab a map and get here. And yes, it is on the map, and it is a good thing.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Reolson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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