Partying down on Party Lane

Prospect’s Party Lane enjoys a quieter side of life today. – Photo: Jewel Levy

Party Lane in Prospect is one of the more literal road names in the Cayman Islands, named after the many parties that were held there in past years.

Today, the lane enjoys a much quieter reputation.

Located off Prospect Road on the junction of Marina Drive, Party Lane veers off to the right, alongside McRuss Grocery, and leads into a quiet community with nice homes and apartment complexes, before making a loop back onto Marina Drive.

The late James (Jim) Manoah Bodden, a former government minister and Cayman’s first National Hero, helped develop Prospect in the 1980s, according to Charles Watler, a retired local businessman.

Party Lane became part of the lots that Mr. Bodden purchased from Fossie Arch and Benson Greenall, an English entrepreneur who developed the Galleon Beach hotel on Seven Mile Beach. After Mr. Bodden passed away, the land along what would become Party Lane was eventually developed by Coral Cay Ltd.

Before that, government owned the land, which was known as “Orange Tree,” because of the sweet oranges that were farmed in the area.

Local businessman Fred Whittaker bought property in the development, built his home and called it as he saw it – Party Lane – because of all the parties that occurred in the area.

“There was always a party on Party Lane,” said Mr. Whittaker, recalling the good times. “People had fun. They would gather to play dominoes, dance, socialize, eat some good local food and hang out to the small hours of the morning. Some guests even spent the night because they had had too much to drive home.” Party Lane grew quieter after Mr. Whittaker stopped drinking alcohol in 2005.

“The party moved to the Mango Tree Bar and Grill in George Town. That’s where all the action is now,” said Mr. Whittaker, who manages the outdoor bar.

Despite its wild-sounding moniker, Party Lane today is a quiet residential street. – Photo: Jewel Levy

“Mr. Whittaker’s house was known by many for its great parties,” said Marilyn Nasirun, a local farmer.

She said a stay-over after a party would sometimes result in a sweet breakfast consisting of fried fish, fritters, salt fish and ackee, bacon, eggs, toast, coffee or an early morning pot of fish tea or soup – then the partying started all over again.

“I had lots of fun … we just couldn’t wait for weekend to come around and hear there was a party on Party Lane … good food, music and good times with friends,” Ms. Nasirun said.

This article is one in a continuing series that explores the stories behind some of Cayman’s unusual road names.

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