Today's history post is more the recent past than the distant past.
In August 2007, the free weekly publication 24/7 was about to end, but during its life as well as TV listings, it had a number of rather good articles about Jersey. I've selected two - one which is topically about the environment and Ramsar, and one about Jersey's first ever Street Theatre four day event.
Do you remember that magazine? It was a freebie at supermarkets, and could be picked up as you left the Co-Op or Checkers.
Carnival comes to town
Natasha Egre reports
Jersey s fun packed Street Theatre Festival will run from Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 July and will be a feast of free entertainment for visitors and locals alike. Previously, Jersey has seen street theatre artists performing over the summer months but thanks to the Arts Centre, Jersey Tourism and Condor Ferries we will now see a whole festival packed with entertainment.
The festival will be four electric days of theatre, carnival and circus acts, live music, art installations, workshops and art and craft stalls.
Outreach Co-ordinator at the Jersey Arts Centre, Paul Talbot says: "We always aim to provide exciting professional and community arts in different environments. The Street Theatre Festival is our latest initiative in achieving this. A condensed four-day festival with more acts will have more impact in animating the streets of St Helier, while also putting Jersey on the map with regard to cultural diversity."
The Arts Centre is particularly excited about the international acts that will be heading to Jersey. Leading acrobatic theatre company Mimbre will be performing shows throughout the four-day event and their three female performers come from as far away as Sweden and Italy. They will be complemented by French dance and rhythm group Sambadaboom, Spanish clowning and physical theatre specialists Katraskacia, and the unique Spanish El Drap Aire who create amazing sounds from rubbish and found objects.
The island will also be receiving some excellent acts from the UK, many of which have never been seen in the island before.
Audiences will be delighted by the comedy opera company Oyster Opera, and comedy group Fairly Famous Family who were Birmingham's International Street Entertainers of the Year in 2005. An excited Paul cannot wait for the acts to arrive and he says there'll be something for everyone: "The international acts give a carnival flavour to the island, and Jersey residents can support both our home-grown talent as well as benefit from a showcase of nationally and internationally acclaimed professional artists and performers. It's taken a lot of organisation and I'm exhausted but it will be worth it!"
A main feature of the festival will be the UK act Stickleback Plasticus. The group are specialists in portraying the comic world of dance and are known to be extremely cheeky performers. They will perform three shows over the festival called St Joan's Ambulance, Two Left Feet, and Cheerleaders.
There will also be a few odd looking characters milling around, who are part of the world-renowned comedy group Swank. If you're lucky, you might get the chance to meet Margery Mayflower or even Rosemary Bush!
Jersey itself is overflowing with its own talent so local bands such as Kevin Pallot and The Pinnacles will get the chance to play al fresco while local mime and improvisational, Christophe Chateau will get the opportunity to show off his skills. Paul says: "We are lucky as an island to have so many gifted locals. We wanted to invite them to collaborate with the UK and European artists as part of the mixing of local with international talent."
On Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July there will also be art and craft stalls, music and street performers in Hilgrove Street.
Another element to the vibrant festivities are a couple of workshops aimed at training adults and children so that they can perform with professionals. Places are limited and need to be booked in advance through the Arts Centre.
Wild About Jersey
Well known writer and naturalist Pete Double- Joins 24SE7EN this week with a strong message for those who wish to enlarge La Collette infill site for the road lowering plan.
If Senator Freddie Cohen is not prepared to talk openly and frankly about Deputy Guy de Faye's proposal to enlarge the infill site at La Collette, I most certainly am. If I were Senator Cohen I would torpedo any thought of encroaching on the south and east coast Ramsar site right now. No prevarication, no waiting for formal applications. Jump on it hard and with the rank and file support of true environmentalists solidly behind me.
All you need to do Senator, is point out to Deputy de Faye that the south east coast Ramsar site (all 32 square kilometres of it) is recognised internationally as an intertidal habitat of immense ecological importance. It represents one of the richest marine zones in North West Europe and any thought of tipping inert waste into it would not just bury the environmental credentials of those politicians involved, it would bring the island of Jersey into international disrepute as well.
The Ramsar designation's 'flexibility', referred to by Deputy de Faye, approves the continued traditional use of the area. This does not include using it for land reclamation extensions.
There's a simple solution to the question: Where do we dump the spoil? If you have nowhere to dump the dross, don't dig the hole. If the tunnel gets the go ahead, somewhere else must be found to dump the spoil. There are a couple of enormous quarries in this island with space to spare for what Senator de Faye wants to dump. St Peter's Valley has already been earmarked as a potential site I believe. Go and talk to Granite Products!
It could be that La Collette has been suggested because it is closer to the work site and thus more convenient. Look out for the carbon footprint ploy here too; the footprint would be less if the thousands of lorry loads that will inevitably be involved have less distance to travel. Just a short-term saving here, I suggest, because if the next major island-tipping site is a quarry, the carbon footprint won't change from its current level.
When it comes to creating inert waste, we simply have to choose which is more important, a hole in the ground or an internationally recognised marine habitat.
Senator Cohen has assured us that the tunnel project would cost the public nothing. Of course it will if Deputy de Faye has his way! What about the long-term cost of damaging an internationally recognised Ramsar site? What about the cost to Jersey’s international reputation? How do we value the loss of marine habitat?
Last year I conducted just six rock pool rambles for Jersey Tourism and the Environment Division. A total of 444 people turned up for those walks. Make no mistake; our coastal heritage has all the support it needs to protect it.
Our intertidal zone is unique and stands shoulder to shoulder on the Ramsar site list with the Great Barrier Reef and the Amazon delta. Ecologically, the island's intertidal zone is a marine biological paradise. The suggestion may well have been floated tentatively in order to test the water. Never mind two metres, Deputy de Faye, an inch would be totally unacceptable.