Friday, 12 May 2017

Jersey In Colour - Part 3

Today is an extract from an early 1960s Jarrold Guide to Jersey, entitled "Jersey In Colour". How beautiful the Island looked in the 1960s! 

Notice the skyline in St Brelade's Bay, uncluttered by many houses, where even if there were houses, they were screened by trees. After the Great Storm of 1987, the skyline became overnight more built up as those trees were blown down.

Jersey In Colour - Part 3

Many would agree that ST. BRELADE' S BAY, easily reached from St. Helier by a good road, is the most beautiful in the whole island. It is certainly extremely popular with the many visitors who throng its excellent beach in summer. The bold sweep of the shore is outlined by grassy cliffs and the air is like wine. It is not surprising that this has become a most desirable residential district.

Yet until the nineteenth century St. Brelade's Bay was extremely quiet and this solitude attracted smugglers, whose escapades led to clashes with British Customs officers.

Among the many notable people who came to live in this corner of Jersey was General Boulanger, the French War Minister of 1889, who fled from his native land to escape arrest. He spent two years in a villa at St. Brelade's before his death in Brussels.

Jersey's first "airfield" was the beach at West Park. The planes could land only at low tide and the custom's building was an old bus!

Today the island has a modern airport which was opened in 1937, and each year sees an increasing number of passengers using this speedy means of reaching the island. Air transport is not, however, limited to passenger traffic, for much of Jersey's horticultural produce is dispatched by air, ensuring that it arrives speedily and in prime condition at the more important markets. Early vegetables and tomatoes form an important part of this freight.

In recent years a large proportion of mail has also been conveyed by air and newspapers are flown over from the mainland every day. The aeroplane 'has revolutionised communication between Jersey and the other Channel Islands and has made inter-island travel simple and speedy.

The coast at the south-western corner of Jersey is wild and rugged and fraught with danger for shipping, as the chronicle of ships wrecked in these parts tells. It was not until 1873 that the lighthouse of La Corbière was constructed on a rock about a quarter of a mile from the shore. It was the first concrete lighthouse in Britain and the beam is visible for a distance of eighteen miles.

The lighthouse is connected to the shore by a causeway which is covered at high tide. In the small cove of La Rosière are some interesting caves, romantically known as the "Pirates" and "Smugglers" Caves. La Corbière was the terminus of one of Jersey's two railways and on the site of the station is a large slab of red granite called "La Table des Marthes", which was probably the capstone of a prehistoric grave.

St Ouen’s Bay is the largest in the Channel Islands, extending along almost the whole of the west coast of Jersey. In character it is quite distinct from the other bays of the island, being exposed to the full force of winter gales. Vegetation is sparse but nevertheless of great interest to the naturalist, as is the abundant wild life which inhabits this little-populated area.

In the view above is seen La Rocco Tower, built in 1880. About half-way along the sweep of the bay we find St. Ouen's Pond, the largest stretch of fresh water in the island. It is fortunately protected by the Société Jersiaise. At the northern end of the bay the 200-foot-high Pinnacle Rock rises sheer from the water. The rock is joined to the coast by a narrow neck of land.


Christine Finn said...

Thanks so much for posting this, and the previous guides. My family left Jersey in 1967, so rather poignant to see this.

TonyTheProf said...

So glad you enjoy them: more to follow.