Jersey In Colour - Part 6
The principal occupation of the people of Jersey is farming, and more especially the growing of potatoes and tomatoes on the family farms, of which there are a large number. Many of the farmhouses have thick stone walls, another reminder of the days when the islanders had need of protection from their enemies.
In the picture above may be seen the curious ledge around the chimney which is a feature of Jersey farmhouses; its purpose was to hold the thatch in place.
New potatoes fetch high prices in English markets and Jersey produces thousands of tons for export to the mainland. More recently tomatoes have come into prominence as a profitable second crop; these are mostly grown in the open and not under glass as in Guernsey. Strict regulations are in force to control the menace of pests and to ensure high quality in the produce.
THE JERSEY COW is easily distinguishable from the Guernsey-it has a more rounded and delicate form. It has been suggested that this is due to the lack of lime in the Jersey soils, a deficiency that does not affect Guernsey. The fawn and smoke colours of the cattle blend perfectly with the rich quality of the Jersey light.
Jerseys are the most economical cattle to keep. The cows are able to calve six months earlier than larger breeds; furthermore they are the most hardy of cattle, and may even thrive on land that suffers from regular drought.
Today there are herds of jerseys all over the world, kept because of their hardiness, their high milk yields, and, most of all, perhaps, because of the high butter content. It may well be that jerseys are the world's best dairy cattle. The girl in this picture is dressed in the Jersey national costume.
The most conspicuous feature of ST. CATHERINE'S BAY is Archirondel Tower, well known as a local landmark. This martello tower is a vivid reminder of a great project which although begun was never destined to be completed.
In 1847 the British Government decided to construct a naval station here to counter the French development of the port of Cherbourg. A breakwater was made, joining the rock on which the tower stands to the shore, and another, half a mile in length, extending from Verclut Point out to sea. Large numbers of workmen were brought from England and a steam tramway was built to convey stone to the shore.
Suddenly, however, the work was abandoned for reasons which can only be guessed, and a great sum of money had been expended to no purpose.
ANNE PORT is a little bay about half a mile north of Mont Orgueil. Although the tide retreats a long way, safe bathing may be had at high tide from the gently sloping sandy beach. The quaint charm of this seaside hamlet has long been recognised by artists, and it would indeed be difficult to find a more peaceful situation.
The rock in the foreground of this picture was once an execution-place. Legend has it that Geoffroi was sentenced to be put to death by jumping from this high rock to the shore below. This he was made to do, and he escaped unhurt, a free man. However Geoffroi was not content with his luck and attempted a further jump to please the crowd. On this second leap he was killed.