Saturday, 30 September 2017

State of Change

From 24th April 2007 comes this poem. Anyone who has had their life turned upside down, even if not forever, knows what a change of perspective that brings, of how small and frail creatures we are. I wrote this when suffering from acute back pain and sciatica, but re-reading it makes me think of my friends who are also in pain because of sudden events overtaking them.

State of Change

The world of sharp red agony
Screaming messages of pain
No escape, nowhere to flee
Escape is futile, all in vain 

Realisation of how precious
Health so taken for granted
Of the lack of pain, delicious
Joy again, now so enchanted 

Is there endurance with hope?
So many years ahead of hurt?
Where is the strength to cope?
We are not machines, inert. 

Here is the state of change
Bringing perspective strange.

Friday, 29 September 2017

A Guided Walk round St Martin's Church - Part 2

A Guided Walk round St Martin's Church - Part 2

This is a brief look at St Martin's Church from the Guide leaflet with my photos included from a visit this year. The map at the end shows locations where numbered.

For part 1 of this walk, see here:

For a more detailed history, the reader is referred to my transcription of G.R. Balleine here:

The LADY CHAPEL. Originally dedicated in 1963, was given by a member of the Wedgwood family, whose coat of arms is on the silverware. The chapel was refurbished and rededicated in 2014 by bequest, in memory of Mrs Margaret Wedgewood.

In the transept is a modern ICON depicting the life of ST MARTIN. It was written in 2010 by local artist Karen Blampied.

In the church are three beautiful STAINED GLASS WINDOWS by the famous artist Henry Thomas Bosdet a Jerseyman (9a,b,c).

The brass LECTERN was formerly sited in the North Nave. The eagle carries the Word of God to the people of the world (10).

SAINT MARTIN is shown in this window as the Roman Soldier he originally was before his conversion to Christianity (11).

There are many MEMORIALS on the walls of the church. Josue Blampied de la Haye remembered here was killed in Gallipoli in 1915.

Our children's corner is situated beneath the STAINED GLASS WINDOW depicting Jesus blessing the children. This is one of only two ORIGINAL WINDOW FRAMES left in the church there is no inside stone frame as with all the other windows.

 The beautiful `ECCE HOMO' window read all about it on the description by the window (12).

The STANDARDS in glass cases on the west wall by the door are those of the St Martin's Jersey Militia which was disbanded in 1946 (1 a,b).

Walk around the outside and you will see the various stages of building. St Martin's Church has numerous BUTTRESSES two of which, dated 1754, were built to hold up the stone roof and stop the North nave wall collapsing.

You will also see various LINTELS and blocked up doorways and windows. St Martin's is unusual in  having only one public access doorway, two doors were blocked up in 1794. Can you think why?

Map of Church

Thursday, 28 September 2017

And so to bed

And so to bed.... my usual collection of quotes, originally posted on Facebook, but with pictures added of authors.

And to to bed... quote for tonight is from Monica Baldwin:

The Sussex lanes were very lovely in the autumn . . . spendthrift gold and glory of the year-end . . . earth scents and the sky winds and all the magic of the countryside which is ordained for the healing of the soul.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from William Lyon Phelps:

One should have one's own bookshelves, which should not have doors, glass windows, or keys; they should be free and accessible to the hand as well as to the eye. The best of mural decorations is books; they are more varied in color and appearance than any wallpaper, they are more attractive in design, and they have the prime advantage of being separate personalities, so that if you sit alone in the room in the firelight, you are surrounded with intimate friends.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Aldous Huxley:

People often ask me what the most effective technique for transforming their life is. It is a little embarrassing that after years and years of research and experimentation, I have to say that the best answer is — just be a little kinder.

And so to bed... as St Aubin sees Brian Clarke's Kindness Festival, here is an appropriate quote from Mark Twain:

Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

And so to bed... quote for tonight comes from Basil the Great:

A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.

And so to bed... quote for today is from Ursula le Guin:

The dragon said: "The sense has gone out of things. There is a hole in the world and the sea is running out of it. The light is running out. We will be left in the dry land. There will be no more speaking and no more dying." So at last I saw what he would say to me.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Ian Caldwell:

Hope...which is whispered from Pandora's box only after all the other plagues and sorrows had escaped, is the best and last of all things. Without it, there is only time. And time pushes at our backs like a centrifuge, forcing us outward and away, until it nudges us into oblivion.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Madeleine L'Engle:

I, who live by words, am wordless when
I try my words in prayer. All language turns
To silence. Prayer will take my words and then
Reveal their emptiness. The stilled voice learns
To hold its peace, to listen with the heart
To silence that is joy, is adoration.
The self is shattered, all words torn apart
In this strange patterned time of contemplation
That, in rime, breaks time, breaks words, breaks me,
And then, in silence, leaves me healed and mended.
I leave, returned to language, for I see
Through words, even when all words are ended.
I, who live by words, am wordless when
I turn me to the Word to pray. Amen.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from William Shakespeare:

Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labor's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

A Century in Advertising - Part 2

My look at some of the advertisements and products of yesteryear. Some weird and whacky, some surprisingly still around today. Here are their stories.

1904 - Hair Loss Treatment

Since the beginning of recorded history, men and women have searched out cures for hair loss. Over the last 5,000 years, there have been many cosmetic treatments that give the illusion of more hair, a few medical treatments that use drugs to affect the hair follicles, and some surgical treatments that remove bald areas or move hair follicles around. And these are just the treatments that work.

The industrial age brought new inventions to the marketplace, solving a countless number of life’s little problems. In St. Louis, the Evans Vacuum Cap Company marketed a suction device that: “…exercises the scalp and helps to circulate stagnant blood, feeding the shrunken hair roots, and causing the hair to grow…”

Jessica Marini says:

"In doing my research on hair transplant history I came across something that surprised me. The industrial age brought many little machines and gadgets to people’s lives to make them easier. One of these “little gadgets” was produced by the St Louis Vacuum Cap Company. This machine, so aptly named a Vacuum Cap, literally sucked your head. Safe to say this also didn’t work, although I’m sure it forced a lot of men to walk around with red rings around their bald heads."

1905 = The Dictator Shoe

As late as the second half of the 19th century, the term dictator had occasional positive implications. For example, when creating a provisional executive in Sicily during the Expedition of the Thousand in 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi officially assumed the title of "Dictator" as a title suitable for a popular leader .

It was changing to the modern meaning, but this advert shows that it was still seen as positive in parts of the USA. Either that, or people didn't like lawyers.

There is an irony in John W Russ Co making such a shoe because they employed wages far below union scale and employed predominately poor immigrant workers who slaved to make "The Dictator Shoe".

1906 = A Harmless Temperance Beverage

Coca-Cola, or Coke, is a carbonated soft drink produced by The Coca-Cola Company. Originally intended as a patent medicine, it was invented in the late 19th century by John Pemberton and was bought out by businessman Asa Griggs Candler, whose marketing tactics led Coca-Cola to its dominance of the world soft-drink market throughout the 20th century.

The 1906 slogan, "The Great National Temperance Beverage," reflects a time when the society in the United States was veering away from alcoholic beverages, and Coca-Cola provided a nice alternative.

It comes in the middle of the Third Wave of the Temperance movement: 1893-1933

This last wave of temperance in the United States saw the rise of the Anti-Saloon League (ASL), which successfully pushed for National Prohibition from its enactment in 1920 to its repeal in 1933. This heavily prohibitionist wave attracted a diverse coalition: doctors, pastors, and eugenicists; Klansmen and liberal internationalists; business leaders and labour radicals; conservative evangelicals and liberal theologians.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Montfort Tadier's Propositions

A recent Freedom of Information request (not made by me) has highlighted some of Montfort Tadier’s propositions brought to the States.

There is a strong focus on improving rental conditions, and better provision for the elderly and the disabled. Alongside those are ones about constitutional reform, again aimed at strengthening democracy.


This year saw all Monty’s propositions being rejected. It should be noted that a Referendum was in fact passed by the States in 2013 when it was brought by Deputy Andrew Green, a Minister within the Council of Ministers. I do sometimes wonder if some votes a rejected because the States Member bringing them is not part of the Council of Ministers.

P.59/2009 Oral questions with notice: abolition of time limit

P.100/2009 Television Licences for persons over 75.

P.105/2009 Oral questions with notice: revised ballot procedures

P.146/2009 Referendum: position of the Connétables in the States


This year saw near complete success on all propositions brought. Among them are some good, solid propositions aimed at improving how our Island democracy works.

P.60/2011 Parish Assemblies: Information pack

P.61/2011 Standing Orders: selection and appointment procedures.

P.102/2011 Debt Collection Agencies: establishment of a Working Party

P.103/2011 Council of Ministers’ meetings: public access

P.121/2011 Clos des Sables: further development – petition


This saw a mixed bag. It is almost impossible to easily run an election with STV and AV, given the laborious hand counting methods used, which is what lost Monty the argument. PPC did however agree to look into means of electronic voting and bring proposals forward. Issues have been raised about fraud, but I’d be far more concerned about someone stealing bank details from online banking than stealing a vote. And yet the States trust one, but not the other!

P.166/2013 Modern Language Teaching: review

P.171/2013 Public Elections: introduction of STV and AV

Some success, and some failure. Minimum standards and a register of landlords was long overdue. St Brelade now has kerbside recycling, supported by Monty.

P.42/2014 Residential rental property: minimum standards and a register of landlords.

P.121/2014 Kerbside Recycling: feasibility study

P.126/2014 Bedrocan BV: possession for treatment purposes – petition

P.127/2014 Sativex: possession for treatment purposes – petition

P.128/2014 Cannabis: possession of cannabis for treatment purposes – petition

P.44/2015 Esplanade Quarter development: Scrutiny review and referendum

P.140/2015 Concessionary bus fares for the disabled: discussions with LibertyBus


This year saw most propositions rejected, although it should be noted that the Chief Minister is now bringing a proposition for cessation of dual role of Bailiff.

P.39/2016 Nursery funding: implementation of proposed changes

P.54/2016 Bailiff of Jersey: cessation of dual role and the appointment of an elected Speaker of the States

P.88/2016 Public Elections: introduction of STV and AV

P.117/2016 Television Licence Fee: exemption for Jersey residents aged 75 and over.


Of these, I was disappointed to see the concessionary bus fares knocked back again, but I did disagree about qualifications for standing to the States. Almost every country without exception requires those standing for election to the main legislative government to be citizens of that country, and there is no likelihood, for example that Portugal is going to allow British citizens to stand for its government. Nationality can be changed, and those making laws for a country should be legal citizens of that country, even if anyone who votes for them needs just to live and pay taxes in that country. Note to Reg Langlois - everyone pays taxes in Jersey since GST was introduced.

P.1/2017 Senators and Deputies: candidates’ qualifications.

P.9/2017 Concessionary bus fares for the disabled: costs to be met by the States

The FOI request reply says:

“According to our research, in addition to the above propositions, Deputy Tadier also lodged 18 amendments to propositions lodged by other States members or bodies of which nine were adopted, eight were rejected and one was partially adopted.”

Monday, 25 September 2017

Civil Forfeiture: A Preliminary Comment

Civil Forfeiture: A Preliminary Comment

Jersey is looking to introduce a new Civil Forfeiture law. This exists in other jurisdictions such as the USA and Australia, and has property, by legal process, deemed “tainted” where

Civil forfeiture laws allow the government to take cash, cars, homes and  other property "reasonably suspected" of being involved in criminal activity. Unlike  criminal forfeiture, with civil forfeiture, the property owner doesn’t have  to be charged with, let alone convicted of, a crime to permanently lose their property.

“Tainted property”, is defined in the proposed law as property

which is or, by the Attorney General or any officer on whom powers are conferred by this Law, is reasonably suspected to be or have been –
(a) used in, or intended to be used in, unlawful conduct; or
(b) obtained in the course of, from the proceeds of, or in connection with, unlawful conduct.

Authority to seize property

Sandra Thompson explains the kind of problems arising with this law which have happened in the USA since it was introduced:

“A forfeiture action can be premised on the use of property such as real estate or vehicles to ‘facilitate’ a drug offense. The authority to seize property that facilitates a drug offense means that an owner can lose property that was purchased with legitimately earned funds simply because it may have been used somehow in the course of an offense. The use of a car to transport drugs is the paradigmatic example, but the power to forfeit extends beyond that. The use of a house purchased with legitimately earned funds as a meeting place to discuss a drug deal that would take place at another time and place could also subject the house to forfeiture.”

It should also be noted that, as case law regarding civil forfeiture in another jurisdictions shows, that the designation of the action as “civil” also meant that the burden of proof need not be the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard applied in criminal cases.


The USA reformed its law to take account of some issues that have arisen. One is the case of “hardship”, for which the proposed Jersey Law lacks any provision.

As Thompson notes the revision in the USA gives a more teeth to the notion of “hardship”, where another party is impacted by the forfeiture of “tainted property”

“The new law requires the immediate release of seized property if the seizure would cause substantial hardship. A claimant may prove substantial hardship by demonstrating, for example, that continued seizure of the property would prevent the functioning of a business, prevent an individual from working, or leave an individual homeless. This provision protects the government’s interest in the property by requiring that the claimant have sufficient ties to the community to assure that the property will be available at the time of trial and that the likely hardship from the continued possession by the government outweighs the risk that the property will be destroyed, damaged, or lost if it is returned to the claimant pending the outcome of the forfeiture action. The provision does not apply to illicit proceeds, however.”

So it is designed to safeguard use of a family home, where there may be a wife and children, rather than cash suspected of being proceeds of crime.

There is no such safeguard in the proposed Jersey legislation.

Disposal of Tainted Property

The Jersey law says that:

Property disposed of pursuant to an enactment shall cease to be tainted property if –
(a) the enactment is one which is prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph; and
(b) the property is of a class which is so prescribed.
(4) If –
(a) a person disposes of tainted property; and
(b) another person, who obtains the property on the disposal, does so –
(i) in good faith,
(ii) for value, and
(iii) without notice that it is tainted property,
the property shall cease to be tainted property.

Jersey law has no provision for a gift from one person to another, but only for value

In the USA, this has been amended to allow a provision in gift, but with caveats.The recipient of a gift can claim to be an “innocent owner”, in that they received the property as a gift in good faith and without notice that it is tainted property.

In the USA, as Thomson notes:

“In 92 Buena Vista Avenue, the Court held that the innocent owner defense could be asserted by an owner who had obtained her interest in the property by gift”.

But because this could potentially open  up a loophole, the law was tightened:

“With respect to owners who acquire their interests in the property after the commission
of the offense giving rise to forfeiture – “post-illegal act owners” - the statute now limits the applicability of the “innocent owner” defense to bona fide purchasers or sellers for value.”

This means that the innocent owner defence can only apply for a gift if given before the offense giving rise to forfeiture, and prevents the system being abused. After the offence has taken place, a transaction of value needs to take place.

The Jersey law has no provision for a gift and an innocent owner defence, and is thereby much less fair than the USA legislation.

Joint Ownership

The Jersey law states that: “If a person’s tainted property is mixed with other property (whether his or her property or another’s), the portion of the mixed property which is attributable to the tainted property is tainted property”

In the case of property in joint ownership, the standard procedure in the USA and Australia was to dispose of the asset, and provide either by statute or court discretion, monetary compensation.

This has also been improved to provide better options. Thomson comments that:

“Now a court can choose among three options: to order a severance of the property, a transfer of the property to the government with a provision that the government compensate the innocent owner to the extent of her ownership interest, or that the innocent owner retain the property subject to a lien in favor of the government to the extent of the forfeitable interest in the property.”

The reason for this was that the only line to be taken – to dispose of the property – was deemed to be unjust to innocent parties:

“In some cases, state laws required that the government seize property and compensate the innocent owner. In cases involving innocent wives who then received one-half of the value of the property in compensation, they were typically left in a worse position to provide shelter for themselves and their children than if the court had allowed her to use the property subject to a lien by the government.”

No such provisions exist in the Jersey law as statutory options, which is another case of the Jersey law being deficient.

In conclusion, the Jersey law needs substantial revision to enable it to address some of the issues which have arisen in other jurisdictions, and which have led to improvements in the laws.

Congressional Reform of Civil Forfeiture: Punishing Criminals Yet Protecting Property by Sandra Guerra Thompson, Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 14, No. 2, Forfeiture: Recent Reform and Future Outlook 

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Why Wear a Dog Collar?

From "The Pilot", 1969, comes this, an interesting historical ramble.

Some Church Customs Explained
By S.G. Thicknesse

Why Wear a Dog Collar?

The English clergy have been unmistakably recognizable by their outdoor dress for no more than a century. It was the influence of the Oxford Movement and of the serious Evangelicals of the early nineteenth century, of men like Pusey and Keble, and Bishop Wilberforce, that made general a quite new sense of separateness from the laity and of serious vocation among the clergy of the Church of England.

This sense came gradually to express itself even in the ordinary outdoor clothes of clergymen. From the mid-nineteenth century it was not to be only the solid majority of the clergy, but all of them, who habitually wore the most simple and sober form of the ordinary middle-class dress of their day.

But, as in the early days of the Church, this sober temper of the clergy proved to be conservative. In Rome in the third century, Christian priests continued to wear the long, sleeved robes which before the barbarian invasions all Roman citizens had worn, until they became the distinctive cassock and alb of the Church, and so, basically, of all offices of clerks, whether judicial, academic or courtly.

So, in England, the clergy have now been wearing for a century the dress which at the time of the Oxford Movement any sober educated man was wearing. The short coat of the bishop and archdeacon of to-day, and their gaiters, are the utilitarian riding dress of the early nineteenth century.

Deans, who had no occasion to travel, emulated the same garb. The clerical collar is the stereotyping of the plain stock and high collar of the same period. The cassock remained, as it had always been, the proper outdoor dress of Anglican clergymen, and came more into use. The apron of bishop and archdeacon is, indeed, merely the shortened cassock.

It is true that from about this time all masculine dress tended to become drab and rather monotonous. But in all walks of life except the clerical this meant that the possibility of recognizing a man's class and profession by his off-duty clothes at least was virtually ended. In these circumstances the clerical dress, with its logical implication that a priest was never off duty, became particularly conspicuous.

Before this every age knew its wide variations in dress which mirrored the great differences of rank and temper of mind of clergymen, just as they did those of their lay contemporaries. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, for example, as previously, there was the minority of notable fops, clerical and lay, with their laces and buckles and powdered perukes. Similarly, at the other end of the social scale, and much more numerous, there were the labourers - town and country parsons among them - living in cottage tenements on the remnant of the glebe. 

It was only new funds and financial improvements behind the determination of Wilberforce and others that, for the first time in English history, got rid of peasants in holy orders, and attempted the introduction of a gentleman into every parish in the land.

But at least the extremes of foppishness and luxury among clergy had always been liable to rebuke. In the fourteenth century, for instance, the Archbishop of Canterbury attacked ecclesiastics for being dressed more like military persons than clerical, some having knives attached to their girdles, green shoes with cracowes, slashed belts studded with precious stones, gowns lined or turned up with fur or silk, rings upon their fingers, hoods with liripipes of wondrous development, and finally, instead of the regulation tonsured head, hair as long and curly as a woman's. 

Probably, however, even among the clerical magnificos of the later middle ages, none was a match for the princely ostentation of Wolsey. Certainly after the Reformation his like was never seen again, and the English, by removing the old basis, made sure that it never could be. So lay owners and lay statesmen took over many of the old properties and offices which for centuries previously had been appropriated and held exclusively by abbots, prelates, and priests.

If before the Reformation luxury of dress was more common than afterwards, so also was asceticism. Particular holiness was ascribed to those who wore from choice the frugal garb of the monk, as St. Cuthbert did, even after he was made Bishop of Hexham. Even when such behaviour came in for papal censure, as it did in the case of some sixth-century bishops of Gaul, it did not shake the people's affection for it. 

The English chroniclers, for example, recounted with delight the reply of the saintly Englishman, Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, just after the Norman Conquest, to the sartorial remonstrance of the Frenchman, Geoffrey, Bishop of Coutances. Coutances had told Wulfstan that, in his position, he should wear his garments lined with cat's fur, not with sheepskin. Even the Normans were pleased when Wulfstan answered that he was accustomed to sing `O Lamb of God' not `O Cat of God'.

Saturday, 23 September 2017


Just a note that "hærfest" is the Old English word from which we derive "harvest" and which means Autumn.


The priest is calling tribe to come
Raise the song of harvest home;
May sacred gathering begin
Winter storms are coming in
Coming now the raging tide
May harvest blessings now abide
Where in spring the sowers roam
Raise the song of harvest home

The seasons bless each tribal field
That in autumn, fruit shall yield
That which past in spring was sown
Now with fulsome joy is grown
Praise the earth, her bounty dear
When the full corn shall appear:
Now our harvest, come and see
What turning wheel brings to be

Autumn tides bring sandy foam
Fishermen bring harvest home;
Fruit of the sea, across the bay
Little boats set sail that way
In deep waters, nets they cast
Coming home to shore at last
Fish and shellfish in their store
Thank the sea kelpies once more

Sunset comes, and twilight gloam
Sing praises for the harvest home;
Gather all the people in,
Around the fires, kith and kin
Here the time of harvest tide
In sacred circle do abide;
Gather all, and cease to roam
Raise the glorious harvest home.

Friday, 22 September 2017

A Guided Walk round St Martin's Church - Part 1

A Guided Walk round St Martin's Church - Part 1

This is a brief look at St Martin's Church from the Guide leaflet with my photos included from a visit this year. The map at the end shows locations where numbered.

For a more detailed history, the reader is referred to my transcription of G.R. Balleine here:

The CHANCEL, boarded off in 1550 was used as the Parish School until it was restored in 1842. A further restoration in 1877, funded by the Seigneur de Rosel saw the creation of the REREDOS screen behind the altar. Made of Caen stone, the reredos was restored in 2012 in memory of Mrs Mary Keyworth a generous benefactor of the church.

Mosaic panels in the reredos represent the four Evangelists who can also be seen in the bronze insets on the BRASS CROSS given in memory of a former resident of St Martin's House opposite the church. 

The magnificent EAST WINDOW depicting `The Ascension of Our Lord' was restored in 2000 by public donation (6). 

We have four PISCENA used for the bread and wine - remnant of Fraternity Chapels of the Parish and brought here when the chapels fell into disrepair centuries ago (7a, b, c). 

THE SAINT MARTIN STATUE: This wooden statue, depicts our Patron Saint as a medieval soldier in a familiar pose. It was presented in 1936 by Lady Trent, wife of Jesse Boot, the founder of Boots the Chemist (5). 

The uncompleted MABON CHAPEL begun in the 16th Century is now the VESTRY. In the 18th Century it stored two cannons used to defeat the French forces at La Rocque during the Battle of Jersey. 

In the vestry is a 16th Century WINDOW the only one with plain glass. Note the rounded Norman top.

The VESTRY SCREEN (4) like the Lady Chapel Screen (3) is a memorial to a former Rector.

The GRAVESTONE of a 17th Century Rector (4a). Another one is to be found by the Lectern (4b). 

The PULPIT used to be on the other side of Church where the Eagle lectern is now (3). Here's me in the pulpit!

The LIST OF RECTORS is impressive going back to our earliest records including Deans of Jersey. Look how long they stayed! The most recent addition makes history as the first female Rector to be appointed in Jersey (2).

Map of Church