Sunday, 21 July 2019

Moon Landings: A Personal Note

Moon Landings

Some personal notes I compiled to help with my interview on BBC Radio Jersey on 17 July 2019.

Do you remember the moon landing? (July 16, 1969 – July 24, 1969)

In the early hours of the morning, my father woke me up, and we went downstairs to watch our grainy 425 lines black and white TV set, and I saw the moment when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon's surface, in the Sea of Tranquility. This I have found out was at 02.56 GMT, nearly 20 minutes after first opening the hatch on the Eagle landing craft. That would have been nearly 4 am with British Summer Time. I remember being disappointed at the time at the poor quality of the pictures, but of course much better shots came later.

I also kept a scrap book, sadly lost, and I remember the graphic for the radio from the moon to the telephone at the White House, when President Nixon made a historic phone call to the astronauts on the moon. That telephone was just the same as ours, and the idea that an astronaut could “call home” to an ordinary telephone – the grey ones with dials - seemed pretty amazing.

What did that mission do for people’s interest in space?

I think it brought it very much to the forefront. I certainly had some astronomy books for my birthday. But I also think that for many people it was also something of a one-off, like the Coronation of Elizabeth I, which is why public interest waned as the Apollo programme went on. It was like watching a Coronation every year, somehow not as special as that first time – until the ill-fated Apollo 13, of course.

How did your own interest develop?

I think the whole of the late 60s and early 70s were an exciting time of scientific change. Harold Wilson had announced the “white hot technological revolution”. The space program road the crest of that wave of interest in science, and certainly inspired amateur astronomers.

But there were lots of other science programmes – Horizon, QED, Don’t Ask Me with Magnus Pyke, Tomorrow’s World with James Burke and Raymond Baxter. Dr Who became more hard science, and programmes like Doomwatch looked at the environmental dangers of technology. Early computers were just beginning. In the mid1970s, just as the moon landings were ending, I was with students going to Highlands on a Friday evening to link via a Teletype to a Honeywell Mainframe in Manchester.

What do you make of the claims that the moon landing was faked?
The idea made a fun Hollywood movie, but it really doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Conspiracy theories get everywhere though – the Earth is Hollow, there are secret X-Files about aliens, ancient astronauts built Stonehenge and the Pyramids using antigravity. You name it, someone has a crackpot theory.

One of the best refutations came from a radio ham in the USA who listened in to the VHF signals transmitted between astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin and Collin. He had to keep realigning his antenna because of course the moon was moving in the night sky. That’s something anyone with a telescope sees too. I think that’s pretty solid independent proof.

Are you disappointed that we stopped going to the moon?
I’m disappointed that they never put Moonbases on the moon. You can’t keep going back and forth – it’s about 240,000 miles for a trip! you need structures with hydroponics and a proper base. There was a show called Moonbase 3 around this time with James Burke as special advisor which presented it in a very realistic way. I’m sad that never happened. It would have been a stepping stone to Mars. But China’s recent experiments with plants on the far side of the moon suggests they may be thinking of establishing a moon colony sometime.

Why did that happen?

The moon landings were always mostly political not scientific, although obviously they involved scientists. It was a mark of superior American technology, to show the Soviets, who had led the space race to that point, that America could do it better. Once that was established without a doubt, the funding was cut for other defence projects. About 400,000 people worked on the moon landing programme, at a cost at the time of $25bn. China is now trying to get to the moon, and again, it is mainly political. It’s saying “we are a major world power”.

Can you see objects humans have sent into space through telescopes?

Not that well at all! They can be seen better with the naked eye because of the field of view. Imagine trying to read a book with a microscope and find a fullstop. It would be tricky!

Do you take photos of space at the astronomy club?

Neil Mahrer, who’s our founder, takes photos – very nice ones of things like star clusters, Jupiter and its moons, and Saturn and its rings.

What’s the most incredible thing you’ve seen through a telescope?
I think it has to be Jupiter. The bands, the red spot, and like tiny specs of diamond, the four Galilean moons. It’s amazing. Although Saturn and its rings is also awesome.

Would you ever go into space?
I’m too old, and I hate flying anyway! If I could hop in a Tardis now, that would be another matter!

What do you make of the private sectors space endeavours? Space X etc?

It’s exciting, especially Space –X. That seems more reliable that Richard Branson’s efforts which looks more like something that just skims above the top of the atmosphere. It’s a show for tourists, whereas Space-X has commercial possibilities regarding the International Space Station, satellites etc.

Odd Facts:
Buzz Aldrin’s mother’s maiden name was Moon!

“First Man” is a fantastic movie, and I’d totally recommend that. Just as Dunkirk gave you that camera present point of view of that moment in history, so “First Man” does the same with the moon landings.

Apollo 13 is also a superb depiction of that time of crisis.

Did you know?

The original BBC commentary at blast off has mostly been wiped, part of a purge of expensive videotape at the BBC in the 1980s

Odd Facts
1. Saturn V is still the largest and most powerful rocket ever built

Standing at more than 100m (363ft), the Saturn V rocket burned some 20 tonnes of fuel a second at launch. Propellant accounted for 85% of its overall weight.

Saturn V weighed 2,800 tonnes and generated 34.5m Newtons (7.7m pounds) of thrust at launch.

That's enough to lift 130 tonnes into Earth orbit, and send 43 tonnes to the Moon - the equivalent weight of almost four London buses.

2. Apollo's crew compartment was about the same size as a large car

Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins spent eight days together travelling about half a million miles to the Moon and back in a space roughly the size of a large car.

The astronauts were strapped into bench-like "couches" during launch and landing in the Command Module, which measured 3.9m (12.8ft) at its widest point.

It was no place for the claustrophobic.

3. African-American women skilled in maths helped to work out the route to the Moon

In the pre-digital age, Nasa employed a large number of female mathematicians as "human computers". Many were African-Americans.

4. No-one knows where the Apollo 11 module is now

A total of 10 lunar modules were sent into space and six landed humans on the moon. Once used, the ascent stages of the capsules were jettisoned and either crash-landed on the moon, burned up in Earth's atmosphere, or - in one instance - went into orbit around the Sun. But where exactly they ended up is not known in every case.

Useful Facts and Figures
The Apollo 11 Moon landing happened on July 20 1969. Many people all around the world watched it live on TV, even late into the night. These people gathered to watch on a screen in Trafalgar Square, London.

By the time the crew landed back on Earth, the mission had taken just over a week: 8 days, 3 hours, 18 minutes, 35 seconds.

The average distance is about 240,000 miles. The true distance between the Earth and the Moon actually changes depending on their rotation - the orbit is not a perfect circle. When the Moon is the furthest away, it’s 252,088 miles away. When it's closest, the Moon is 225,623 miles away.

The three parts of the spaceship that went on the Moon mission were the Command Module Columbia, where the astronauts lived and worked; the Service Module which contained the food, oxygen and water tanks; and "Eagle" - the Lander which detached from Columbia and went down to the Moon's surface.

The rocket that took the Nasa astronauts to the Moon was called Saturn V. Saturn V stood 363 feet (110 meters) high - taller than the Statue of Liberty - and remains the most powerful rocket ever built, even though the last one flew in 1973.

Nasa stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It was started on October 1 1958 and is in charge of US science and technology that deals with aircraft or space.

Saturday, 20 July 2019


50 years since the moon landing, and that first step on the moon. What else could I write about today? A memory that has remained over all the years of watching it on that grainy TV set. This poem takes it from Neil Armstrong's perspective.


Here is my vision, the joy of my heart
The landing so perilous, save by my art
Passed by rocky boulders, shaded in night
And finding the plain, so brilliant in light

Now comes the moment, the time of my word
Across all the nations, these phrases are heard
As down a ladder, and shaded from sun
I took just one more step, but this was the one

Against Earth’s strong gravity, our rocket took flight
This was our mission, and this our delight
A rocket so massive, in steel a high tower
Raising me heavenward, so mighty its power

On that fateful day, and heedless of praise
Such a moment in time, now and always:
Always in memory, in my beating heart
I took one small step, and that was my part

This was the glory, the victory won
Sea of Tranquility, now shadowed by sun
A man on the moon, and whatever befall,
I stepped on the surface, I came for us all

Friday, 19 July 2019

Sights to see, Places to Visit in Jersey in the 1960s

In 1966, under the "Four Square", publishers "New English Library" put out a small paperback called the "Four Square Holiday Guide to the Channel Islands". It was compiled by the late Peter Haining, and reflects a pre-decimal and bygone Channel Islands, just as tourism was ramping up to its giddy heights in the 1970s. Here's a brief extract.

Sights to see, Places to Visit

Jersey Zoo

The Zoo, in its beautiful old-world setting at Les Augres Manor at Trinity, is worth taking an afternoon off from the beach to visit. Established by writer and TV personality, Gerald Durrell, it contains animals from all over the world including tropical birds, snakes, bears, monkeys, two very engaging lions, and a friendly Marsh Mongoose, "Makai" who took part in the film "Call Me Bwana" with Bob Hope.

Durrell's purpose in creating the Zoo was to start a breeding colony for animals threatened with extinction and it has now been open to the public since 1959. It is also the headquarters of the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust which has members all over the world. Younger visitors will recognize many of the animals from their television appearance with Gerald Durrell and they will also find plenty to fascinate them in the special "Pet's Corner". The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to dusk seven days a week and there is a bus service direct from St. Helier.

Some Unusual Sights

St. Peter's Valley is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful areas of the island - particularly during the early summer when the lower parts are carpeted with yellow irises. When Queen Victoria visited Jersey and asked to be taken to the most beautiful area, this is where officials brought her; today, however, many tourists come to see the relics of the German Occupation which include a power station, three large ammunition tunnels going into the hillside (one is now used as a garage) and the Underground Hospital.

At the Beaumont Crossroads where most people enter the Valley is a cannon standing beneath an awning. This is one of the only six surviving cannons made in the 16th century by Owens of Houndsworth. The piece is 7 ft. long and fired shot weighing 21 lb. The inscription on the cannon tells its own story: “Jhon Owen Made This Pese Anno Dni 1551 For The Paryshe Of Saynt Peter In Jersse”.

St. Peter's Church is unusual for the fact that it was twice struck by lightning (1612 and 1843) - and on the second occasion the parish printed 275 special pound notes to pay for the repair of the damage! It can also claim to be the only church in the world which has a red light on the top of its spire to warn low flying aircraft!

Another church which was damaged by lightning - but in this instance THREE times - is Trinity Parish Church. In the building is a fine mural monument to Sir Edouard de Carteret, who was Usher of the Black Rod to Charles II.

Not far from the Church is one of those out of the way spots that may not be easy to find, but on discovery almost takes the viewer's breath away. The place is called, Egypt, but in no way does it resemble the Middle East country of the same name. In fact it is a community of little cottages scattered together in a small valley. The approach road winds down between the buildings and in most places is only just the width of a car. All around are gorse, broom, bracken and brambles growing in glorious confusion, presenting a contrast to the flatness of Trinity on one side and the majestic cliffs of Bouley Bay on the other. 

During the Occupation Egypt was used by the Germans as a site for exercises and in doing this they destroyed what was surely the most unusual farmhouse in the world. For the occupier had built his own private ballroom adjoining the farmhouse! One can only guess what sort of an attraction that would have been today.

Jersey's Churches are all interesting in their own particular ways, but their histories are too long and complicated to be included in a guide of this nature. Let it suffice then to mention briefly a few of the more unusual ones.

At Leoville, for instance, there is an enormous Methodist Chapel which can hold close on 800 people. Behind it is the tiny granite chapel which was erected by the first converts to Methodism in the later part of the 18th century.

The Roman Catholic Church at St. Martin is also worth a call for here is buried Charles Edward Stuart, a descendant of the Young Pretender and said by his friends to have been the rightful King of England.

St. Saviour's Church, interesting as it is, has not the same attraction as the Rectory beside it. For it was here that the girl who grew up to be one of the world's great beauties, Lillie Langtry, was born in 1853. Lillie was the daughter of Dean Le Breton, the Rector, and old residents today will still recall their grandparents telling them about the "beautiful clergyman's daughter". Her career of being worshipped from afar by countless men began after her first ill-fated marriage to a wealthy Irishman. She visited London and was soon the subject of a poem by Oscar Wilde. Words were followed by paintings and in later years she was committed to canvas by no lesser artists than Millais, Leighton and Whistler.

Despite this adulation in England, Lillie was devoted to Jersey and when she married a second time the service took place at St. Saviour's Church. After her death her body was brought back to Jersey - by her own request - and she was buried in St. Saviour's Churchyard. Today an exquisitely executed bust which has captured the full light of her beauty looks down on her grave.

There is also a dramatic piece of history to be found in a somewhat neglected cemetery on St. John's Road. For here are buried several of the exiled Frenchmen who sought refuge on Jersey along with Victor Hugo. Their burial was performed with great ceremony - fellow exiles carrying the coffin through the streets preceded by a red flag. Before the graves were covered over, one of the mourners - often Hugo himself - would read a stirring ovation and denounce the tyranny of Louis Napoleon which had driven the deceased from his homeland.

No guide would be complete without a word about Jersey's abundance of ghosts. There's no guarantee given that the visitor will see one, but it is interesting listening to the locals talking about. spectres which have walked their lanes for centuries.

In St. Saviour's Parish they have actually named a road after a ghost - Rue de la Dame which runs into the Grands Vaux valley. The ghost is a lady dressed in white who is supposed to appear on certain nights of the year. There is another ghostly lady in white - allegedly - to be seen in the vicinity of an 11 ft. high stone at La Motte in St. Clement's. Because of this spectre the stone has been named La Dame Blanche.

Probably the most interesting ghost of all - again a lady in white (could all three be the same?) - has been reported in St. Lawrence. According to the legend whenever a peal of bells is heard in the lane which leads to Waterworks Valley a coach and six grey horses come galloping down the hill. In the coach sits a woman dressed in a bridal gown - but she has no face, only a grinning white skull. The reason for this, says the story, is that the woman drove to a church in St. Lawrence only to find that her groom had deserted her. Her reaction was to return home and commit suicide - so now she forever gallops the lanes looking for her faithless lover.

In the light of day these legends may seem laughable – but you try going to the locations in the depths of night!

Finally, which is the most unusual sight of all on Jersey? The strange little miniature tower carved with the words "La Frenaie" which stands at the crossroads of La Chasse in St. Martin's Parish undoubtedly qualifies for the award. The building could be either the entrance to an old fort or perhaps the parish "lock up" - and this idea is strengthened by the fact that the date 1626 is carved over the entrance. The truth of the matter, however, is that the "tower" is a fake and was actually built in 1900!

The creator was an eccentric islander, Constable Messervy, who was a great traveller and delighted in devising phoney antiques. The old man's house – called "Les Alpes" - is just 100 yards up the main road from the turret, and today examples of his strange hobby are still visible. During the time he lived in the magnificent white house he created a fake mountain (since levelled), an Egyptian sphinx, an Indian Elephant, and a full size Swiss Chalet. The chalet can be seen from the road, as can a weird monumental pillar covered with distorted figures. At one time the whole garden was a mass of fakes - but today there are still enough of them left to demonstrate the old man's strange genius for fraud!

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Why Montfort Tadier was prohibited from asking a question

"In talking to Mr. Imlack Smith, the bank manager, a slim and sallow gentleman of dressy appearance but quiet demeanour, he violently wrenched the conversation to the subject of the gold standard, from which it was merely a step to goldfish."  (G.K. Chesterton, The Song of the Flying Fish)

Why Montfort Tadier was prohibited from asking a question

This is an examination of the facts, looking at Hansard, on the day when Deputy Tadier left the States Chamber claiming the Bailiff had “silenced him”.

Standing orders of the States of Jersey have this:

Questions with notice to be answered orally
Any member of the States may, within the time allowed by the presiding officer for the purpose, ask one or more supplementary questions relating to the subject matter of the question.

The presiding officer shall rule a supplementary question out of order if –
(a) the contents of the questions contravene standing orders; or
(b) the question is not concise.

Now we come to Hansard for the day:

Deputy S.M. Ahier of St. Helier of the Minister for Treasury and Resources regarding  the application of the Goods and Services Tax (G.S.T.) de minimis clause applied to internet purchases: (OQ.174/2019)

Will the Minister advise the Assembly whether she intends to remove the de minimis exemption clause from G.S.T. (goods and services tax) on internet purchases?

Notice that is the question, and supplementary questions under standing orders should only be those “relating to the subject matter of the question”

Various answers and supplementary questions followed on the de minimis limit. And then we had this:

Deputy M. Tadier of St. Brelade: Does the Minister agree that one of the reasons that G.S.T. is so controversial fundamentally, whether it is to do with de minimis or generally, is that G.S.T. is a fundamentally regressive tax in that somebody who has to spend all of their income on-Island on the essentials of life will be paying a higher rate of G.S.T. effectively than those who do not spend all of their income? Therein lies the fundamental problem.

Now that’s pushing the limits a bit. The original question was about removing de minimis and this is widening the scope of that question.

Deputy S.J. Pinel: No, I do not agree. I think G.S.T. is one of the more broad, fair and simple taxes inasmuch as everybody pays it. Even tourists pay it so I do not agree with the Deputy on this one.

Deputy M. Tadier: Supplementary, if I may.

The Bailiff: That was really not a follow-up question. A supplementary question on the question which was first lodged by Deputy Ahier ...

Notice how the Bailiff, in keeping with Standing Orders, is gently reminding Deputy Tadier that supplementary questions should relate to the subject matter of the question.

Deputy M. Tadier: This is a follow-up question on one of the themes that the Minister has raised. She said that she is committed to a level playing field when it comes to taxation and that is a principle presumably she follows in her policy making. Does that extend to the inequality between 1(1)(k)s who pay 1 per cent of tax and other locals who pay 20 per cent of tax?

The Bailiff: That is not a supplementary on G.S.T.

Deputy M. Tadier: Is this simply about punishing those with the least ability to purchase ...

The Bailiff: Thank you, Deputy.

Deputy M. Tadier: ... who are forced to go overseas?

The Bailiff: That is not ... will you sit down please? Deputy, will you please sit down? That is not a supplementary on de minimis exemptions from G.S.T.

At which point Deputy Tadier stormed out of the Assembly, stating that he had been silenced by the Bailiff, and claiming that the Bailiff’s application of States rules meant he was ‘unable to do his job’!
But as the Bailiff said: “Supplementary questions are in order if they relate to the matter. If they don’t relate to the matter, the purpose of question time is not accomplished,’”


It is patently obvious that Deputy Tadier is using the question to change subject. The supplementary questions have to refer back to the original question, and his final one did not.

“Does that [a level playing field] extend to the inequality between 1(1)(k)s who pay 1 per cent of tax and other locals who pay 20 per cent of tax?” is not a question which has anything to do with de minimis exemptions from G.S.T..

And Deputy Tadier must be aware that he is bending the rules: “This is a follow-up question on one of the themes that the Minister has raised.” 

Now it’s clear that “level playing field” in the replies by the Minister refers to a level playing field on G.S.T. between online and local retailers, and yet Deputy Tadier tries to smuggle in a completely different question.

So the Bailiff was not preventing the Deputy from doing his job, but by applying standing orders, was in fact telling him he was not doing his job properly by obeying the rules of the House. An elected speaker would have done just as the Bailiff did.

Why Montfort Tadier was prohibited from asking a question? Because he didn't follow standing orders on the proper use of supplementary questions and tried to twist the subject to ask a question about something else entirely. 

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Services provided for deaf Islanders: Prevarication and Delay

The Ministerial Reply
(in BSL)

I've been looking at Hansard regarding matters raised by Deputies contacted by deaf constituents. The answers below in the Hansard extract, it has to be said, are very much like Jim Hacker's Yes Minister. We have "continue to explore options of how best to meet these needs" and "organising an information and engagement session", but no timelines are given.

"It is not the case, as might be inferred from the question, that we are reacting to a departure of a member of staff." 

That's news to me! As Kevin Pamplin comments: " Families that have contacted me have told me quite simply they knew nothing about this."  There's a serious breakdown in communications, and if, as we are told, "there was a plan being developed throughout last year", clearly the plan didn't involve telling the deaf community what was about to happen.

The Minister has said that he "responds to letters and emails", which is fine, but why respond? Shouldn't he have ensured that families with members of the deaf community were proactively told about what was happening. He says he's had meetings, but evidently not with all the people who matter, for whom the departure of the only BSL Level 3 Social Worker came as a very sudden and unanticipated shock. 

The Minister says he is working with the Deaf Partnership Board, but he should also ensure communication doesn't end with them, but with the families and individuals who need support. As far as I am aware, there has been no personalised, friendly letter to those, telling them to get in touch if they have any concerns.

And of course, he doesn't mention the loss of the BSL level 6 teacher at Highlands, which clearly because of the circumstances involved, could not have formed part of any long term planning.

As for the "two qualified teachers for the deaf", they are not as far as I am aware level 3. And yet best practice as far as I am aware is for teachers to have British Sign Language up to at least Level 3 (the minimum requirement in the UK) , in order to have the relevant skills and competency to then be able to successfully teach students. He's obviously going by what his advisors tell him is sufficient, but perhaps he should do a bit more homework himself on the matter.

To make it clearer, BSL Level 2 is the equivalent of a GCSE in a language. Would you employ a teacher of mathematics or French who only had a GCSE to teach children? That's why UK has BSL 3 as a minimum requirement. Part of the problem is that people hear about different levels but are rather clueless as to what each one means.

Indeed part of the work, as a recent FOI request mentions, says that "there is an ongoing consultation to support the needs of the deaf in Jersey." Interestingly, this lists the phases of this, which don't seem to appear in any of the replies either to oral or written questions by the Deputies:

Request: Can you tell me whether the following costed work has been carried out, or when each phase is likely to be carried out.
  • British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter for research interviews (including travel expenses)
  • BSL Interpreter for consultation meeting (including travel expenses)
  • Speech to Text typist for consultation meeting (including travel expenses):
  • Room hire for consultation meeting:
  • Production of a BSL version of proposals (ie an online signed and captioned video)
The reply:

"Research has been undertaken to better understand the communication and support needs of the dDeaf community in Jersey. A BSL interpreter was contracted to support qualitative research interviews with BSL users in November 2018. This was at a cost of £354.32, including travel expenses."

"To date, a consultation meeting has not taken place. An engagement and information event is currently being planned. A date for this event will be publicised shortly and communication support and venue costs will be available in due course. "

That was on 26 June, and we are now on 16 July, and "shortly" has not yet appeared on the horizon. As Hansard mentions, the Deputy of St Ouen is still "organising an information and engagement session". 

And as Jim Hacker remarks in "Yes Minister"

"Government is a complex business. So many people have to have their say. These things take time. Rome wasn't built in a day"

Extract from Hansard, 2 July 2019

Deputy K.G. Pamplin of St. Saviour of the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding the services provided for deaf Islanders: (OQ.180/2019)
Following the answer to my Written Question 285/2019, will the Minister state what work has been done, or is being undertaken, to ensure sufficient services are provided to meet the needs of deaf Islanders?

Deputy R.J. Renouf of St. Ouen (The Minister for Health and Social Services):
My answer to the Deputy’s Written Question 285/2019 details the services provided to deaf and hard of hearing Islanders in Health and Community Services, and in Children, Young People, Education and Skills, including services within schools. In addition, work has been undertaken alongside the voluntary organisations to better understand the communication and support needs of the deaf community in Jersey. It chose a need for Government to play a part in providing interpreting services, advice and advocacy, community support and specialist knowledge.

The Directors General for both Health and Community Services and Children’s Services continue to explore options of how best to meet these needs and there has been discussion with Earsay, the Jersey Deaf Society and the Deaf Partnership Board to ensure this process includes all voluntary sector bodies and all members of the deaf community. We are organising an information and engagement session so that all these ideas can be shared with the wider deaf community.

That meeting will include communications support using British Sign Language interpreters and speech to text reporters. The plans that will be discussed at that meeting include the introduction of a dedicated worker with specialist knowledge who will provide advice, advocacy and support for the deaf community. In our Customer and Local Services Department there is also work going on, on a project, to implement a remote interpreting services for British Sign Language users across the whole Government of Jersey.

3.1.1 Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

I thank the Minister for his answer and his written answer, which I was trying to read very quickly. In 2018 there was one British Sign Language level 3 trained social worker however their employment ceased in April this year and currently there is no social worker with that high level of skill. What work is going on to replace that much needed role in social work?

The Deputy of St. Ouen:
I am not in a position to discuss an individual member of staff and the departure of any individuals.

But work is going on to create and recruit to a post of a deaf community liaison officer. That work is being carried out in conjunction with representatives from the voluntary organisations that support the deaf community in Jersey and it is currently undergoing external evaluation. Then recruitment to the post will commence. Meanwhile, British Sign Language is used by at least 2 staff within our services who have level 2 British Sign Language.

3.1.2 Deputy K.F. Morel of St. Lawrence:

In regard to the level 3 work of the social worker that Deputy Pamplin just mentioned, or with regard to the post rather than the individual, in a recent communication the Minister for Health and Social Services mentioned that there was no replacement, and I believe this has just been reiterated. Could the Minister for Health and Social Services please explain why a crucial post that created a vital link between deaf people and society was got rid of without having a planned replacement or a plan to replace them?

The Deputy of St. Ouen:

It is not the case, as might be inferred from the question, that we are reacting to a departure of a member of staff. There was a plan being developed throughout last year, indeed when I first came into office this work was being undertaken, as to how best to meet the needs of the community and, as I have said before, the post of a community liaison officer is being developed and that is in conjunction with the voluntary organisations that represent the community.

3.1.3 Deputy K.F. Morel:

The Minister for Health and Social Services mentions that this is being done to best meet the needs of the community. Families that have contacted me have told me quite simply they knew nothing about this. Could the Minister explain how he is meeting the best needs of the community without liaising or speaking with the deaf community?

The Deputy of St. Ouen:

All I can say is that this work is - and I have said it before - being done in conjunction with the 2 charities who work in the area and those 2 charities come together as the Deaf Partnership Board, with Government, to plan these services. I have had meetings with members of the deaf community. I have had letters that I have responded to, emails also. I am willing to discuss the issue with all those who might not yet be aware of the current services and the current plan.

3.1.4 Deputy K.G. Pamplin:

I also return to an F.O.I. (freedom of information ) on a similar subject that the Children’s Service do not have any workers specifically providing support for D/deaf and hard of hearing children. I did not know if the Minister for Children and Housing was aware of this fact. With that in line, and everything he is saying, will he put this as an urgent matter on an already very busy agenda for the Minister?

The Deputy of St. Ouen:

I am reporting from the written answer that was provided to the Deputy, that there are 2 qualified teachers for the deaf and one audiologist working in Education. There are additional resource centres for hearing needs at St. Clement and Le Rocquier schools with team leaders and key workers.

There is a children’s complex needs team, which supports families with children who have permanent or substantial disabilities, which would include deaf or hard of hearing issues. I cannot speak for the Children’s Department any longer but it would appear from the research undertaken to provide the written answer that there is a team and there are people in post supporting children.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Tools for Conviviality

Tools for Conviviality

Good food, drink, a meal shared
Breaking bread together is deep
And as we sow, so shall we reap
Heart of humanity: that we cared

Hospitality to those so scared
Comfort those who still weep
Good food, drink, a meal shared
Breaking bread together is deep

Togetherness, even unprepared
Awake to compassion, not asleep
Connections: to make that leap
Heart of humanity: that we cared
Good food, drink, a meal shared

Friday, 12 July 2019

Night Life in Jersey in the 1960s

In 1966, under the "Four Square", publishers "New English Library" put out a small paperback called the "Four Square Holiday Guide to the Channel Islands". It was compiled by the late Peter Haining, and reflects a pre-decimal and bygone Channel Islands, just as tourism was ramping up to its giddy heights in the 1970s. Here's a brief extract.

For those who don't know, before 1971 and decimal currency, Jersey followed the UK with a monetary system which had 12 d (pence) to the 1 s (shilling) and 20s to £1. There was also a weird value called a "guinea" which was £1 1s, The pennies came in half-pennies, pennies, three pence bits, six pence coins, shillings, half crowns (2 s 6d coin), ten shilling note, and pound note.

Night Life in Jersey

For the younger set St. Ouen's Bay is a very popular spot for young visitors to Jersey. The Surf Room - as its name implies - is the centre for swimmers and surfers and dances are held every evening (Sundays excepted) from 8.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. with music by a top beat group. The place has a tremendous atmosphere - but don't turn up dressed too casually or admission will be refused. Admission 5s. 6d. for men and 3s. 6d. for girls. 

Also along the Five Mile Road is the Chateau Plaisir where the "Crazy Nights" with dancing and games attract a lively crowd.

The Tropicana which is a short distance away is rapidly gaining popularity because of the beat and folk music sessions which are held every night. Admission prices vary according to the night from 2s. 6d. to 6s.

If it's modern jazz you're after, the Granite Bar in the Water's Edge Hotel at Bouley Bay is the spot. Here record sleeves from the latest m. j. records cover the walls and the soothing strains of Charlie Mingus, Dave Brubeck, John Coltrane and many others can be heard over the loudspeakers.

For folk and blues fans, The Melting Pot in the Anneport Bay Hotel at Anneport is the island's Mecca. Well known artists and groups appear regularly and there are record intervals for dancing. The "Pot" is open every night of the week (except Sunday) from 8.30 p.m. until 11.30 p.m. - but it is always crowded so it is best to reserve a table by ringing East 58.

Folk Sing-Alongs are also held regularly in the Mecca Ballroom at the Ritz Hotel in St. Helier and admissions costs 3s. 6d.

At the Springfield Beat Forum in Janvrin Road the accent is very much on the latest pop music and every Thursday, Friday and Saturday throughout the summer season leading Jersey beat groups play for dancing. The Forum is open from 8 p.m. until 11.30 p.m. and the admission price is 5s. 

But if it is just a case of wanting to dance to all the latest tunes - and meet other young holidaymakers - Jersey's largest ballroom, the Pavilion on the front at West Park is the answer. The ballroom can accommodate 650 dancers and there is a licensed bar adjoining.

For the older set Tams Hotel at St. Brelade's Bay present cabaret and dancing every night from 8.45 p.m. until midnight, with special extensions on Tuesday and Thursday to 1 a.m. Their summer shows are considered among the liveliest and best presented on Jersey and always include top British and Continental artists (South 550).

For atmosphere, The Rainbow Room in St. Helier takes a lot of beating. Here an Olde Tyme Music Hall is presented with some of the top names in this particular field of entertainment. There is waiter service to all tables and the Rainbow Room goes on from 9 p.m. to 12 p.m. (no Sundays) with extensions on Tuesday and Thursday. Admission is 10s. 6d. – with special tables available (if you're lucky) on the stage at 15s. 6d. (Central 24507).

Another popular spot where the accent is on good entertainment is the Plaza in St. Helier where the cabaret is highlighted by a "big name" artist - last year it was Derek Roy. The place opens at 8.45 p.m. and the show lasts for three hours. Admission 10s. (Central 22487).

A night club with a difference is the brand-new Hawaiian Ballroom which is part of the Marina Grill at Portelet. Here the manager, Mr. Chris Savva, has created a setting straight out of the tropics with exotic plants and bamboo fittings. Thursdays and Fridays are late nights here (open until 12.45 p.m.) or else the time is 8.30 p.m. to 11.45 p.m. There is dancing and a cabaret and admission costs 7s. 6d. (South 728).

Jersey people recommend Le Bal Tabarin at Les Landes, St. Ouen, which presents an elegant, French-style cabaret highlighted by one of the most spectacular Can-Cans you'll see anywhere outside of France. The club is open from 8.30 p.m. to Midnight with extensions to 1 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays. Admission fee is 10s. 6d. (West 203).

The plush atmosphere of a London night spot has been created at the Pavilion Theatre Restaurant at Greve de Lecq. There is nowhere else quite like it on Jersey, and it is possible to have a three course meal, watch the cabaret (which last year, for instance, starred Danny Williams and the Red Price Band) and dance all for 27s. 6d. Admission to the cabaret only is 12s. 6d. (West 100).

The Bay at the St. Brelade's Bay Hotel is without doubt the most sophisticated club on Jersey and much patronized by local businessmen and officials. Because of this it is a "members only" establishment and visitors wishing to go there should contact the management at South 186.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Random notes - Jersey Critic March 4 1933

"The Jersey Critic" was described as “A weekly journal on Island Questions for the Jerseyman at Home and Abroad”

This edition, published on March 4th 1933, has this "Random Notes" section by the Editor Edward Le Brocq. It is astonishing how wild the ideas were to do with waste disposal in an Island which had only around 50,462 inhabitants, half its present number.

It was not until 1952 that the States intervened, when St Helier struck a deal – known as the Bellozanne Covenant – whereby it sold land at Bellozanne to the States to build a waste incinerator. There were originally three "destructors" which were replaced in the 1970s by one tall chimney incinerator. It originally had two streams to the burner, but a third was added in the 1990s to cope with the increasing volume of waste. Now of course that has been decommissioned and replaced with the Energy from Waste Plant at La Collette.

It seems fortunate that most of the Parish schemes described below, especially a dump at Corbiere, never came to fruition. And an incinerator in the West and in the East never came about either! It's like peering into an alternative world!

I have not gleaned Parish figures for 1931, but there was relatively small change even in 1951, where the total was 57,296. But this gives an idea of the amount of people per parish, and hence the waste per household generated.

This population distribution is worth bearing in mind when it came to different ideas for Parishes and waste disposal.

Meanwhile, some things remain the same. From June 2019, the Colorado Beetle is still a very present threat. It is remarkable we have been able to keep it out, and hope we may by vigilance continue to do so.

"The current weather conditions mean that the Colorado Beetle, which is not established in Jersey, may be able to reach the island from France. Warm temperatures and easterly winds are forecast for today, which could carry the flying beetles over the sea." (

Random notes by the editor. 

All the talk at the moment is of incinerators and dumps. We have done with slums for the time being (nine days you know), and we are now concerned with garbage and the best manner of dealing with it. The Constable of St Helier is satisfied that the destructor at Westmount has all its work cut out to deal with the refuse of the parish, and, as a result, certain other parishes are in a difficulty.

Plenty of money.
St Saviour has solved it by deciding to purchase 6 vergees of meadow for £750 which seems a pretty stiff figure, and build an incinerator. The parishioners are told that there is plenty of money in hand and the rate will not go up in spite of this expenditure of £1,600 or so. St. Clement and Grouville will probably send their refuse to this incinerator, but St Martin are out on their own, and will have to settle their problems differently.

In the air.
At St Brelade's the assembly has decided in favour of a dump at Corbière, and it is understood that St Peter and St Lawrence will come into the same scheme. At Trinity the assembly have voted in favour of not entertaining the matter. They don't see anything wrong with the old system of digging holes and burying the refuse. At St Ouen, St Mary and St John, there is apparently no refuse to be disposed of. Meanwhile it is being rumoured one of these days the States will consider the question from an insular point of view, and decide on the erection of two big incinerators, one in the east and one in the West. But this is all very much in the air.

The States on Tuesday could not very well refuse the grant of £300 to the Mental Asylum Committee for the purchase of a meadow which will give the institution all the water it needs, but it could not possibly sanctioned a grant under the heading of “divers”, and I find it curious that the committee should not have realised the fact. £300, after all, is £300, and not one of those mere trifles which appear in Committees estimates under the heading of “various”.

Cheap at the price.
It is essential, of course, that the Mental Home should have an ample supply of water, but one has always understood that such was the case, and I, for one, was surprised to learn the contrary. The £300 includes only the cost of the land, and further expenditure will, of course, be necessary for the plant. If the spring ensures an abundant supply, however, it can't be considered dear at the price. It would be interesting to know, by the way, how much water is used at the institution during the course of the year. It must amount to a few thousand gallons - and then some!

The Beetle.
Jurat Le Feuvre’s proposed addition to the law on the Colorado beetle should be adopted unanimously. It is obvious that the States can't compel a farmer to spray his crops if he hasn't the means to do it, and in such cases the States must make themselves responsible. As I understand the measure, spraying will not be resorted to if the Colorado beetle keeps away. In Guernsey, spraying is compulsory but they grow only some 1200 vergees of potatoes there as compared with our 16,000 or 18,000 vergees. What is comparatively easy in Guernsey would be a task of infinite difficulty in Jersey, there is no doubt about that.

All wasted.
Still, the fact remains that should the beetle be discovered in Jersey, all the spraying in the world will not save us. It may be a million to one against its coming, but the risk is there, and what we must face is the spraying after one Colorado beetle had been found would be just so much time, money and labour wasted, for England would not take our crops, and we have no other market. I am not saying that the farmers for wrong in deciding as they did, but merely stating the facts as I see them.

The big question
The licensing bench will be sitting presently, and the proceedings will not lack interest, or I shall be greatly surprised. I hear that certain licence holders are again applying for the category of licence they unsuccessfully asked for last December but the big question will be that of the repairs and alterations which, according to the bench, had to be effected by March. One is glad to hear that this decision may be modified to some extent.

It is as clear as daylight that in numbers of cases applicants will have to admit that the whole of work has not been completed. They will produce a certificate to the effect that it is well in hand or on the point of completion but they will not be able to go further. The fact is that with all the goodwill in the world, it has not been found possible to do in three months work which in the ordinary course of things would have taken at least double the time to complete with the available labour.

Monday, 8 July 2019

The Pseudoscience of Engels

I’ve been reading “Socialism: Utopian and Scientific” by Fredrick Engels, written in 1880, and I’m afraid to say that I have large doubts about quite how it can be called “scientific”. This is, of course, not limited to Engels. The appropriation of the term “science” by a wide range of different disciplines occurs because to label something scientific gives it an extra cache of respectability, hence we have “Christian Science”, “An Institute Of Astrological Science”, and Hegel’s “Science of Logic”

An excellent outline of Engels approach is given by Jesús Muñoz:

“Historical materialism is the central assumption that social changes must be explained in terms of class struggles, wherein the economic basis of society determines the nature of social classes and the details about class struggles.”

“According to the economic interpretation of history, the current system as a mode of production will be self destroyed by its internal (dialectical) contradictions after passing through several phases, wherein labor and workers gain greater relevance. In other words, at the outset of Capitalism there arises a dialectical evolution which is reflected in recurrent crises (fueled by contradictions between labor and capital), and generate a change in the rules of the game. A new system will then arise wherein co-operation bypasses competition”

Engels indeed notes that:

“All past history, with the exception of its primitive stages, was the history of class struggles; that these warring classes of society are always the products of the modes of production and of exchange — in a word, of the economic conditions of their time; that the economic structure of society always furnishes the real basis, starting from which we can alone work out the ultimate explanation of the whole superstructure of juridical and political institutions as well as of the religious, philosophical, and other ideas of a given historical period.”

And then he goes on to outline the stages through which history moves, which he calls “historical evolution”:

Let us briefly sum up our sketch of historical evolution.

Mediaeval Society — Individual production on a small scale. Means of production adapted for individual use; hence primitive, ungainly, petty, dwarfed in action.

Capitalist Revolution — transformation of industry, at first be means of simple cooperation and manufacture. Concentration of the means of production, hitherto scattered, into great workshops

Severance of the producer from the means of production. Condemnation of the worker to wage-labor for life. Antagonism between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.

Growing predominance and increasing effectiveness of the laws governing the production of commodities. Unbridled competition. Contradiction between socialized organization in the individual factory and social anarchy in the production as a whole.

On the one hand, perfecting of machinery, made by competition compulsory for each individual manufacturer, and complemented by a constantly growing displacement of laborers. Industrial reserve-army. On the other hand, unlimited extension of production, also compulsory under competition, for every manufacturer.

Partial recognition of the social character of the productive forces forced upon the capitalists themselves. Taking over of the great institutions for production and communication, first by joint-stock companies, later in by trusts, then by the State. The bourgeoisie demonstrated to be a superfluous class. All its social functions are now performed by salaried employees

Proletarian Revolution — Solution of the contradictions. The proletariat seizes the public power, and by means of this transforms the socialized means of production, slipping from the hands of the bourgeoisie, into public property. By this act, the proletariat frees the means of production from the character of capital they have thus far borne, and gives their socialized character complete freedom to work itself out. Socialized production upon a predetermined plan becomes henceforth possible. The  development of production makes the existence of different classes of society thenceforth an anachronism. In proportion as anarchy in social production vanishes, the political authority of the State dies out. Man, at last the master of his own form of social organization, becomes at the same time the lord over Nature, his own master — free.

It’s a wonderful utopian picture, in which Marx and Engels find this “ultimate explanation” which makes sense of history, and provides stages on the path to Utopia which alone can “trace out the inner law running through all its apparently accidental phenomena.”

But anyone who has studied the history of life on this planet will soon come to realize what a great role contingency plays.

As Stephen Jay Gould argued, something may be selected for some reason at one time and then for an entirely different reason at another time, so that the end product is the result of the whole history of an evolutionary line, and cannot be accounted for by its present adaptive significance.

And the same is true of human history. There is no preferred direction or vector of change. The Whig view of history, which still dominated some of the history I read at school, presented history as a long line of progress towards a better society and greater freedom. The view of Marx and Engels only differs in what they consider to be the better society, but it suffers from the same flaw.

Two modern historians - Robert Brenner in his work “Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-Industrial Europe” and and Ellen Meiksins Wood’s “The Origins of Capitalism” show how histories explaining the rise of capitalism have what might be described as a a dominant teleological model of capitalist inevitability, although Marx and Engels go beyond that to the revolution.

Brenner and Wood’s explanations, by contrast, emphasises the accidental and contingent in history, which led to the dominance of the market. One of the glaring problems with explanations of inevitability is that in fact trade and urbanization has flourished widely in human history without capitalism developing. Rather than capitalism being the natural evolution of any market to which all societies tend once obstacles are removed, instead they show that the development of capitalism was a chance event and, moreover, that it is a late and localized product of very specific historical condition.

History which attempts to “trace out the inner law running through all its apparently accidental phenomena”, such as Engels does in “Socialism: Utopian and Scientific” fails to understand the contingent and accidental nature of history. There are no “inner laws” in history. What may be progress in one generation may be lost in the next.

But Engels had a final trick up his sleeve. If anyone criticised his theories on scientific grounds, he would simply exclaim "bourgeois science", and use that accusation to dismiss his critics. It is a technique which neatly sidesteps the notion of truth and for which their is no easy rejoinder because it discredits reason itself.

Saturday, 6 July 2019



I walk the old tracks, old as time
Ever flowing beside is the stream
Herb lore: Rosemary and Thyme
Ancient days like a fading dream

Roadside, there grows copper beech
Its red leaves, in the sunlight gleam
Tree lore: hear the Dryad’s speech
Ancient days like a fading dream

Ducklings paddle in freshwater pool
Still point beside the flowing stream
Bird lore: its mother love the rule
Ancient days like a fading dream

Goose green marsh beside a stream
Ancient days like a fading dream

Friday, 5 July 2019

Tea Rooms in Jersey

In 1966, under the "Four Square", publishers "New English Library" put out a small paperback called the "Four Square Holiday Guide to the Channel Islands". It was compiled by the late Peter Haining, and reflects a pre-decimal and bygone Channel Islands, just as tourism was ramping up to its giddy heights in the 1970s. Here's a brief extract.

For those who don't know, before 1971 and decimal currency, Jersey followed the UK with a monetary system which had 12 d (pence) to the 1 s (shilling) and 20s to £1. There was also a weird value called a "guinea" which was £1 1s, The pennies came in half-pennies, pennies, three pence bits, six pence coins, shillings, half crowns (2 s 6d coin), ten shilling note, and pound note.

Cobweb Tea Room

Tea Rooms in Jersey

Jersey has numerous attractive little tea rooms, where Mum, Dad and the children can relax in the afternoon over a pot of tea, home-made cakes and possibly strawberries and Jersey cream. Here is a selection of some of the more outstanding places to be found on the Island:

The Cobweb. At St. Brelade's Bay is an old-world cottage where morning coffee and afternoon teas can be obtained. It is approached by a pretty, winding lane, and is immediately recognizable by the aviary full of colourful birds, which is situated outside.

Equally attractive, but in a different style, are the Cottage Tearooms at Havre des Pas. At the front there is a delightful flower covered trellis passage and tea can be taken in the gardens.

The Green Island Tearooms on the St. Clement's Road have the distinction of being the most southerly cafes in the British Isles. The premises overlook the beach and for the really peckish, grills (including steaks) are served.

Drive-Inn BBQ

Not far down the road from here, at Gorey, is the Drive-In - the only place on Jersey where you can be served without leaving your car. (If you come at night flick your lights for service.)

In Gorey itself, there is Mont Orgueil House where a really outstanding Jersey Cream Tea is served, .also home-made scones and sandwiches.

Apple Cottage, at Rozel, is another attractive tearoom where they specialize in sea foods like lobster and crab.

There is a fine view of St. Aubin's Bay to be enjoyed while you have morning coffee or afternoon tea at the Garden Cafe which stands close to the main coastal road.

A bit further along this same road is the Treasure House which serves morning coffee and light lunches. It can easily be recognized by the quaint trellis work on the front and the patio where other holiday- makers will be enjoying the establishment's good fare.

At St. Catherine's Bay there is only one building - the Tea Rooms. Here the visitor can sit in the open soaking up the sun or enjoying the pleasant view of the harbour.

Beach Cafe Bouley Bay

Strawberries and Cream are the speciality of the Beach Cafe at Bouley Bay. The youngsters taken here will particularly enjoy the variety of cage birds and having their photographs taken with their heads through the "Aunt Sally" boards.

Finally, two places worthy of attention in St. Helier. The Cup and Saucer at Charing Cross is good for a snack if you are in a hurry; while the snack bar and restaurant run by the Jersey Dairies can provide fresh full cream milk almost literally straight from local cows.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Past remembered: St Brelade's Bay Resident's Association

In the early 1980s, largely formed out of a response against the destruction of Chateaux des Roches, which was passed anyway, the St Brelade's Bay Residents Association was formed to deal with issues relating to the Bay, and with overdevelopment of the Bay.

Back then residents of the bay were much more tight knit, and might pop round to each others houses for a cup of tea and cake (which is what I usually was given when I popped to the Fowlers at les Houmets, always hospitable and friendly, or an early evening sherry (other residents whom I won't embarrass by mentioning by name).

Those sitcoms where the husband comes home from work harassed and promptly pours a sherry were true to life! It was usually Harvey's Bristol Cream, and not the other one promoted on TV at the time by Orson Welles in his rich gravelly voice.

The residents association had one minor victory - it managed to get a public meeting held at which L'Horizon's plans to relocate a footpath to the beach were resolutely trounced, but on the whole mostly I remember the interminable boredom of meetings, and they way in which they rambled far from the issues at hand, but not in any particularly interested way.

Deputy Graham Thorne was a deputy for St Brelade No 2, and came to almost every meeting, and was very supportive. Despite the Bay straddling both electoral districts, Deputy Margaret Beadle was conspicuous by her absense. Deputy Enid Quenault was very supportive both as Deputy, and from 1987 as Connetable.

These minutes give a flavour of what it was like!


Minutes of the meeting held at La Marquanderie Inn
on Thursday, July 25th, 1985

Chairman: Andrew Jordan
Secretary: Tony Bellows

Other Members Present:
Mr & Mrs J. Meade, Mr & Mrs P. Jackson, Mr & Mrs W. Fowler, Mr & Mrs H Taylor

In Attendance:
Deputy Graham Thorne
Deputy Enid Quenault
Mrs Harwood


Minutes of Previous Meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting (30.5.85), having been circulated to members, were approved and adopted. (proposed: Joyce Meade; seconded: Joe Meade)

Report on Zebra Crossing

This was to report on what progress, if any, there had been towards the placement of signs posts warning motorists of the zebra crossing. In the absence of Deputy Beadle, it was not possible to ascertain this, so this item was carried over.


Extension of Membership

A discussion followed on whether or not the membership should be extended to allow people to become full members if they did not actually live in the Bay area, but were interested in looking after the Bay.

Andrew Jordan reported on inquiries for full membership by people concerned with the Bay but living outside the full membership area. Joe Meade objected to an extension to the membership and asked that the area remained clearly defined as it was (in the association rules). He pointed out that associate membership was available for interested outsiders.

Deputy Graham Thorne suggested that all people who had an interest in the Bay should be able to join.

Footpaths being overgrown

It was noted that (a) the path leading to the steps beside the Winston Churchill Memorial park were overgrown; (b) the "goat track" (opposite Tabor Synagogue down to near the Cobweb) was overgrown.

In the matter of (a), Deputy Thorne suggested writing to Public Works and asking them to clear it, if they were responsible for this. Deputy Quenault pointed out that this was likely because Public Works had placed hand rails at the top of the steps at her request.

In the matter of (b), Deputy Thorne suggested writing to Mr Pipon (The Authorise) to ascertain the legal position on responsibility for the path.

Mr Meade raised the matter of the footpath on the Chateaux des Roches land. He was informed that it had been agreed at a previous meeting that no action would be taken on this unless proper legal proof could be found that it was a public footpath.

Present Direction of Organisation

Tony Bellows distributed a discussion document (copy attached) giving suggestions on the future direction of the association. It was also suggested that a social event, such as a cheese and wine, should be held, to further this aspect of the association. In addition, Andrew Jordan suggested that meeting should take place once every two months, and not monthly as at present.

Deputy Thorne suggested that commercial interests in the Bay should be represented in the association. Andrew Jordan pointed out that if owners were not resident in the Bay, and represented by management, a conflict of interests between the interests of Bay and commerce could arise. Mr Meade commented that it was an association for people who lived in the Bay, and did not just worked there.

The general consensus (apart from the question of membership) was agreement with path the association was taking.

Violence in Bay Area

A report was made by Mrs Harwood of a fight in the vicinity of Tamm's Safari bar which broke out while she was strolling along the promenade with her 6 year old son in the early evening (9.30-10.00); a chair was broken across one man's back and splinters came out onto her son. It was a distressing experience to her and her son, and Mr Meade asked her to relate it so that members could understand the sort of violence which can occur in the Bay.


It was agreed to request information from the authorities on late night policing in the Bay.

It was agreed to write to Public Works about the steps/footpath and the Authorise about the "Goat Track".

It was agreed that agendas would be sent out 10 days before meetings, and that meetings would take place every two months.

It was agreed that the date of the next meeting would be the 19th September, 1985.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Jersey in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries – Part 1

Jersey in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries – Part 1

Starting today, occasional transcripts from Jersey in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries by A.C. Saunders (1930).

This is an historical record of commercial enterprise, privateering activities of the islanders, Charles Robin, Pioneer of the Gaspé Fisheries and an account of the Newfoundland Fisheries.

Formation of the Jersey Chamber of Commerce.

The “Town and County Magazine” was published in April 1774 in London and is described as a repository of knowledge, instruction and entertainment. Possibly, as taste is always changing, we would now find the magazine somewhat dull reading but there is one article in the magazine of special interest to the islanders - containing a graphic account of the Island of Jersey.

St Helier is described as consisting of some 400 houses pleasantly situated, with broad and well paved streets, a good harbour, the only market in the island resorted to by people of all ranks, a capacious church, a corn market and well supplied with water by 8 or 10 public wells situated in different parts of the town.

St Aubin, half the size of St Helier, is inhabited mostly by Merchants and Masters of ships, its port being the best in the island. St Aubin was quite as neat in appearance as St Helier, and near the harbour is a fort mounted with guns for the protection of shipping. The author of the article goes on to predict that in a few years time St Aubin will outrival St Helier by reason “the entrance to St Aubin is not so difficult as that of St Helier and, as they are building an extensive pier, shipping will go there much as more convenient and safe than the former.

The occupation of the inhabitants of all the Channel Islands was described by the author as similar. “In wartime privateering, in peacetime smuggling”.

The prediction about St Aubin has not been fulfilled and, although rumours suggest that certain Jersey fortunes have originated in the activities of smugglers, yet history can point to the wonderful foreign trade which our forefathers carried on in all parts of the then known world.

When the Chamber of Commerce was first started life in Jersey, especially for the poor people, was very difficult. There was a scarcity of food, very great poverty, and the farmers did not grow sufficient grain to supply the wants of the people. The States were in the hands of a small clique who were more careful of their own interests than those of their fellow citizens.

The people were in a state of revolt against the injustices and hardships they were faced with, and when the States allowed grain to be exported from the island, it is no wonder that some 400 women discharged the grain loaded in a ship for exportation to France and, after paying for same at a reasonable price, distributed among the half starving people. The husbands were standing by ready to take action if their women were interfered with.

There was a revolution in Jersey in 1770 when troops had to be sent over from England under a very broad minded commander Lieutenant Colonel Bentenck who, after having carefully examined the grievances of the islander, found many reasons for their complaints.

At that time there was the possibility of war with France or Spain and the laws of the island were very feudal and severe. We find in 1744 that Isaac Briard was fined for insulting the Seigneur des Melesches. One had to be very careful to avoid insulting a Seigneur in those days!

A little earlier Charles Marritt was excommunicated by the ecclesiastical court for defaming the character of Mons. Lempriere. The court directed Charles to ask pardon of Mons. Lempriere but he hid himself so the court directed the Constables of the several parishes to find Marrett and keep him in till he “asked pardon for his crime.”

We therefore see that people, who were not great people, had to walk very warily. Families were bitterly divided and apparently little was done for the public good.

There was a trade with Newfoundland and in 1767 the firm of Robin, Pipon and Company had opened up a trade with the new British province of Gaspé in Canada. Canada, after the Fall of Quebec, had been ceded to England by the Treaty of 1763.

But although the merchants had ships, there was very little harbour accommodation and States had done little or nothing to encourage the shipping interests of the island. Possibly some of the merchants had studied continental history and read about the wonderful work done and the power obtained by the many Guilds of the Netherlands.

And so, after a good deal of discussion, it was decided to start a Chamber of Commerce in Jersey. One can imagine the meetings in the markets on Saturdays, when the people came in with their goods from the country, and the private conversations held in Peter Lys’ dining room about the advantage in combining together to work for the public good.