Friday, 26 May 2023

Tom’s Midnight Garden

Having watched the superb and faithful 1989 BBC Children's serial "Tom's Midnight Garden", and also re-reading the book, I thought this would be a good subject for a poem.

Tom’s Midnight Garden

Chimes at midnight, the clock strikes wrong
Striking thirteen, hour that never could be
The door opens, in the sunshine, birdsong
And the lovely garden there to see

Midnight again, and Tom opens the door
Hattie, the lonely girl who could see him
Friendship across time’s distant shore
An orphan girl, her life once made grim

Winter snow and the frozen river is nearby
Tom and Hattie skating so very far today
Ely Cathedral, in the Fens, rises in the sky
And the way home, fading, all gone away

Time no longer: the clock angel speaks the truth
Present: old Hattie now greets Tom, the youth

Thursday, 25 May 2023

The Coronation Year 70 Years Ago - May 1953 Part 2

By a curious coincidence of dates, the coronation year 2023 will be 70 years after the coronation date in 1953. I thought it would be of interest to look back during this year of some of the events taking place before, during and after the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Coronation Year 70 Years Ago - May 1953 Part 2

16.—Before the Full Court to-day, Peter Trevor Shipley Fowler, charged with theft and conversion, is sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. Crowd of 3,000 spectators see Lincoln City defeat the Saturday Football League- 1-0 at Springfield.

17.—Open-air service held at Springfield in connection with Empire Youth Sunday, His Excellency taking the salute.

19.—Special sitting of States discusses the electricity report, there being strong criticism of the company’s administration; eventually an amendment by Deputy C. Le Marquand charging the Finance Committee to review the present composition of the board of directors was carried by 39 votes to 9; it was announced that the Coronation Gardens at Millbrook would be handed over to the Island together with a sum of £7,500 for its maintenance; the Finance Committee replied to the recent petition of the Electrical Traders’ Association ; a number of questions on the drainage scheme were put and answered and a number of minor matters dealt with or lodged. Inquest opened and adjourned for further inquiries on the skeleton found on the Cotil a Geon, St. Peter’s, believed to be that of a French farm labourer missing since September 14th, 1946.

21—Island spring cattle show held at Springfield. Mr. J. C. Du Feu's aged cow Victor’s Desdemona winning the senior championship : in the evening the annual R.J.A. and HS. dinner was held at the Merton Hotel.

23.—Before the Full Court today Mr. P. A. H. Valpy was sworn in as advocate. Honfleur A.B.C. beat St. Helier boxers in tournament at Springfield which was marred by many delays.

24.—The first visiting band of the season, the famous Black Dyke Mills, gives opening performances over the week-end at Government House, Howard Davis Park and The Parade.

25.—Ideal weather attends the holiday, beaches and parks being crowded ; 3,309 passengers arrived by air over the three days Saturday to Monday while 1,500 came by sea; the J.M.C. and L.C.C. staged a hill climb at Bouley Bay ; a number of motoring accidents were recorded, one of a serious nature; a busy week-end was experienced on the potato market, supply and demand both being good.

26.—Victoria College Cadet Force ceremonial parade held at College Field, His Excellency inspecting the contingent. Serious motor cycling accident near Rozel Manor, a mother and three young children being run into by the motor cyclist, the mother and one child was injured, the others suffering from shock.

27.—Les Creux Cottage, a bungalow overlooking St. Brelade’s Bay, gutted by fire in the absence of its occupants.

30.—Jersey Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting, it being announced that expenditure exceeded income in a heavy year.

31.—Annual race to the Minquiers for cruising yachts, Girl Joyce winning the event.

Friday, 19 May 2023



Passing the ponies, grazing on the land
As along the winding road we go
Our journey sure, our journey planned
To Widecombe from Plymouth Hoe

Mist on the tor, comes creeping low
Icy fingers are reaching out
And we cannot see, we travel slow
Our journey now is cast in doubt

Moonlight over the hills, roars a sound
Chills the blood, and gives a fright
For it is the baying of a ghostly hound
Across Grimpen Mire, in dead of night

I love this moor, and its tales so old
Where only the bravest venture bold

Thursday, 18 May 2023

The Coronation Year 70 Years Ago - May 1953 Part 1

By a curious coincidence of dates, the coronation year 2023 will be 70 years after the coronation date in 1953. I thought it would be of interest to look back during this year of some of the events taking place before, during and after the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Coronation Year 70 Years Ago - May 1953 Part 1

1.—Big entry for the Three—parish spring show of cattle held at St-

Ouen, weather conditions somewhat marring the event. Annual meeting of J.S.P.C.A., an overdraft of nearly £3,000 being shown.

2.—Verdict of suicide recorded at inquest held on the body of 63 year-old Mr. E. E. Millow, found with his throat cut at his residence in New Street.

3.—Outbreak of fire at Messrs. Le Riché’s Stores, Colomberie, a quantity of stock being destroyed.

4.—Two spring cattle shows, that of St. Helier Agricultural Society at Springfield and St. Clement's at Samares Manor.

5.—Jersey Gleemen hold annual spring concert at The Plaza Ballroom, the guest artiste being Ada Alsop. First annual meeting of the Sub-Aqua Club of Jersey. St John and St. Lawrence combined cattle show held at Midlands, St. Lawrence. ,

6.—Trinity and St. Martin cattle show, this taking place near Bouley Bay.

7.—A case of anthrax reported at Mr. C. Le Gallais‘s farm, Roselands, St. Saviour. Biggest number of entries for 24 years at St. Brelade’s cattle show, held near the Red Houses. '

8.—H.E. the Lieut-Governor attends final rendezvous of season of the British Legion.

9.—Island Thanksgiving service held in the Howard Davis Park on the occasion of Liberation Day anniversary; in the afternoon the Island team played the British Army XI at Springfield, the score being 3-2 in favour of the Island; at Blanches Banques the J.M.C. and L.C.C. staged a motor cycle scramble.

11.—The States Fire Service experience a busy weekend, being called upon to deal with a blazing yacht in St. Helier Harbour and to a serious outbreak in a garage at St. Clement’s in which was stored some 300 to 400 tons of waste paper; in. addition there were three furze fires, including a fairly severe outbreak on Ouaisné Common. Inquest opened and adjourned sine die on the body found on the beach at La Rocque and thought to be that of a Frenchman. Jersey Green Room Club present “1066—And All That” at Springfield Theatre. Sitting of Ecclesiastical Court grants facilities to Trinity Church and St. Luke’s; church officers were also sworn in.

12,—Verdict of suicide returned at inquest on the body of Mrs. I. G. Kent, a. patient at St. Saviour’s Hospital, who was found hanged in her room. St. Saviour and Grouville cattle show takes place in glorious weather, the beater being seen on this occasion.

13.—St. Helier parish assembly discusses derelict sites in the town; it was decided to negotiate on the one at Devonshire Place, while the Colomberie question was referred to the States; a subcommittee was set up to go into the question of translating and adding to the inscription on the Le Sueur Monument.

14.—The Lord Bishop of Southampton consecrates new cemetery at St. Martin’s and Macpela at St. John’s.

15.—At the Hospital Chapel,.the Bishop of Southampton dedicated a lectern, altar and ornaments, H.E. the Lieut.-Governor and the Bailiff being present.

St Helier - Discrepancies in a Healing Narrative

A few historical markers.

Saint Helier's dates are vague to say the least, but if he didn't die around 555 AD, we can at least take it as likely that he dates from around the 6th century (501-601 AD).

Dating the Normans is easier as the historical record is on firmer ground. We know they were Vikings who settled in Northwest France in the 10th and 11th centuries, and gave their name to the duchy of Normandy, a territory ruled by a duke that grew out of a 911 treaty between King Charles III of West Francia and Rollo, the leader of the Vikings. The rate of Scandinavian colonization can be seen in the Norman toponymy and in the changes in popular family names.

According to the legend, Helier is recorded as performing one healing miracle in Jersey, curing a lame man named Anquetil.

Now we have an issue with chronology. Anquetil is a Norman surname, from Old Norse Ásketill, combination of as "god" and ketill "cauldron"

The earliest mention of the name in Jersey is in the Assize Roll of 1309. Jordan Anquetil (born about 1433) is, however, the earliest member of the family from whom a continuous descent has been traced. One Anquetil is listed in the Jersey Chantry Certificate of 1550. Not all Anquetils in Jersey can trace their ancestry back this far, however, because there were further immigrants from France in the 18th century. The surname is very common in Normandy.

We do have another time in our timeline. The Life of Saint Helier was written in, or after the 10th century, when Normandy existed. As Balleine noted, prior to 911 part of that domain under the Franks was called Neustria, not Normandy. The Life only knows of Normandy, not of Neustria (the kingdom when Helier would have supposedly been alive.

It is easy to see why the Life should include the name Anquetil in a healing story, but that name was not extant in Normandy and Jersey until after the settlement of Normandy. Even allowing for a hundred years before the treaty of 911, that is still two hundred years adrift.

In conclusion, this is yet another example of the fictional nature of the Life of St Helier.


Monday, 15 May 2023

Proposal for a two-site hospital building to replace a one-site building:

This is an outline of what the Government will need to do.

Executive Summary:

The purpose of this proposal is to outline the plan for establishing a two-site hospital building to replace the existing one-site facility. The proposed two-site model aims to enhance patient care, improve accessibility, and optimize operational efficiency. This expansion will allow the hospital to serve a larger population while providing specialized services at each site. The following sections detail the key aspects of the proposal:


The existing one-site hospital is facing capacity constraints, increased patient demand, and limited physical space for future growth. By transitioning to a two-site model, the hospital can decentralize services, provide localized care, and better cater to the needs of different patient populations across multiple regions.

Facility Design:

a. Comprehensive Planning: Develop a master plan for each site, considering factors like hospital size, specialty services, outpatient facilities, emergency departments, surgical suites, diagnostic imaging, laboratories, administrative offices, and support services. Ensure the design aligns with modern healthcare standards, safety regulations, and future scalability.

b. Specialized Services: Allocate specific departments and specialized services to each site based on community needs and existing medical expertise. This approach allows for streamlined operations, better resource allocation, and the creation of centers of excellence in different areas of healthcare.

c. Information Technology Integration: Implement an integrated electronic health record system across both sites to enable seamless patient information sharing, coordination of care, and efficient communication between healthcare professionals. This will facilitate continuity of care and improve patient outcomes.

Infrastructure and Resources:

a. Construction: Develop a detailed construction plan for each site, including architectural design, engineering specifications, construction timeline, and budget estimation. Ensure adherence to local regulations and environmental sustainability practices.

b. Medical Equipment and Supplies: Procure state-of-the-art medical equipment, diagnostic tools, and supplies necessary for each site's specialty services. Collaborate with vendors, suppliers, and medical professionals to ensure the availability of essential resources for high-quality patient care.

c. Staffing and Workforce: Evaluate staffing needs based on the expanded services and ensure adequate recruitment, training, and allocation of healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, technicians, and administrative staff. Promote interdisciplinary collaboration and communication between the two sites.

Transition Plan:

Develop a comprehensive transition strategy to minimize disruption to patient care during the relocation process. Consider phased relocation of departments, efficient transfer of medical records, clear communication with patients, and coordination with local healthcare providers to ensure a smooth transition.

Financial Considerations:

Conduct a thorough financial analysis, including cost estimation for construction, equipment acquisition, operational expenses, and potential revenue streams. Explore funding options, such as government grants, loans, philanthropic donations, or public-private partnerships. Perform a cost-benefit analysis to demonstrate the long-term financial viability and return on investment of the two-site model.

Stakeholder Engagement:

Engage with various stakeholders, including hospital staff, patients, local communities, government entities, and healthcare organizations, to gather input, address concerns, and build support for the project. Create an open communication channel to ensure transparency and collaboration throughout the implementation process.


Develop a detailed timeline that encompasses the various stages of the project, including site selection, planning, design, construction, recruitment, equipment procurement, transition, and inauguration. Ensure realistic milestones and account for potential contingencies.

Evaluation and Monitoring:

Establish a framework for ongoing evaluation and monitoring of the two-site hospital model to ensure its effectiveness and identify areas for improvement. Key considerations include:

a. Performance Metrics: Define key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of the two-site model. This may include metrics such as patient satisfaction, wait times, clinical outcomes, financial performance, staff productivity, and community feedback. Regularly analyze and report on these metrics to track progress.

b. Quality Assurance: Implement quality assurance programs and regular audits to maintain high standards of care across both sites. Conduct periodic reviews of clinical protocols, safety procedures, and operational workflows to identify areas for optimization.

c. Feedback Mechanisms: Establish feedback channels to gather input from patients, staff, and stakeholders regarding their experiences and suggestions for improvement. Use this feedback to drive continuous quality improvement initiatives and address any concerns in a timely manner.

d. Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing: Foster collaboration and knowledge sharing between the two sites to leverage best practices, share research findings, and enhance clinical expertise. Encourage multidisciplinary meetings, teleconferences, and professional development opportunities to facilitate collaboration and continuous learning.


The establishment of a two-site hospital building offers numerous benefits, including enhanced patient care, improved accessibility, and optimized operational efficiency. By carefully planning the site selection, facility design, infrastructure, staffing, transition process, and ongoing evaluation, the hospital can successfully implement this expansion and provide high-quality healthcare services to a larger population.

Friday, 12 May 2023


This poem is one from the back-catalogue, from 25th April 2005. I was suffering from severe back pain around that time.


Broken, twisted form in pain
Every effort for him a strain
Bent with a crippling illness
Such is not a sight to impress
People turn, avert their gaze
But he keeps faith, does amaze
As he eats the broken bread
This is my body, here is said
Broken for you, and for many
Our eyes are open, and we see
Our Lord in our midst now here
As we too come, and draw near
Where are you Lord? Here today
A broken brother kneels to pray.


Thursday, 11 May 2023

St Clement and St Nicholas, The Pilot, 1973

St Clement and St Nicholas
The Pilot, 1973

My dear People,

It is with sadness that I have to say good-bye to two persons who have helped our church and me, personally. It is sometimes only when one is parting company with people that one appreciates how fortunate one has been. By the time you read this letter, Sylvia will have left Jersey to take up residence in England, Somerset to be more precise, where her husband has already gone on in advance to set up a business.

I have known Sylvia since the first week I came here. nearly twelve years ago. when she was a schoolgirl of 16. Years before that, she had been a member of our Sunday School and was then also a member of the junior choir. A few months later, when she had learnt to type, she started to do some parish secretarial work for me. Later, when I became Editor of The Pilot, she began to be of immense help in the typing and preparation of the editions. Later still, she had her own column, and inaugurated The Pilot Birthday Club. During all these years she has also been a faithful Sunday School Teacher and a Choir Member. Except for holidays, I do not recall her ever missing a Sunday in either capacity. 

Over the years she has become a personal friend of my wife and myself, and we have had many happy times together. My only fear as she grew up was that she might meet and marry the wrong man. These fears were dissolved, however, when in the Summer of last year I had the pleasure and privilege of marrying her to a pleasant honest Englishman of the highest integrity. I know that you will join with me in praying for God’s Blessing upon the new life which they are starting in England.

REV W. N. HALL. I congratulate William Hall on his appointment to the Benefice of St Mark’s. On his induction there on October 4, his duties in this parish will naturally cease. He will then have been my official assistant here for two and three-quarter years. He, too, has been a most loyal, efficient and reliable colleague and I shall miss him very much. Apart from assisting at Services at St Clement and St Nicholas, he has also been a great help with the Sunday School, and with taking the occasional sick communions for me when I have been hard pressed. He is a man of great ability and possesses high academic qualifications. I am sure that the parish of St Mark will be enriched in every way under his incumbency.

Since good people are difficult to replace, it is therefore with pleasure that I am able to say that the Rev C. K. Thacker, sometime Rector of St Peter’s, and lately Chaplain of Victoria College has agreed to take Mr Hall’s place, and assist me here. I have just received the official approval of the Bishop of Winchester and the Dean of Jersey in this appointment. Mr Thacker will be no stranger to the congregations of St Clement and St Nicholas for, when I was very ill some years ago, he took all the services for me at both churches for several weeks. I am very much looking forward to his assistance from October onwards.

Paul Harrison