Members present :
Frank Falle (Chairman), Jean Arthur, Marie-Louise Backhurst, Don Bell, Mary Billot (Secretary), Mervyn Billot, Gavin Booth, Bertram Brée, Francis & Anne Corbet, Gerry France, Douglas Hooke, Nicolas Jouault, Sally Knight, Suzanne Le Feuvre, Georgia Le Maistre, Bob Le Sueur, David Levitt, Will Millow, Winston Pinel, Wendy Tilling (new member).
1. Apologies for absence :
Yvonne Aston, Jean Bell, Guy Dixon, Mary Gibb, Sue Groves, Sue Hardy, Tertius Hutt, Sarah Jordan, Frank Le Blancq, David Le Maistre, Ian Machin, Bill Tower.
2. Minutes of the meeting of February 15th 2005 and amendments
4.2 Jean Arthur emphasised that her offer to give an Autumn lunchtime lecture was only provisional as it depends on the amount of the information that she might receive from Newfoundland.
5.10 Winston Churchill visited Jersey on August 29th 1913 for four hours, as First Lord of the Admiralty. Frank Falle had found news pictures of him playing a round of golf. The almanacs recorded the event on August 30th (next day’s newspaper headlines).
5.12 Marie-Louise Backhurst (urban and medical history).
The minutes were then approved as a correct record.
3. Matters arising from the minutes not covered by the agenda
5.2 Bob Le Sueur asked about an improved sign for the grille from Gloucester Street prison chapel. Suzanne Le Feuvre reported on an exchange of e-mails with Peter Noble (St Helier Town Hall). The Town Church railings are to be repainted black with gold finials in the next parish financial year and the plaque will be improved at the same time. She circulated photographs. [See official minutes for e-mails and photos].
Francis Corbet said that there was a complete division down the prison chapel with the grille and obscure glass. The special granite slabing in Hill St and Mulcaster St remained consecrated ground and parish property after the road widening. The churchyard was landscaped in the 1920s; gravestones and human remains were dug up. Some stones were used for paving; others went to landfill; Leslie Sinel was Church Warden at the time. Jean Le Capelain designed the black railings. Georgia Le Maistre said that the Le Capelain plaque has been repositioned on the correct States building (his studio on the site of No.1 Hill St).
5.13 Nick Jouault said that the Mandarin visitor from the Chinese junk (London, 1848) was mentioned in a BBC2 series last week (Days that shook the world).
4. Chairman’s communications
4.1 Frank Falle welcomed Wendy Tilling to her first meeting; she had read his appeal for researchers in the Spring Newsletter. She is interested in the Georgian period and in the Janvrin Family. He also welcomed Winston Pinel back to meetings; his main interest is family history, especially the Pinels.
4.2 He said that the SJ AGM takes place on Thursday April 21st; there are two vacancies on Executive and two nominations (Chick Anthony and Nick Jouault) so no election is necessary. Francis Corbet hoped that there would be a quorum of 40 members present; he said that the Ornithology Section meeting was at the same time.
4.3 Frank said that the Section display on St Helier in the Museum was very good and congratulated Francis Corbet, Bertram Brée and Geraint Jennings for their work. He urged everyone to look at it before it changes in May.
4.4 He has received a letter from Prof. Colin Platt about the scenario for the development of Mont Orgueil Castle in the key years of 1546-1566 (building of Somerset Tower etc.). Frank has arranged an open meeting so that Prof. Platt can talk through his chronology and the nomenclature of the areas :
Thursday May 19th 2005 at 2.30pm in the Arthur Mourant Room
Bob Le Sueur said that E.T. Nicolle assigned some of the current names during the 1920s. Further information has come to light since then, especially amongst the Cecil family papers at Hatfield House.
David Levitt said that the new signs at MOC are in train; Frank said that Prof. Platt had been consulted.
4.5 Frank said that the story about the Lucombe Oak at Trinity Manor being a sapling at the time of Charles II was wrong. It was planted in 1762.
4.6 Mary Billot said that she has had no further news from Prof. Meirion-Jones about the Carnac trip.
4.7 The Office wished to draw members’ attention to the Sinels Student Debating Competition Final on Wednesday April 27th at Highlands College (Concert Hall), start time 7.00pm. The guest adjudicator is Deputy Roy Le Hérissier; Beaulieu will propose the motion that This house believes that given Jersey’s high profile that it is now time to seek independence from the Crown. Jersey College for Girls will oppose.
5. Members’ contributions
5.1 Georgia Le Maistre circulated the National Archives magazine Ancestors, May 2005, which includes an article by Valentine Fallan, Crossing with the Conqueror in which she argues that Wace’s list of William’s companions is substantially accurate. Georgia suggested that a copy of Roman de Rou be offered to the magazine as a competition prize.
She said that the free publication Nine to Five had a computer-generated image of the Foot building and its mural to show how it would look if restored.
She referred to item 6.5 of the January 2005 minutes. She has written an article on Helier de Jersey Le Maistre of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, which will appear in the CIFHS journal for July. His great grandson has made contact with her via the History Section pages on the Website, which are indexed by Google.
5.2 Jean Arthur has researched a house history of Prospering Farm, St Mary, which has date stones of the Renouf and Le Cras families. The name is an early use of an English name. She has found the marques de bétail for the families, which were sheep owners, in the St Mary parish records.
5.3 Bob Le Sueur recounted a Liberation Day anecdote. Two Royal Navy officers landed first from HMS Bulldog; one was the ship’s doctor as the Captain was concerned whether typhoid or cholera might be present. The Bailiff and entourage went out to the destroyer but were not immediately allowed on board because the Captain thought that they were collaborators. The German officers already on board told him of their true identity, after which they were allowed on board to witness the German surrender. The Bailiff demanded to send a signal to the King, having been kept waiting by the Captain.
5.4 Marie-Louise Backhurst said that she would invite the photographer of buildings to the May meeting (see item 5.4 of March minutes). Today’s BBC Radio 4 afternoon play was on Walter Raleigh and referred to his attempt to install Lady Arabella Stuart on the throne after the accession of James I in 1603.
5.5 Nick Jouault said that the Rev. Roy Fenn, FSA, is hoping to come in September to talk to the SJ about Celtic saints in the CI. Rev. Fenn is also interested in the use of CI granite in local and other buildings. Mont Mado stone was used for the base of the Albert Pier light; La Moye stone was used in the Queen Victoria statue; Herm stone was used for the base of the Duke of York statue.
5.6 Bertram Brée is going to Normandy for a week and will look about for items of interest, perhaps for next year’s excursion by the Section.
5.7 Gavin Booth said that the 100th anniversary of the Muratti Cup falls on April 27th 2005. It was set up to encourage football in the CI; Guernsey won the 1905 match at Springfield in front of 2,000 people.
5.8 Gerry France circulated a copy of Night song to Julia, words by Robert Herrick, music by Alfred Amy, LRAM. It won the first prize song at the Stratford Festival, 1900. Amy married into the Lacey family, a musical family, which Gerry has to research.
5.9 Francis Corbet said that the Historic Buildings Advisory Panel wants properties recorded in St Helier; Stuart Fell is keen to hear from volunteers. Francis asked whether the horse troughs formerly at the base of the Le Sueur obelisk are to be put back. Bob Le Sueur said that the plans have been passed, having been on display at the Town Hall. There is to be a small water filled wall around the base. Georgia Le Maistre commented on the brutal sand blasting of the obelisk and its coating of acrylic resin.
5.10 Frank Falle said that Dr Barbara Crawford (Strathmarine Centre, St Andrews, Fife) is studying the cult of St Clement, which is associated with drownings, maritime environments and salt mines. She hopes to give a talk on tidal inundations in St Clement in 2006. The dedication of the church to the saint is an early use of the name (foundation AD 1050). Le Bourg was a fortified settlement with much fishing done in its vicinity. Frank confirmed that Dr Crawford knew about the Priory, in response to a query from Marie-Louise.
5.11 Mary Billot reported on behalf of Mike Lees that a 300 year old well has been uncovered in Field 388 (Clos Journeaux) during preparatory work for the new parish car park opposite St Martin’s Public Hall. It is thought to have been a shared well for use by cattle.
5.12 Frank Falle said that the Lieut. Governor is giving 13 royal oaks from Windsor to all the parishes and to Government House. Frank wants to get children involved. It is very important to interest local schoolchildren in local teaching points as 60% of their parents are not Jersey born.
Wendy Tilling said that she teaches at Samarès primary school where there have been discussions about teaching Jersey history.
6.0 Date of next meeting
Tuesday May 17th 2005 at 5.15pm, in the Members’ Room if available, otherwise in the Arthur Mourant Room.