The History Section
La Section d'l'Histouaithe
Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday June 20th 2006 at 5.15pm, Members' Room
Frank Falle (Chairman), Jean Arthur, Mary Billot (Secretary), Mervyn Billot, Bertram Brée, Geraldine des Forges (new member), Guy Dixon, Gerry France, Sue Groves, Nicolas Jouault, George Langlois, Suzanne Le Feuvre, Georgia Le Maistre, David Levitt, Elinor McFadden, Rose Millow, Will Millow, Wendy Tipping.
1. Apologies for absence
Yvonne Aston, Francis & Anne Corbet, Sue Hardy, Peter King, Frank Le Blancq, David Le Maistre, Bob Le Sueur, Mike Lees, Ian Machin, Doreen Schofield-Fost.
2. Minutes of the meeting of May 16th 2006 and amendments
8.2 The Freedom of Information Act (Report 33) is at www.gov.je then click on Reports.
The minutes were then approved as a correct record.
3. Matters arising from the minutes not covered by the agenda
5.2 The Chairman has approached Jon Carter (Director, JHT) who confirmed that he would be happy to come to a suitable Section meeting to discuss Fort Regent and Elizabeth Castle.
8.1 Nick Jouault asked about the John Jean material at the Archive; Sue Groves said that the catalogue is on the JHT website and some information has been scanned.
4. Historic Landscape Characterization of Jersey
Jeremy Lake and Bob Edwards are conducting the Farm Characterization Project for the JHT. They have sent a series of questions to various SJ Sections, including the History Section. Copies of their paper were circulated. Roger Hills (Curator of Historic Buildings, JHT) requires replies by the end of June and members were encouraged to contact him direct. The item will go on the agenda of the July meeting, as it is of general and continuing interest. Answers to many of the questions will be found in Mervyn Billot's forthcoming book (publication date not yet known). [Copy of paper with official minutes]
5. Chairman's communications
Frank Falle welcomed new member Geraldine des Forges to the Section.
5.1 Frank confirmed the dates and titles of the Section's series of Autumn lunchtime lectures as he is keen to arrange advance publicity as soon as possible. He has arranged sponsorship for the flyer.
5.2 Variety Club 'Down your way' walks. There was a successful walk around St Helier 'In Charlie's footsteps' on Sunday May 27th, with Blue Badge guides. It included a brief visit to the States building to see the Royal Mace, courtesy of Rod McLoughlin. The 'Down your Way' walks with the recently arrived Lieut Governor will probably resume in 2007. The new milk can has yet to be ordered.
5.3 Museum display case - Frank said that the H.W. Pitcher VC display board is at present at St Martin's School; his memorial window is in St Martin's Church. The Section approved the use of this board as the Section's contribution, preferably as a wall-mounted display. We shall need a new theme for 2007 for another board, suitable for display in schools.
6. Honorary Secretary's communications
6.1 Mary Billot emphasised the need for a substitute Hon. Secretary in case of illness. She said that this requires a solution because of the increasing priority of family commitments.
6.2 Prof. Meirion-Jones has contacted Mary Billot again about the 2007 weekend in Brittany. He has confirmed that Quimper is unsuitable as a base and suggests Concarneau. The only suitable hotel is the Hotel de l'Ocean (***) overlooking the sea, but too far to walk into the town at night for dinner. An early booking may be required. He and Mme Laurent are also of the opinion that the field trip needs to be for four nights (not three) so as to allow for three full days of trips - Wednesday September 12th to Sunday September 16th 2007. Mary will have to contact previous participants to find out if they are prepared for a four-night trip and to commit themselves well in advance.
7. Forts and Towers Working Party report
Mike Lees is away so there was nothing to report.
8. Members' contributions
8.1 Bertram Brée reported that 22 people have paid their deposits for the 2006 Normandy trip. Condor Ferries has been booked for Friday September 1st and Sunday September 3rd. The second payment will be required shortly. There are still some vacancies if members know of others who might be interested in coming.
8.2 Nick Jouault circulated an article from Scribner's monthly, vol.X, no.4, August 1875 called 'A farmer's vacation - old Jersey', by an anonymous US visitor.
He said that a visit to Seafield House, St Lawrence (courtesy of Richard Miles) might be possible in September 2006.
He is collecting material on the Polish community in Jersey from the 19th century to the German Occupation.
8.3 Georgia Le Maistre recently visited the Hampshire Regiment Museum in Winchester and talked to the Archivist about Jersey Militia connections. She was researching an uncle by marriage, Acting Major Donald Bichard MC, who was killed in November 1944. She was surprised to find a scarcity of information. Frank Falle said that the Hampshire Regiment was a heavy infantry regiment, whereas the Jersey Militia was light infantry (cf. Territorial Army). Georgia has details of the three-volume history of the Regiment, now in paperback, which she will recommend that the SJ Library buy from the Regimental Museum. She circulated a copy of a photograph supplied by the Archivist, which includes Jersey army officers. [Copy with official minutes]
8.4 George Langlois has visited Les Ecréhos with Senator Freddie Cohen and other States members to check for underground streams. Three boreholes are planned - at La Rocque (water at 150 feet direct from France), St Catherine (water at 450 feet) and Les Ecréhos. The States has allocated £50,000 to this project.
8.5 Rose Millow is typing up Sinnatt's funeral records from 1861 to 1891; she said that they are a fascinating record for the family historian.
8.6 David Levitt will record a broken sundial at Inverness Lodge, St Lawrence, belonging to Roy Pallot; it was damaged in the 1987 storm.
He circulated a cutting from the JEP of June 7th 2006 (50 years ago 1956), which featured Lieut (now Major) Roy Dobin of the Wiltshire (ie Hampshire) Regiment, which was posted to Cyprus and quartered at Kyrenia Castle, built by the Romans and later used by the Crusaders. [Copy with official minutes]
8.7 Guy Dixon said that the photograph circulated by Georgia Le Maistre was of officers of the Hampshire Regiment.
He commented on the poor standard of historical articles in Jersey Now and the JEP. He read out his letter to Jersey Now about an article by Paul Chambers on the de Barentin family called 'The murderous bailiffs of Jersey', which includes many historical howlers (No.4, December 2004). The JEP feature (Temps Passé, January 2006) on the wedding of Rev. George Balleine and Miss Rachel Amy at St Saviour's Church also included some misconceptions on the status of the bride's father, who was described as 'a local boy made good', In reality he came from a distinguished line, the Amys of Patier, St Saviour (house now demolished). The family is in Payne's Armorial and was extensively researched by Rev. Messervy.
Georgia Le Maistre asked whether local history was taught in local schools; Frank Falle confirmed that it was to a certain extent. Wendy Tipping said that the JHT Flash days were very successful. Suzanne Le Feuvre said that inaccuracies were perpetuated in the JEP because wrong information was recycled.
8.8 Bertram Breé said that a conference on the expansion of Norman culture across Europe is being held at Caen University, 10th-17th September 2006.
8.9 Frank Falle said that he has supplied information on the Vikings in the CI to Jean Renaud's new book (to be published in French).
9. Date of next meeting
Tuesday 18th July 2006 at 5.15 p.m. in the Members' Room if available, otherwise in the Arthur Mourant Room.