History Section


La Société Jersiaise

The History Section


Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday January 18th 2005 at 5.15pm
Members' Room

Members present :
Frank Falle (Chairman), Mary Billot (Secretary), Mervyn Billot, Bertram Brée, Francis & Anne Corbet, Guy Dixon, Roy Dobin, Caroline Easterbrook, Sue Hardy, Douglas Hooke, Nicolas Jouault, Sally Knight, Frank Le Blancq, Suzanne Le Feuvre, David Le Maistre, Georgia Le Maistre, Bob Le Sueur, Ian Machin, Bill Tower.

Mr Stuart Fell (Environment & Public Services Dept)
Frank Falle, Chairman, welcomed Stuart Fell, Assistant Director in E&PS, to the meeting and thanked him for coming to talk about planning applications and the protection of the built environment.
Brief summary of points made by Stuart -
Only two civil servants staff the Historic Buildings Section. The third staff member has been transferred to the Jersey Archive with the buildings files as it is a better repository and will improve access to them. The Historic Buildings Register is on the dept website. The list is now fairly static – 700 SSIs with interiors legally protected, 3800 BLIs with unprotected interiors. The new 2005 Planning Law will accelerate progress in listing buildings. However the new E&PS Committee wants the register scrutinized and critical level raised so that some St Helier buildings might be deregistered. 1840 is the date used in the UK where anything in its original form is usually registered. St Helier has hundreds of pre-1850 buildings. Here 1840 acts as a trigger to examine the building.
Very little written up except for houses. Local expertise on building archaeology is lacking because there is no umbrella organization for research (eg. a local university). The developers have commissioned MOLAS to report on 15/17 King St and 1 and 2 Vine St. Recent cases show a trend for both sides to use outside experts, eg. La Fantaisie, St Saviour.
Four thematic subjects currently being researched – St Helier urban houses, industrial buildings (loss of warehouses), farm building groups (loss of pig sties), shop-fronts (remarkable survival of early 19
th century shop-fronts).
Development control – 400/500 planning applications a year cause massive pressure on the two staff. The applications range from Mont Orgueil Castle to new window frames; no chance to supervise demolitions. No States Archaeological Officer to provide expertise – disappointing performance on that front. Ingrained local culture to develop for profit; interiors are considered to be a private concern. No local legal basis for compulsory purchase.
Fortifications – outside experts impressed with wealth of structures from Iron Age to WWII. CI merit World Heritage Site status; ongoing data gathering in Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, perhaps Sark.

Frank thanked Stuart very much for coming and said that the February meeting would discuss how to set up a link to Planning to provide local knowledge to help support his team.

1. Apologies for absence :
Yvonne Aston, Marie-Louise Backhurst, Gerry France, Mary Gibb, Sue Groves, Andy Harris, Tertius Hutt, Sarah Jordan, David Levitt.

2. Minutes of the meeting of December 14th 2004 and amendments

  1. 0 Anne Corbet was present.
  2. 6 L'Etacquerel Fort : It became the site of rave parties with evidence of drug taking.
The minutes were then approved as a correct record.

3. Matters arising from the minutes not covered by the agenda
  1. 6 Bob Le Sueur said that Property Services approached the National Trust for Jersey during Norman Le Brocq's presidency (1992-95) to take over L'Etacquerel Fort but no money was forthcoming though the NT suggested a figure of only £10,000.
  2. 9 (Minutes of November 16th 2004). Georgia Le Maistre said that the application to demolish Beaufort House, 15 Regent Road, St Helier, was not yet with the Planning Committee; however in principle permission to demolish was given in March 2004.

  3. Chairman's communications
  4. 1 Frank Falle is preparing the Section report for 2004 for the next Bulletin. Topics will include – the Avranches trip and report at the December party, the visit of the Icelandic Ambassador, the lunchtime lectures, ongoing research by members.
  5. 2 Frank said that the Three Bells Walk on Christmas Eve went very well with money raised going to the Oakwell Children's Respite Home.
  6. 4.3 Mary Billot said that Prof. Meirion-Jones and Mme Laurent have started to discuss the arrangements for the study tour to Vannes. It is on Thursday September 15th to Sunday September 18th 2005, coinciding with the Journeés Patrimoines Nationales. It will be restricted to 30 people, with preference to Section members and those who have been on previous trips. Members preferred a three-star hotel rather than a two-star hotel. Mary will ask whether a trip to Carnac is possible.
  7. 4 Roy Dobin said that Mr Alan Allix (CIOS) would show his coloured slides taken by Major Heinrich Gentner, a machine-gun battalion officer here during German Occupation at the February meeting. Mary will contact him to confirm arrangements that the slide show would be the first item at 5.15pm.

  8. Election of Section Officers and Committee
  9. 1 Georgia Le Maistre took the chair for the election of Frank Falle as Chairman (proposed by Bob Le Sueur and seconded by Mervyn Billot) and Mary Billot as Secretary (proposed by Frank Falle and seconded by Suzanne Le Feuvre). She thanked Frank and Mary for carrying on and wished the Section continuing success.
Discussion about the need for a Section committee will continue at the February meeting. Bob Le Sueur wished the Committee to continue in case it needs to meet. Please let Mary Billot know if you would like to be on this committee. Georgia Le Maistre has already volunteered.

  1. Members' contributions
  2. 1 Mary Billot circulated an original Chatham Hospital medical certificate for Philip Billot, aged 25, seaman on HMS Victory, 12th May 1780. He has been tentatively identified as Philippe Billot, baptised July 6th 1755, in Trinity.
  3. 2 Mervyn Billot has been contacted about the Gunney family, members of whom were crew on the Morning Star and the Prairie Flower (1881).
  4. 3 Nick Jouault said that the JHT website shows Jersey links with the Battle of Trafalgar. Jersey Post will issue commemorative stamps.
  5. 4Bob Le Sueur thanked the Section's Christmas Party helpers, especially Georgia Le Maistre.
  6. 5Georgia said that the St Helier Road Committee will discuss the Orviss Lane closure on January 19th, and whether the Parish should sell it for the usual £10.00 so that it could become gated.
She now has a postcard of the gateway of Beauregard, Regent Road, from the Ian Monins collection. It shows a notice for the Home for Aged & Infirm Women.
  1. She reported on a Le Rossignol datestone from the Magnolias Hotel, Millbrook. Its date is 1739 and it was found in two halves at Brocante, the architectural reclaim yard near Trinity Parish Hall. Details are now on the Glendinning datestone website. There was another datestone of 1777 also at the hotel; she wondered whether it had been preserved from destruction.
  2. The January 2005 issue of Family History Monthly has published her letter on Huguenot surnames.
  3. She is researching Helier de Jersey Le Maistre of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company.
  4. Date of next meeting
  5. Tuesday February 15th 2005 at 5.15pm, in the Members' Room.
  6. Mr Alan Allix (CIOS) will show his coloured slides of the G.O. The Section's business meeting will then take place.