Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday March 15th 2005 at 5.15pm

Members’ Room


            Members present :

Frank Falle (Chairman), Jean Arthur, Marie-Louise Backhurst, Don & Jean Bell, Mary Billot (Secretary), Mervyn Billot, Bertram Brée, Gerry France, Mary Gibb, Douglas Hooke, Nicolas Jouault, Frank Le Blancq, Suzanne Le Feuvre, David Le Maistre, Georgia Le Maistre, Bob Le Sueur, David Levitt, Will Millow (new member).


1.            Apologies for absence :

Yvonne Aston, Francis & Anne Corbet, John & Pam Denize, Guy Dixon, Sue Hardy, Tertius Hutt, Sarah Jordan, Mike Lees, Bill Tower.


2.            Minutes of the meeting of February 15th 2005 and amendments   

5.2               Le Colombier [Manor] …Jean Arthur, Mary Gibb and Neil Molyneux have recorded the buildings. Mary Gibb questioned the existence of the horse’s head, which is being investigated.

The minutes were then approved as a correct record.


3.         Matters arising from the minutes not covered by the agenda

            There were no matters arising from the minutes.


4.            Chairman’s communications

4.1        Frank Falle has submitted the Section’s annual report for 2004 to the Bulletin editors. He asked for items for the Spring 2005 newsletter, including members’ current research.

4.2        He said that the National Trust for Jersey would include a flyer listing the Autumn 2005 lectures in its July mailing. The theme is Maritime Jersey; some of the slots are provisional.

§                      October 19 – Bob Le Sueur on Seymour Tower and its area

§                      October 26 – Alec Podger on Privateers

§                      November 2 – Ian Machin on d’Auvergne, Admiral of many talents

§                      November 9 – Jean Arthur on Newfoundland and the cod industry (provisional)

§                      November 16 - Frank Falle on Local links with the Le Hardy family

4.3       There are a few tickets left for the Variety Club walk around St Helier on Oak Apple Day, May 29th 2005. This is the last walk in the programme with the present Lieut-Governor.

4.4        Carnac study tour : Mary Billot said that Vannes proved impossible as a base because of a photographic festival taking up group hotel bookings. After consultation with Prof. Meirion-Jones and Mme Laurent, they agreed that Carnac was the only feasible alternative. Go France has made a quotation for thirty staying at the Hotel Diana**** and travelling by Condor. Members agreed that Mary should accept the quote and proceed with the booking. The Société Polymathique de Morbihan will probably host a reception for the group. Bob Le Sueur has a book on Vannes that members can look at.

4.5        Frank welcomed Will Millow, a new member. He is a Warwick University graduate in French and History, and has been Dr Paul Sanders’ research assistant for the new history of the German Occupation.


5.0            Members’ contributions

5.1        Jean Arthur said that she had come across a reference to gorse in the Actes des Etats. In about 1690 it was recommended that it be planted on the coast to impede invaders. 

5.2            Suzanne Le Feuvre said that the first part of the black railings of St Helier churchyard (by the dustbins) has a grille. It originally came from the Newgate St Prison chapel and separated the men from the women. Bob Le Sueur asked whether it merited a sign; the JHT has received over £23,000 from Tourism for 94 signs. He asked about ownership; it was suggested that he ask Francis Corbet. Nick Jouault said that the Cultural Strategy report emphasised the importance of signs.   

5.3               Georgia Le Maistre noted the JEP report on Jerseymen who fought at the Battle of Trafalgar. David Le Maistre knows John Hailey (Jersey Society in London) who is researching the topic.

She said that family of Dr Lilian Grandin has produced more archive material. It includes letters from Edwin Dingle, journalist and explorer, to Lilian Grandin’s father. It is now clear that they were engaged by November 1910, earlier than previously thought. The papers also cover other family matters including the foundry (1861) and coal distribution.

5.4               Marie-Louise Backhurst said that family history magazines were issuing an increasing number of almanacs, trade and historical directories scanned onto CD. She wondered if this could be a money-spinner. Scanned PDF files burned onto CD retail for about £5.00. Will Millow said that a website was scanning directories.

She has found a photographer for buildings about to be demolished and will invite her to the April meeting.

An article in The local historian, vol.35, no.1, February 2005 by Louise Wilmot (‘Nothing was ever the same again’ : public attitudes in the occupied Channel Islands) refers to Bob Le Sueur.  The author is a lecturer in history at Manchester Metropolitan University.

5.5               Bob Le Sueur asked when the first reliable census took place. Marie-Louise said that the first census took place in 1801; only statistics were produced. The General Don censuses were of the militia only and excluded foreigners.

Bob asked about the number of vacancies on Executive. Frank said that there would be two vacancies for ordinary members. Chick Anthony will stand for one of the posts, having been co-opted to complete Jean Arthur’s term as an ordinary member.  Jean is completing Collette Stevens’ term as Vice President and has two more years to serve. Georgia Le Maistre was co-opted and took over Collette’s term as an ordinary member so she also has two more years to serve. Both Chick and Georgia stood for Executive in 2004. The other vacancy would replace Damer Waddington.

5.6               Bertram Brée said that the French national police force was founded under Louis XIV; our honorary police force is an older foundation.

5.7               Gerry France said that he is researching Alfred (Fred) Amy, LRAM, a Jersey musician, composer and teacher. He lived in St Helier, ca 1887 to 1934. At the end of the 19th c. he was organist and choirmaster at St Paul’s Church. He later became a sub-professor at the Royal Academy of Music London, and served as an accompanist to the operatic class. He composed chants, hymns and secular songs. Gerry has a list of his works and wants more information.

Gerry is also interested in chants, hymn tunes and words composed or written by people working or living in Jersey. He wants to make lists to be lodged with cultural and research institutions. He would also like to edit and publish such works (subject to the agreement and co-operation of others interested).

5.8               David Levitt has 48 registered sundials to date. He has given a talk to the Jersey Astronomy Club explaining technical points and telling the story of the replacement dial at St Peter’s Church. He will give another on the seasons and sundials on March 20th (the spring Equinox) at La Hougue Bie.

5.9               Nick Jouault found a reference to P.G. Larbalestier and his cantata Liberi gaudeamus in the JEP (June 19th 1945). PGL sent a copy to the Royal Library and received a letter from Buckingham Palace.

Rev. Roy Fenn, FSA, archivist and historian to Aggregate Industries plc, is researching the history of Ronez Quarry for the St John Parish magazine, and the Aggregate Industries website. Nick wants more information on Mr Blackburn’s daughter; Mr Blackburn was deported to Biberach and returned to get Ronez going again after the GO.

5.10            Will Millow wants to know when Winston Churchill visited Jersey. [See Sinel, Jersey through the centuries – Aug.29th 1913 as First Lord of the Admiralty for four hours].

5.11            David Le Maistre said that there was no local musicography of the works of local composers, as has been mentioned at the Bibliography Section. P.G. Larbalestier’s daughter lent the letter from Buckingham Palace to someone and did not get it back.

5.12            Frank Falle said that Dr Barbara Crawford is researching a book on St Clement. He asked for members’ research topics – Suzanne Le Feuvre (St Mary’s Agricultural Society), Jean Arthur (house histories), Georgia Le Maistre (Helier de Jersey Le Maistre), Mervyn Billot (agricultural machinery), Ian Machin (Admiral d’Auvergne), Marie-Louise Backhurst (urban and mediaeval history), Gerry France (Alfred Amy, chants, hymn tunes and words).

5.13            Nick Jouault gave a talk on the Chinese Junk ‘ Keying’, built in Canton in 1846 as a floating trade exhibition. It left Hong Kong in December 1846 bound for London; westerly winds caused her to visit New York first. By March 11th 1848 she was off the Roches Douvres and was the cause of much interest. She arrived in London on March 27th 1848. Frank thanked Nick for his very interesting talk.                                            [See official minutes for full text of Nick’s talk.]


6.0               Date of next meeting

            Tuesday April 19th 2005 at 5.15pm, in the Members’ Room if available, otherwise in the Arthur Mourant Room.