The History Section
La Section d'l'Histouaithe
Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday March 21st 2006 at 5.15pm, Members' Room
Frank Falle (Chairman), Jean Arthur, Marie-Louise Backhurst, Mary Billot, Mervyn Billot, Bertram Brée, Mike & Jill Cotter, Gerry France, Nicolas Jouault, Frank Le Blancq, Suzanne Le Feuvre, David Le Maistre, Georgia Le Maistre, Bob Le Sueur, Mike Lees, David Levitt, Ian Machin, Pat Maindonald, Rose Millow, Will Millow, Paul Nicolle, David Woodall.
1. Apologies for absence
Yvonne Aston, Francis & Ann Corbet, Roy Dobin, Mary Gibb, Sue Groves, Sue Hardy, Andy Harris, Douglas Hooke, Tertius Hutt.
2. Minutes of the meeting of February 21st 2006 and amendments
4.7 Mike Lees is co-ordinator of the Forts and Towers Working Party.
5.6 David Woodall said that Le Pinacle was a speculative signal station in Gallo-Roman times. Bob Le Sueur said that he climbed it to do a section dig and found little round stones, which could not have got there naturally. He wondered whether they were sling stones. The base of Le Pinacle was a defended site.
6.16 Frank Falle said that troops were billeted at the canning factory at Grève d'Azette (George Croad, A Jersey album).
The minutes were then approved as a correct record.
3. Matters arising from the minutes not covered by the agenda
5.9 Frank Le Blancq agreed with Alec Podger about the difficulty of establishing the facts of drownings at sea. Sometimes there are only death notices or snippets in the newspapers. A death at sea (or in a foreign port) is not always recorded in the Jersey Merchant Seamen's Benefit Society records even though Frank knows that
it has occurred.
4. Chairman's communications
Members stood for a minute's silence to remember Caroline Easterbrook, who died on February 21st 2006.
Frank Falle welcomed John Cabot, a member from Boston, Mass. He also welcomed Chick Anthony, chairman of the Environment Section.
4.1 Frank said that Nick Jouault's name would go forward as the SJ Executive's representative on the JHT. Nick has very wide interests and is active in several sections - History, Marine Biology and Ornithology.
4.2 He asked whether members want to have a meeting every three months which they could use to present topics and test out their ideas. An alternative would be to have a separate meeting of presentations. David Levitt said that it was a useful discipline to make a short presentation (10 mins) with a written paper (preferably as a Word document for the Section's website pages). Marie-Louise Backhurst said that she would report back on the 'Mapping the town' workshop on March 30th at the April meeting.
4.3 The next round of 'Down your way' walks will start in Grouville in Sept/Oct. with the new Lt-Governor.
4.4 Members' meetings - Nick Jouault is on an Executive sub-committee examining members' meetings. Deirdre Shute wishes to retire as chairman of the Members' Meetings sub-committee. Fewer members are turning up and a revamp is needed. Other options include discussion meetings (eg. on the Waterfront). Nick said that unfair comparisons are made with the History Section's autumn lectures.
Bob Le Sueur asked about publicity and said that they need to be plugged more in the Newsletter; Frank said that they are open to the public and are advertised in the JEP Diary and on BBC Radio Jersey.
Marie-Louise Backhurst said that the SJ has a very disparate membership and asked whether the meetings are for education or entertainment. The purpose of the SJ is to disseminate information. She suggested quarterly meetings with reports from Executive about happenings, with a possible speaker. She thought that the six-monthly Chairmen and Secretaries' meetings have subsumed 'Members' meetings. Public meetings with specific objectives are needed, also evening classes (perhaps a course of five).
Sue Hardy regretted the demise of the small blue card with list of fixtures.
5. Honorary Secretary's communications
5.1 The Jersey Archive Open Day is on Saturday March 25th from 10am to 4pm, with tours behind the scenes.
5.2 The 2006 programme of Autumn lunch-time lectures has been finalised; details in the Spring Newsletter.
6. Forts and Towers Working Party report
Mike Lees is the co-ordinator and has done an enormous amount of research. He said that submissions on La Crête Fort have to be with Roger Hills (JA) by March 31st. Comments on the Archirondel Tower conservation statement are needed by April 10th. Marie-Louise Backhurst suggested that there would be useful information in the minutes of the Comité de la Defense, Comité des Havres and Comité des Chaussées. Mike said that he has copies of historic maps and thought that there was scope for ten-minute talks on the research done.
7. Members' contributions
7.1 Bertram Brée said that the Normandy weekend would be on Friday September 1st to Monday September 4th, costing £300 for half board, coach and ferry. He outlined the contents of the programme. After some discussion it was decided that there the first two nights would be at a hotel in Carentan and the third night in Coutances, rather than the second night in Cherbourg. Section members will be circulated with the next set of minutes.
Bertram is researching Victor Hugo and Chateaubriand and suggested that French schoolchildren should come over on trips.
7.2 David Le Maistre asked if anyone knew about the CI World War One Study Group. (JEP Temps Passé, 10/2/2006).
He said that the Lauzun medal with the Trafalgar clasp has now been given to the JHT. He has received further documentation about Francis Daniel Lauzun from John Hailey (Croydon), which will go to the Archive. Lauzun signed on aged 10 in 1800. The Captain's log of HMS 'Britannia' has survived and includes the Battle of Trafalgar. The medal will hang in the Maritime Museum with a dedication to RNR officers and ratings (1939-45). Details will go into the SJ Autumn newsletter and the Friends of the Maritime Museum (FMM) newsletter. Georgia Le Maistre said that a portrait of Lauzun is needed. [Details in minutes file]
David has received further material from Philip Larbalestier's daughter. He gave notice of the open meeting of the Postcards Study Group of the Bibliography Section (Thursday May 4th, 8pm, Members Room).
7.3 Mervyn Billot said that a future FMM newsletter article will be about the 'Regina' a local ship which traded between the Orkneys and western Scotland. She was broken up in 1931 (owner Mr Carter). The FMM computer will move to the Maritime Museum shortly and its data will be available for public use.
7.4 David Levitt circulated an article (New scientist, 11 February 2006) on Philip Carteret's circumnavigation of the world in 1767 in HMS Swallow, which was leaky, poorly equipped, slow and hard to handle. He discovered and named the Carteret Islands, six low-lying islands in the South Seas with 1500 inhabitants. They are newsworthy as they will disappear within a decade because of global warming. [Copy in minutes file]
7.5 Pat Maindonald brought in an 1821 map by Admiral Martin White, which was found at Tesson Mill. She has donated it to the SJ Library.
7.6 Georgia Le Maistre said that the St Ouen parish book is being resurrected with Ken Syvret as editor. She will contribute an article about the Grandin quintuplets.
7.7 Jill Cotter has a maritime story for Alec Podger. In 1849 the schooner 'Larch' picked up US survivors from the ship 'Beaver' in the mid Atlantic.
7.8 Bob Le Sueur said that Mary Gibb wants information on any nourrices (saltwater pans for shellfish) at La Pulente, St Brelade's Bay and Grève de Lecq. She knows about the ones at L'Etacq (3), Bonne Nuit (1), below Highlands Hotel Corbière (1), Gorey (several), Archirondel, Rozel (several), Elizabeth Castle an Green Island.
He said that volunteers are needed for envelope stuffing on April 18th (details from the SJ Office).
7.9 David Woodall circulated a new title from the Fortress Study Group in the CI 1941-45 by Charles Stephenson (Osprey, 2005). He said that he was leaving in September to go to Newcastle University to study for an MA in Museum Studies. The Section congratulated him and wished him well.
7.10 Nick Jouault needs a complete set of measurements of the Mont de la Ville dolmen (now in Henley on Thames) for a full size replica to be placed on the Glacis field at Fort Regent. Georgia Le Maistre has a copy of the James Hibbs pamphlet (Little Master Stonehenge), which will help him. Frank Falle said that there was a model at La Hougue Bie.
7.11 Marie-Louise Backhurst said the Historic Landscape Characterization update (farm buildings) takes place on Friday March 31st. It is by invitation only (contact Roger Hills, JA). The SJ Bulletin will be out by Easter. Her workshop on 'Mapping the Town' is on March 31st. The utilities are using digital mapping with constant updating. There will be a historic re-enactment of Philip d'Auvergne's spymaster at Mont Orgueil Castle (1790s). The castle re-opens to the public on April 2nd. She has been searching the BL online catalogue on a recent visit.
8. Date of next meeting
Tuesday 18th April 2006 at 5.15 p.m. in the Members' Room if available, otherwise in the Arthur Mourant Room.