History Section


La Société Jersiaise

The History Section


Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday April 15th 2003 at 5.15pm
Members' Room

1.         Members present :
Jean Arthur, Marie-Louise Backhurst, Mary Billot (Secretary), Mervyn Billot, Roy Dobin, Frank Falle (Chairman), Mary Gibb, Douglas Hooke, George Langlois, Frank Le Blancq, Georgia Le Maistre, Bob Le Sueur, Ian Machin, Alec Podger, Graham Stone, Richard & Gwyneth Syvret, Bill Tower.

Apologies :
Don & Jean Bell, Suzanne Bidel, Francis & Anne Corbet, Sue Groves, Sue Hardy, Sarah Jordan, Sally Knight, Suzanne Le Feuvre, David Levitt.

2.        Minutes of the meeting of March 18th 2003 and amendments
Douglas Hooke's apologies were omitted from the minutes, which were then approved as a correct record.

3.         Matters arising from the minutes not covered by the agenda
3.4.2        Geraint Jennings has linked the Section minutes to the search engine for the SJ website.
4.2        The minutes of the meeting of Chairmen and Secretaries on March 19th were circulated.
Frank Falle reminded everyone of the SJ EGM and AGM on April 26th. Bob Le Sueur asked about the proposed new rules and whether the revisions are clear, particularly the ones on the dissolution of the Society and offer of items to the JHT. Frank said that the Spring mailing takes place the next day and this may include details; he will contact Advocate Peter Mourant. He said that Section members should contact him by April 22nd if they have any worries. If there are sufficient numbers, he will hold a meeting of those concerned at 1.45pm on April 26th in the Arthur Mourant Room. Graham Stone said that members should attend the EGM as individuals and vote accordingly.

4.        Chairman's communications
4.1        Frank welcomed two new members to the Section - Richard & Gwyneth Syvret.
4.2        He circulated copies of his submission on Mont Orgueil Castle, which focuses on historical topics :
* the Mediaeval Great Hall (Chapel of St Mary)
* St George's Chapel (the 'original' St George's Chapel)
* St George's Hall (thought to be an early Calvinist chapel)
* the Tudor Hall (which should be renamed St George's Hall)
* the two mediaeval wall walks in the Lower Ward
* a rewording of the text so that the JHT is not limited in its interpretation to 1200-1600 only (Development Strategy, page 139, para 7:2d). [Copies with minutes file].
Frank also referred to the Norman crypt at Samarès Manor with its north/south orientation and its similarity to the two at MOC (ref. G.R. Balleine's Bailiwick of Jersey (1970), p.177). The manorial chapel was dedicated to St Martha, who is supposed to have slain a dragon, the embodiment of paganism. St Clement, patron saint of sailors, was associated with the conversion of Vikings (cf. St Clement Danes in London).
There was some discussion about the survival of paganism in St Lawrence, a centre of Viking settlement, at the time of the building of the castle. There were many witches in the parish.
Frank listed the many reasons that the name of St George is intrinsic to MOC and to Jersey, which are in his submission to the Environment & Planning Committee. A copy has also been sent to Jon Carter (JHT), who has asked for Section input. Frank confirmed that Bob Le Sueur's comments on the Interpretation Strategy have been forwarded with the Section's submission.
Mervyn Billot has discussed the issue of interpretation with Doug Ford, who said that there would be explanatory boards.
Frank said that there would be an exhibition of armour from the Tower of London and France at MOC in 2004. He will be attending the public meetings arranged by the Environment & Public Services Committee on June 11-13. Those who submitted written representations will be invited to give their views.
4.3        Frank announced that he had received further sponsorship of £1000 from Lloyds TSB for 2003. It will be spent on the radiocarbon dating of the middens and graves on Green Island (Dr Mark Patton, cost £700). The rest will be spent on DNA swabs from Mr Balfour Le Gresley of Toronto to check for Viking blood. The sponsor requests that maximum coverage be given to its grant.
4.4         The Section's annual report for 2003 is nearly ready; it has been delayed by family bereavement.
4.5        Eight members have volunteered to pick up their minutes from the Office.

5.        Members' contributions
5.1        Frank Le Blancq gave details of two drowning incidents of students at the Jesuit College - eight schoolboys at Portelet on July 7th 1915 and three students from France at Corbière on April 5th 1940. Frank said that drownings of vraic gatherers would interest Nick Jouault. Georgia Le Maistre has come across them in the death and burial registers.
5.2        Douglas Hooke said that he is starting to revise the Ralph Mollet chronology Jersey through the centuries and will include UK and world major events. Roger Long is interested. Douglas asks people to get in touch with him if they know of any errors or omissions (c/o SJ Library).
5.3        Ian Machin has finished reading the six letterbooks of General Don and the collection of letters at the Jersey Archive. There is a huge amount of surviving material covering 1806-1814 when Don wished to make Jersey impregnable to invasion. He built signal stations to link with Guernsey and Sark, the military roads and Fort Regent and his interest in agricultural self-sufficiency resulted in Don Farm at Quennevais. Please get in touch with Prof. Machin if you know of other material extant ian@machin5086.fsnet.co.uk.
        Marie-Louise Backhurst said that Rev. François Le Couteur built military roads in the 1790s so that cannon could be moved about the island.
5.4        Jean Arthur circulated a photograph dated 1949; she needs names to faces. She also said that a JEP photograph of April 4th 2003 was wrongly identified as being in St Ouen instead of St Mary.
5.5        Georgia Le Maistre said that the National Trust for Jersey website was launched on April 11th 2003 at the annual dinner www.nationaltrustjersey.org.je. She is reading Claire Tomalin's award winning biography of Samuel Pepys; there are many references to the de Carterets and a link by marriage.
5.6        George Langlois reminded members that Grosnez Castle was a refuge in time of raids, not a castle because there was no water supply. He said that the Duke of Richmond took Mont Mado granite pillars back to Goodwood House. He asked about the name 'Crapaud' rock near Elizabeth Castle, as on the Richmond map.
5.7        Marie-Louise attended the Federation of Family History Societies conference at Exeter University in early April. It was called 'Westward ho!' and it covered emigration from Dorset 1800-1900 when 100,00 left the county. The conference was stunned to learn that 8% went to the CI, a higher percentage than those who moved to the West Midlands and other industrial areas. This was non-agricultural migration, which makes the figure even more surprising. She was asked to give a report at a later date (Autumn perhaps).
5.8        Bill Tower is researching Jersey links with Weymouth.
5.9        Mary Gibb wants to establish a methodology for her economic history of the German Occupation. She hopes to convene a meeting with Bob Le Sueur, Michael Ginns and Colin Powell. She will contact Meridian at the JEP to publicize her wish to get in touch with bank workers at that time. Frank suggested that she speak on the SJ Radio Jersey slot.

6.         Date of next meeting

        Tuesday May 20th 2003, 5.15pm. In the Members' Room if available; otherwise in the Arthur Mourant Room