History Section

La Société Jersiaise

The History Section

La Section d'l'Histouaithe


Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday May 20th 2003 at 5.15pm
Members' Room

1.         Members present :
Jean Arthur, Marie-Louise Backhurst, Mary Billot (Secretary), Mervyn Billot, Gavin Booth, Bertram Brée, Francis & Anne Corbet, Guy Dixon, Roy Dobin, Caroline Easterbrook, Frank Falle (Chairman), Sue Groves, Nick Jouault, George Langlois, Frank Le Blancq, Suzanne Le Feuvre, Georgia Le Maistre, Bob Le Sueur, Ian Machin, Gwyneth Syvret.
Apologies :
Don & Jean Bell, Mary Gibb, Sue Hardy, Sarah Jordan, Sally Knight, David Le Maistre, David Levitt, Graham Stone, Bill Tower.

2.        Minutes of the meeting of April 15th 2003 and amendments
4.2        The exhibition of mediaeval armour in 2004 will take place at the Jersey Museum, not at Mont Orgueil Castle.
5.5        Samuel Pepys biography by Claire Tomalin - 'There are many references to the Carterets and a link by marriage to Pepys' family'. That branch of the family anglicised the surname by dropping the 'de' prefix.

3.         Matters arising from the minutes not covered by the agenda
3.4.2        Bob Le Sueur asked what was a search engine? A definition was given - a computer program that collects Web page information and indexes it, thereby enabling the user to search the index using keyed in terms. The pages are then ranked with the best match listed first.
5.6        George Langlois reiterated that there was no water at Grosnez. The well at Elizabeth Castle was enclosed by the extensions to the abandoned priory.
5.9         (Minute of March 18th 2003) Francis Corbet reiterated his offer to show members around the Town Church and its monuments. It was agreed to hold the Section meeting on Tuesday August 19th in the Church. This will be a short business meeting followed by the tour. Frank Falle thanked Francis for his kind offer.
5.9        Bob Le Sueur said that Mary Gibb is now in touch with Mr Keeping, who worked at the Jersey Savings Bank during the German Occupation. Frank said that the Section meeting on October 21st would be a special meeting to support Mary in her economic history of the G.O. and to give her an opportunity to record members' reminiscences (provided that the suggested date suits her).

4.        Chairman's communications
4.1        Frank complimented the Section on its continuing high turnout at meetings.
4.2        The Section's report for 2003 is with the Bulletin editor. The Spring 2003 newsletter is now out.
4.3        Denise Veron-Hambie (Norman French speaker and author) hopes to come to Jersey in June; as she speaks no English she will need a host/ess who speaks French. Section members on the Pirou Castle visit in 2002 will remember her delight in hearing spoken Jerriais as she had not known of its similarity to Norman French.
4.4        Mont Orgueil Castle planning application P/2003/0251
        Stuart Fell phoned Frank and said that the Environment & Public Services Dept could only take note of the contents of the Section's submission, as it covered nomenclature and historic use of buildings. Jon Carter and Doug Ford are compiling the plan. Frank circulated the E&PS letter of May 19th 2003, which has been sent to those who had made submssions.
        Bob Le Sueur asked about Schedule D of the letter, which covered the provisional programme of the Committee meetings, 11-13 June at the RJAHS Hall. He said that there was little time for presentations from those who had made submissions. Frank said that we have our foot in the door at the JHT and we need to pursue that path. He also said that Dr Rodwell would meet him on June 9th to review MOC nomenclature, St George's Chapel (1755 plan) and its possible role as a Calvinist chapel.
4.5        Frank will write a letter supporting Chris Aubin's letter to the JEP about Fort Regent (May 16th 2003), sending a copy to E&PS. He will emphasise the totality of Fortress Jersey from the Celtic era to the present day and would welcome members' views.
4.6        Jon Carter (JHT) is asking for input from the Section for the 2004 display of mediaeval armour, 1204-1483. The personalities were Pero Nino, Bertrand du Guesclin, Sir Hugh de Calveley. Bob Le Sueur emphasised that the French 'occupation' of Jersey was only by the French supporters of Henry VI and the Lancastrian cause in the Wars of the Roses. The de St Martins were Lancastrians and helped the French capture Mont Orgueil; their rivals the de Carterets were Yorkists.
4.7        Frank said that there was a need to promote the Friends of the Maritime Museum database in the JEP. Mervyn Billot supplied some background information to the project, which is in need of more volunteers. The crew data is being entered from the volumes of the Jersey Merchant Seamen's Benefit Society and the ships' data was from the Shipping registers at the Harbour Office.
4.8        The next 'Down your way' walk is on May 25th in St Martin, and will commemorate Oak Apple Day.
4.9        Frank circulated a memo from Deirdre Shute about security, health and safety and the Spirit of Les Mielles NGO village, regarding the 25th anniversary of its designation as ' a special place' by the States.

5.        Members' contributions
5.1        Sue Groves circulated the latest monthly update of new accessions to the Jersey Archive, which includes a large deposit of Trinity (civil) Parish records, 1649-1990s and the GRO indexes on fiche for births, marriages and deaths, July 1837-December 1866. The Public Records (Jersey) Law will be on the statute book on July 1st 2003. Family history week starts on Monday June 30th and the GRO indexes will be ready for consultation in the Louise Rose Room. September is Archive Awareness Month in Jersey and the UK, organised by Resource (the co-ordinating body for archives, libraries and museums).
5.2        Georgia Le Maistre commented on the Bonhams sale on May 14th. She also drew attention to the similarity of the logo of Voisin's department store here and Voisin's in Lyons; she wondered if there had ever been a link. The Jersey Voisins were Huguenots. She said that 2006 was the 100th anniversary of Lilian Grandin's arrival in China and her journey up the Yangtse River to her mission station. It has been suggested to Georgia that she should write a book for 2006 but funding would be needed.
5.3        Bertram Brée is in contact with Prof. Le Pelley (Caen University) about a meeting in 2004 to mark 1204. He has received more information from Frank Le Blancq on the Jersey leopards. He is planning the 2004 trip to Avranches and its new archive building.
5.4        Nick Jouault supplied some more details on William Henry Le Feuvre. [Copy with official minutes].
        He said that a vraic marker from St Brelade was at Hamptonne (via La Hougue Bie); three more are in situ. He asked whether the St Catherine's Breakwater 'pebble' of Rozel conglomerate was another marker?
5.5        Gavin Booth said that the 'pebble' was near St Martin's House prior to the German Occupation and that the German forces rolled it down to St Catherine's to help form a tank barrier. [But see the St Martin parish book, p.202, where it is outside the lighthouse keeper's cottage at the breakwater, pre WW1]. He gave details of the presentation of the silver wedding anniversary bowl to his grandparents, Deputy and Mrs E.C. Boielle, in 1925. He also recounted a 1925 EP report on a disorientated visitor who ended up at Plemont without her luggage; her parents thought that she had gone to Yorkshire on holiday.
5.6        George Langlois circulated a 'napoleon', a gold 20FF coin of Napoleon III (1866) found in St Clement.
5.7        Ian Machin continues to research General Don and has found interesting information on the signalling system that he introduced. He said that Sir John Doyle, Lieut.-Governor in Guernsey 1804-1815, started military roads there before Don. His term of office started before and ended after that of Don.
5.8        Anne Corbet recounted a story about Blanche Caroline Corbet, a Great Western Railway stewardess on the Ibex, the Reindeer and the Vera, a London & South-Western Railway mail-boat, which sunk a U-boat whilst the latter was on loan to the Great Western Railway in WWI. Mrs Corbet was on board the Vera when the incident occurred and she was given two brass shell-cases as a souvenir. Francis Corbet is her grandson and still has the shell-cases. [Details with official minutes].
5.9        Francis Corbet needs books on pre-Revolutionary Breton heraldry to identify a memorial to a Breton royalist which is outside the Town Church.
5.10        Marie-Louise Backhurst recently visited St George's Church at Hinton St George in Somerset, the home of the Poulet family. After the sale of the estate, Lord and Lady Poulett lived in St Martin. The earldom has died out but the marquisate survives. 2004 marks the anniversary of Claude Debussy's visit to Jersey in 1904; he composed part of La mer here and was inspired to compose L'Ile joyeuse in Eastbourne.
5.11         Graham Stone (via Frank Falle) said that signals by fire could be sent over 150-200 miles using the horizon. It was feasible therefore to signal from La Hambie in Normandy to La Hougue Bie.

6.         Date of next meeting

        Tuesday June 17th 2003, 5.15pm. In the Members' Room if available; otherwise in the Arthur Mourant Room