History Section

La Société Jersiaise

The History Section

La Section d'l'Histouaithe


Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday May 18th 2004 at 5.15pm
Members' Room

        Members present :
Frank Falle (Chairman), Jean Arthur, Yvonne Aston, Marie-Louise Backhurst, Don Bell, Mary Billot (Secretary), Mervyn Billot, Gavin Booth, Bertram Brée, Francis & Anne Corbet, Guy Dixon, Roy Dobin, Caroline Easterbrook, Gerry France, Mary Gibb, Sue Groves, Douglas Hooke, George Langlois, Frank Le Blancq, Suzanne Le Feuvre, David Le Maistre, Georgia Le Maistre, Bob Le Sueur, David Levitt, Bill Tower.

1.        Apologies for absence :
Sue Hardy, Sarah Jordan, Sally Knight, Ian Machin.

2.        Minutes of the meeting of April 20th 2004 and amendments
  1. 3709 AD – the land bridge. Everyone is entitled to have an opinion; Frank Falle will give a consensus view.
The minutes were then accepted as a correct record.

3.         Matters arising from the minutes not covered by the agenda
There were no matters arising from the minutes.
  1. Chairman's communications
  2. 1Frank Falle thanked Francis Corbet for his tour of the monuments in the Parish Church of St Helier. Two sessions were needed to cover this interesting subject. Francis' book is now available for sale.
  3. 2Francis said that the Joan Stevens lecture by Sir James Holt on May 19th was a sell out.
  4. 3Mary Billot said that the CIFHS 25th anniversary exhibition was on the weekend of May 22/23, at Trinity Parish Church. Georgia Le Maistre is organising the refreshments.
She said that the RJAHS Country Fair was on the Bank Holiday weekend of May 29/31 at its Trinity HQ; the National Trust for Jersey has a stand which members were invited to visit.

  1. Members' contributions
  2. 1George Langlois circulated three items. One was the June 2004 issue on the D-Day landings of La Presse de la Manche; one of the articles about the German Occupation was very anti-Jersey. The second one was an article in the Sunday Telegraph of May 14th 2000, which was also anti-Jersey. He also said that A.C. Saunders gave George's father an inscribed set of his four books on Jersey written in the 1930s. G R. Balleine drew on them for his history of the bailiwick.
  3. 2Bob Le Sueur said that the Royal Archaeological Institute has organised a study tour of Jersey, July 11 – 15th. Its remit is broad (historical and archaeological) and a provisional programme has been arranged.
Bob said that the re-enactment of the St Clement Seigneurial Court at Samarès Manor on May 17th was a very successful start to the parish's week of celebrations marking 1204-2004. It had been thoroughly researched by Peter Bisson.
He asked about the co-option to complete a two-year term for a general member of Executive, created by Collette Stevens becoming Vice President. Frank said that Executive has discussed the vacancy but no decision has yet been made.
  1. 3David Le Maistre said that the book in French on the Granville Raid of March 1945 is still in print.
Roy Dobin said that Michael Ginns wrote an article on the raid for the CIOS journal.
David reported on the recent successful sale of books and postcards belonging to the late Ian Monins, with postcard collectors coming from Guernsey and the UK. There still 20,000 postcards to sell. David showed a few examples of interest, including the Girls' Collegiate School and the Dickens Players.
Frank raised the subject of the capturing of images for the Photographic Archive, especially of examples that the SJ cannot afford to buy. Georgia asked whether a budget was available; she cited the example of the Ecréhous scrapbook for sale at Bonhams a couple of years ago, which went to another bidder.
David said that family photographs should be scanned for interesting backgrounds of social history.
This will be discussed further at the June meeting.
  1. 4Frank Le Blancq went to the Ramsgate Maritime Museum in late 2003; it featured the great storm of 1703 when the Royal Navy lost many ships and 8,000 men; ships were also lost on the Goodwin Sands. There is material in the St Malo Archive and mention in States deliberations of 1704 that the sea had flooded St Ouen's Pond.
  2. Mary Gibb said that she had seen a recent TV programme on excavating the ships on the Goodwin Sands.
  3. 6David Levitt has recorded 40 sundials in 3½ years; the latest example is at La Sergenté, St Mary (limestone, 1811). He has now seen the one at St Ouen's Manor and he installed the new one at St Peter's Church. He wrote to the Planning Dept about the poor state of the Royal Square sundial; Georgia said that repairs were being done today.
  4. 7Sue Groves said that a joint Archive/SJ bid for Lillie Langtry letters recently sold at Mitchell's Auction Co. in Cockermouth was unsuccessful.
  5. 8Georgia Le Maistre is continuing to research Edwin Dingle's family background and has found some useful facts. His mother died when he was a baby. His father remarried and had a daughter Thirza; he died in 1891. She circulated a book by W.A. Grist on Samuel Pollard, pioneer missionary in China (Henry Hooks & Cassell, no publication date but after 1912) that had references to Mr and Mrs Dingle (Lilian Grandin).
  6. 9Marie-Louise Backhurst circulated a recent Jersey Tourism brochure Discovery begins with Jersey, which features snippets of inaccurate information as 'Did you know?'
She said that she was researching no.16 New St (now owned by the National Trust for Jersey) and found the records of the West of England Insurance Co. very useful.
  1. She is also researching nos 1/2 Vine St and 15/17 King St as the owners wish to demolish and rebuild. She circulated photographs of the block and confirmed that the passage from King St to the Royal Square is private property and would be built on if redeveloped. Her researches show that the buildings date from at least 1725.
Marie-Louise asked what should the Section do? It was agreed that she should draft a letter to Francis Corbet (President) and Frank Falle (Section Chairman).
Frank said that there was no longer a line of communication with the Planning Dept; he considers this irresponsible. Jean Arthur said that the Built Heritage Subcommittee of the Planning & Environment Committee was disbanded a year ago. Bob Le Sueur would like the Sections to write directly to Planning.
Francis Corbet reminded members of the protocol – letters to be sent out on SJ headed notepaper should be shown to Executive (if there is time) or to the President and Executive Director. Otherwise letters should go out on Section notepaper only.
  1. 10Bertram Brée said that the group going to Avranches on September 18/19 is now full with 25 people, plus driver. He has arranged an advantageous price with Emeraude Ferries at a cost of £51.20 for the return ticket plus insurance. He will send out invoices shortly asking for an initial payment of £100 (twin bedded room) and £120 (single room). The coach will be extra; meals will be settled individually. Saturday dinner will be at Les 13 Assiettes restaurant by the hotel; Sunday lunch will be at the Mont St Michel restaurant at Mont St Michel. In both cases we must give advance notice of menus.
  2. 11Guy Dixon said that the Planning Dept does not seem to record buildings about to be demolished. Hidden features appear from behind plasterwork and wallpaper which are sold to local builders and then sold on out of historical context.
  3. He said that the Royal Square foundations (Vine St) could date from the 1600s or earlier.
  4. 11Gavin Booth said that Teddy Boielle featured in Showcase, the history of the Jersey Eisteddfod. Mr L.J. Le Moignan has sent him an 1832 description of Mont Orgueil Castle and an 1837 description of an average Jerseyman. Gavin said that he was interested in the Ian Monins postcard of the Dickens Players.
  5. 12Yvonne Aston is researching regiments in Jersey, in particular the Dorset Light Infantry and the Somerset Fusiliers. Georgia suggested looking in the British Press & Jersey Times almanacs, the 1851 census and books in the SJ Library (lists of UK regiments and their postings).
  6. She asked about the cubby holes below Fort Regent; Frank said that De La Mare built them for the States to provide storage for boat and ship builders' tools.
  7. 13Frank gave a talk about the Vikings on the Loire, with OHPs. As time was short, he will conclude at the June meeting and will cover the Nantais breed of cattle.

  8. Date of next meeting
  9. Tuesday June 15th 2004 at 5.15pm, in the Members' Room if available, otherwise in the Arthur Mourant Room.