History Section

La Société Jersiaise

The History Section

La Section d'l'Histouaithe


Minutes of the Meeting held Tuesday August 20th 2002 at 5.15pm
Members' Room

1.         Members present :
Marie-Louise Backhurst, Don Bell, Mary Billot (Secretary), Mervyn Billot, Gavin Booth, Frank Falle (Chairman), Nelson Fauvel, Derek Gray, Douglas Hooke, Tertius Hutt, Nicolas Jouault, Bob Le Sueur, David Levitt, Bill Tower.

Apologies :
Jean Bell, Francis & Anne Corbet, John & Pam Denize, Guy Dixon, Sally Knight, Frank Le Blancq, David Le Maistre, Georgia Le Maistre, Alec Podger.

2.        Minutes of the meeting of July 16thth 2002, and amendments

The minutes were approved as a correct record, after some minor amendments were made. David Levitt was thanked for taking these minutes.

3.         Matters arising from the minutes not covered by the agenda
2The 'Down Your Way ' walk on September 22nd in St Peter has attracted 150 people, which the Parish Hall can accommodate.
5Prof. Goldstein's lecture is provisionally scheduled for January 28 or 29, 2003, at the Arts Centre; he has to confirm this date because of his other commitments.
Mont Orgueil Castle
Mervyn Billot would like new floors for to provide access.
Frank Falle said that the transcript and conclusions from the Development Strategy seminar on July 5th have been circulated. FoMO has also circulated a transcript of the broadcast by Brian Davison (Archaeological Consultant) on BBC Radio Jersey on July 16th, following the meeting on July 15th at St Martin's Public Hall.
Bob Le Sueur reminded the meeting that the area under debate was first so named by E.T. Nicolle.

1Bob took a party of twelve people to Icho Tower on August 11th in wet weather; two were from the History Section. Chris Aubin had suggested that Bob's notes should be submitted for publication in the SJ Bulletin.
6.6 Nelson Fauvel circulated photographs of St John, including the hotel and Mr Barette, who climbed the church spire.

Chairman's announcements

1The Pirou trip has 12 people so far; the maximum is set at 20. Bob Le Sueur has made some suggestions, especially on the Granville ferry.

2The SJ Executive has issued new financial regulations and a protocol for issuing public statements, effective from August 1st 2002. [Copy with minutes].

3A flyer for the Section's Autumn lunch-time lectures was distributed at the meeting and will go out with these minutes.

4Querns at La Hougue Mauger - Frank suggested a joint meeting with the Archaeology Section to debate the origins (whether of Neolithic origin or later and smashed because of pressure to use the seigneurial mills).

Marie-Louise Backhurst said that other issues could also be debated.
David Levitt said that a paper should be circulated to drive the subject forward; Frank agreed to do this.

4.5 Mary Billot reported -

·John Denize sent the French/Jerriais translations of the Grosnez notices to Doug Ford; the script has now gone to Olga Finch. John said that he is willing to do the same for the notices for the round towers.

·The book on the Bible Christians in Jersey by Rev. Tom Nicholas has been published (56p, £5.00) and is for sale from the SJ Bookshop or from the author.

·The Jersey Library Local Studies collection will be open to readers from September 16th, Monday & Thursday, 9.30 - 1.00pm in term time only. A brochure is available from the Library.

·Prof. Meirion-Jones (with Prof. Michael Jones) offered to lead a study group to Finistère in September 2003 - this must not be overlooked.

Members' contributions
1David Levitt reported on his horology interests and his Jersey sundial register. He is preparing measurements for the new slate dial for St Peter. He has examined the example at Mont à l'Abbé Manor and will do the same for the one at Sycamore Cottage in St Aubin shortly (thanks to Sue Hardy). He has plugged the register in the National Trust for Jersey Newsletter (Summer 2002) and has been interviewed for the JEP. [Details with minutes].

2David wants information about the plaster rendering of roughstone walls both inside and outside; the Victorians removed original plasterwork.

Mervyn said that part of La Porte, St Saviour, was built pre-1600 and it was rendered outside with 'clay' plaster for a hundred years; it is now cement. Marie-Louise asked whether domestic buildings would have been plastered because of a shortage of local lime. Prof. Meirion-Jones said that he was puzzled by the lack of use of clay in Jersey (Joan Stevens' lecture, January 2002). Don Bell said that clay was used in Brittany.

3Bob Le Sueur said that the CIOS Bulletin for 2001 included a talk by Mrs Chamier-Grove on the exploits of her brother and his friends, which included Don Bell, a Section member.

4Gavin Booth said that the stone compass by the German observation tower at Mont Orgueil Castle is German. Two US soldiers checked it for accuracy in 1999 as it is a waypoint for the US Military's Global Positioning System (GPS). It is now missing from its position. Gavin will check its whereabouts with the CIOS.

5Gavin also spoke about the Emile L'Angelier murder in 1857; the verdict of 'Not proven' was given against Madeleine Smith. Emile was baptised a Roman Catholic in 1823 but was later re-baptised an Anglican aged seven with his siblings in St Helier Church in 1830. There is a monument to the family in Green St Cemetery. [Details in SJ Library].

6Tertius Hutt continues his research into small non-conformist chapels of the early 1800s. He circulated two photographs of interiors for dating and identification.

7Nick Jouault circulated an email enquiry from Texas about a successful blockade runner of the US Civil War - Francis McNiven, described as a Jerseyman born in 1829. [Details with minutes].

5.8 Marie-Louise Backhurst reported that -

·The St Brelade book will be launched on August 29th with a signing session, 4.00-630pm, Parish Hall. A St Clement parish book has been suggested

·The 'Next' shop, 16 King St, is being renovated; it has interesting cellars

·An application to demolish the Chelsea Hotel has been submitted; it has streams and a cobbled roadway underneath

·There is a reference to Mr Tyrell (alias of Thomas Piction) in the La Haule MSS (private ownership). A letter of November 3rd 1780 called him 'a fine old man'.

·The new Jersey Archive chief archivist starts on October 1st 2002. The Archive will be closed that week for the Society of Archivists' annual conference in Jersey.

·Diane Enget will give a lecture on André Gide to Les Amitiés Franco-Britanniques, November 13th, Arthur Mourant Room.

5.9        Mervyn Billot has finished his book on farm tools and machinery; the Section offered him its congratulations.

5.10        Don Bell attended Dr Frank Le Maistre's funeral and said that it was a very moving ceremony.

Any other business

Bob reminded members of the next SJ members' meeting - Mrs G. Dagtogolou on Treasures of Georgia, Saturday August 31st, 8.00pm.

Date of next meeting
Tuesday September 17th 2002, 5.15pm, Members Room if available, otherwise Arthur Mourant Room.