History Section


La Société Jersiaise

The History Section


Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday October 19th 2004 at 5.15pm
Members' Room

Members present :
Frank Falle (Chairman), Marie-Louise Backhurst, Don & Jean Bell, Mary Billot (Secretary), Mervyn Billot, Bertram Brée, Guy Dixon, Roy Dobin, Caroline Easterbrook, Sue Groves, Andy Harris, Nicholas Jouault, George Langlois, Frank Le Blancq, Suzanne Le Feuvre, David Le Maistre, Georgia Le Maistre, Bob Le Sueur, David Levitt, Ian Machin, Bill Tower.

Mont Orgueil Castle
Frank Falle, Chairman, welcomed Jon Carter, Director Jersey Heritage Trust, and Doug Ford, Head of Community Learning, JHT, to the meeting and thanked them for coming to talk about the historical interpretation and exhibition scheme for the Castle.
Jon said that the scheme had four headings –
1. Signage. Sixty signs will explain the structure and archaeology of the exterior and interior. The content is still to be decided. In English and French. The 'Castle dictionary' concept will explain specialized vocabulary and personages.
2. Display of finds, objects and material found at MOC. The Museum Room will be re-established in the Keep, with object specific displays (coins, weapons, clay pipes, etc.)
3. Use of replicas inside and out. Artillery with the help of the Royal Armories at Portsmouth, figurative sculptures in wood and metal; one to be based on Sir Hugh Calviley (Warden, contemporary of du Guesclin). General figures, Rybot's list of the garrison/archers at MOC.
4. Guidebooks – two 64p. illustrated pamphlets (one by Warwick Rodwell, one by Doug Ford covering the archaeology, history and exhibits). Development of tours, guides and living history.

A new planning application has been submitted to Planning for the enclosure of the Keep. Limited resources will not cover the expense of a dig in the Keep area. The academic volume was overlooked in the budget; the pamphlets are costed. Computer animation is being examined, and the use of video. Need to turn over the exhibits before they get stale. Doug said that the project would be finished in 2006; perhaps an annual seminar is possible; research material must not be lost. Jon remarked that it is strange that MOC is so unknown in the literature of castles; Doug said that one-off documentaries are difficult to place in the market.

Suggestions from members – keen support for models (computer and static) especially the neolithic and bow and arrow fort. Focus on a star item or personage to change monthly? The religious theme is important, also the imprisoned regicides and Parliamentarians. Time line from Palaeolithic man. Publication of research papers in the SJ Bulletin.

Frank thanked Jon and Doug coming and gave them our best wishes for the completion of the project. He suggested that further points can be made direct to Jon and Doug.

1. Apologies for absence :
Jean Arthur, Francis & Anne Corbet, Mary Gibb, Sue Hardy, Tertius Hutt, Sarah Jordan, Richard & Gwyneth Syvret.

2. Minutes of the meeting of September 21st 2004 and amendments
5.3 Gavin Booth said that Valentine Joyce, a Jerseyman, lead the Spithead Mutiny in 1797.

  1. 7 A boyarde is an old term for a hoy, where people used to load or catch boats. … The Chemins de fer de l'Ouest were promoting Jersey as a holiday destination in the 1920s/1930s.
  2. These were then approved as a correct record.

3. Matters arising from the minutes not covered by the agenda
  1. 5.7 Bob Le Sueur said that the paperback version of Wace's Roman de Rou was entitled The history of the Norman people : Wace's Roman de Rou. Frank Falle said that there were no funds for the publication of the papers of the Wace Colloquium.
  2. 3 Georgia Le Maistre said that the lists of planning applications were now going to Frank Falle and would then be passed on to her. Marie-Louise Backhurst said that Gavin Booth used to photograph buildings due for demolition. Georgia wishes to discuss this topic further and will convene a small informal sub-section including Guy Dixon, Bob Le Sueur, Marie-Louise, George Langlois, Don & Jean Bell, Roy Dobin. Nick Jouault volunteered to take photographs but does not wish to be a member of the sub-section.
  3. 2 Guy Dixon said that John Vint has details of an Anthoine from Longueville who was travelling from Jersey to school in England; the ship was press ganged so he was an involuntary witness of the Battle of Trafalgar.
  4. 33 Jerseymen were present, including two officers.
  5. 10 There was nothing new to report from the CIFHS Gaspé tour. Michael Vautier brought back two volumes listing Protestant births in the Gaspé.
  6. Chairman's communications
  7. 1 Frank Falle said that Stuart Fell (E&PS) would come to the November meeting to talk about planning applications and protection of buildings.
  8. 2 He said that the Autumn 2004 Newsletter was out. He would like to have more photographs for the next issue.
  9. 3 Marie-Louise and Frank promoted the Autumn lunch time lectures on Radio Jersey that morning; they are listed on an A5 insert to the Newsletter.
  10. Marie-Louise said that the JEP wishes to publish a version of her talk; the Section gave its support.
  11. Mary Billot said that she had e-mailed a press release with short biographies of the lecturers and a resumé of each topic to Radio Jersey and the JEP in early October.
  12. 4 Mary Billot said that the JEP had published on October 18th the annual form for society entries in the Jersey Almanac 2005.
  13. Members' contributions
  14. 1 Guy Dixon referred to the JEP article of July 29th 2004 that mentioned the well in the Lower Ward at Mont Orgueil Castle; it goes into the loess. He circulated a photograph from the JEP of March 30th 2004 that showed a National Trust for Jersey outing. Bob Le Sueur thought that the building was Grainville Manor.
  15. 2 David Levitt said that there was no news of the plaque for the Royal Square sundial.
  16. 3 Ian Machin said that he is now inputting data to the Friends of the Maritime Museum shipping database. He has been reading the Gazette de l'isle de Jersey in the 1790s. He asked whether Jerseymen were totally in support of the French Royalists in December 1792, as he detected an underlying radicalism. This radicalism was squashed when the island became heavily garrisoned. Once the Terror started the local population made money out of the Royalists. They were not completely supportive of the Royalists because they could see that reform was needed.
  17. 4 Bill Tower has bought a publication on the cross Channel ferries (2002).
  18. 5 George Langlois featured in the JEP's Country Crossroads pages (October 14th); he explained that the replanting of apple trees and more sheep grazing would benefit the island. He identified Warren Farm, Route de Noirmont, as a suitable place for such a venture. It is owned by the States and is now empty. He said that Mont Orgueil Castle had three wells, not two.
  19. 6 Guy Dixon said that his mother (Mrs Dixon, née de Gruchy) and grandmother (Mrs de Gruchy) sold Warren Farm to the States at a discounted price of £7,000 for the benefit of Jersey. The de Gruchy family also donated Noirmont Point. He was distressed to see that Warren Farm in a state of neglect. George Langlois said that the States would not pay for new windows.
  20. 7 Sue Groves said that the Jersey Archive would be open only three days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) from November 1st. The annual stocktaking takes place from December 6th to December 10th so the Archive will be closed all that week.
  21. 8 Bertram Brée has been in touch with William & Mary College, Richmond, VA, about Louis Hugh Girardin (mother's surname), alias Picot (father's surname). He was a Republican Freemason; one of his descendants married into the Edgar Allan Poe family.
  22. 9 Marie-Louise asked whether anyone (Garden History or Natural History Sections) collected names that indicated Jersey therein. She saw a type of apple called 'Chisel Jersey'. This might refer to New Jersey.
  23. She said that the BBC publication Natural history of the British Isles, which accompanies the Alan Titchmarsh series, mentions La Cotte, St Brelade, but it does not show up on the map.
  24. 10 Nick Jouault circulated a print of Elizabeth Castle (Hooper, 1783). It comes from the 3rd edition of Falle's History of Jersey (1837).
  25. 11 Bob Le Sueur recalled that his grandmother Le Sueur died during the German Occupation aged 94; she spoke of her grandmother's memories of the French aristocracy fleeing the Terror.
  26. 12 Roy Dobin said that his house in Gorey is a 200-year old fisherman's cottage and is listed as a Building of Local Interest. He is concerned that development is threatened in the neighbouring garden.
  27. 13 Georgia Le Maistre referred to the JEP of October 12th, which mentioned the Education, Sport and Culture Cultural Strategy report. Its proposals included 'extending the St Helier blue plaque scheme'. She knows only the Vingtaine de la Ville granite plaque scheme; each one costs about £5,000. She also noted that the JEP report implied that the SJ should report to ESC. An ESC questionnaire is on its website.
  28. 14 Frank Falle said that he has identified a second 'Le Bourg' in St Clement – near the Parish Church.
  29. Date of next meeting
  30. Tuesday November 16th 2004 at 5.15pm, in the Members' Room if available, otherwise in the Arthur Mourant Room. Mr Stuart Fell (E&PS) will attend the meeting.

Monthly meetings 2005

TUESDAYS (third Tuesday in the month) starting at 5.15 pm

Members' Room if available; otherwise in the Arthur Mourant Room (3
rd floor)

January 18 : Annual General Meeting of Section
February 15
March 15
April 19
May 17
June 21
July 19
August 16
September 20
October 18
November 15
December 13 : Christmas meeting in the Members' Room

Autumn lunch time lectures 2005

Maritime Year 2005

WEDNESDAYS 1.15 – 1.45 pm followed by questions
In the Members' Room

October 19
October 26
November 2
November 9
November 16

Study Tour to Vannes, Brittany, September 2005

The dates for the 2005 study tour based at Vannes, Morbihan, are set provisionally for Thursday September 15
th – Sunday September 18th 2005.
Professor Gwyn Meirion-Jones and Mme Catherine Laurent will again be our leaders in the field.