Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday November 15th 2005 at 5.15pm, Arthur Mourant Room



Members present :

Frank Falle (Chairman), Jean Arthur, Marie-Louise Backhurst, Mary Billot (Secretary), Mervyn Billot, Bertram Brée, Jill & Mike Cotter (new members), Guy Dixon, Roy Dobin, Gerry France, Mary Gibb, Sue Groves, Sue Hardy, Nicolas Jouault, Frank Le Blancq, Suzanne Le Feuvre, David Le Maistre, Georgia Le Maistre, Bob Le Sueur, Mike Lees, David Levitt, Pat Maindonald, Rosemary Millow, Will Millow, Doreen Schofield-Fost, Wendy Tipping,


1.         Apologies for absence :

Yvonne Aston, Francis & Anne Corbet, Douglas Hooke, Tertius Hutt, Geraint Jennings, Sarah Jordan, Ian Machin, Alec Podger.


2.         Minutes of the meeting of October 18th 2005 and amendments

The following amendments were noted -

The circulated minutes were for the meeting of October 18th (not September 20th 2005).

Item 2. The amended minutes were for the meeting of September 20th (not August 16th 2005).

Item 5. Roger Hills is now on the staff of the JHT, not the Planning Dept.


3.         Matters arising from the minutes not covered by the agenda

3.5.9   Mike Lees will check with the SJ Library about Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, and whether he was a Governor in Jersey.


4.         Chairman’s communications

4.1        Frank Falle welcomed Mike and Jill Cotter to the meeting and introduced the Section to them.

4.2        Frank thanked Bob Le Sueur, Alec Podger, Jean Arthur and Ian Machin for their talks at the Autumn lunchtime lectures. These are a great success with an average attendance of over ninety, and some with standing room only. He also thanked Georgia Le Maistre and Mary Billot for providing the teas and coffees and asked for assistance with the drying up after the lecture tomorrow.

A provisional programme for the 2006 series of lectures has been prepared  - Mary Gibb (domestic economics of the GO), Antony Gibb (Fort Regent 1806-2006), Mike Lees (Victoria Cross 1856-2006), Frank Falle (Pero Niño 1406), George Langlois (the extinct volcano at Rozel and the hot spring at La Chaire gardens).

4.3        Frank thanked Doreen Schofield-Fost and Wendy Tipping who have joined Alec Podger, Mervyn Billot and Ian Machin with input to the FMM database. Doreen said that the material was most interesting.

4.4        Frank said that Alasdair Crosby is now in charge of Temps Passé at the JEP. He has agreed that the History Section could have a feature every quarter to give interesting facts and ask for information on topics being researched Bertram Breé said that important historical bullet points should be included. Someone needs to co-ordinate the material.

4.5        Mary Billot said that the Christmas meeting on December 13th would include a report on the trip to Carnac. Marie-Louise Backhurst will provide a commentary to Nick Jouault’s photographs. The non-members of the Section will be invited. The cost will be up to £2.00 per head.

4.5               Mary distributed invitations to the lecture by Rev. Dr Fenn on the CI and Celtic Christianity on November 23rd.  It is by invitation only and is sponsored by Aggregate Industries, a corporate member. It is important to RSVP to the Office (758314).

4.6       Frank said that Bob Norman has a large collection of images of Rozel and will bring them to a meeting in 2006.



5.         Roger Hills (JHT) on the JHT Forts and Towers Working Party

5.1        Roger spoke about the JHT’s responsibility for the publicly owned forts and towers. Draft conservation statements have been produced and circulated for L’Etacquerel Fort, Fort Leicester, the Barge Aground and the Radio Tower at Corbière (MP2). It is intended that the last three will be ready for holiday lets by next season. The offshore towers will not be holiday lets. The next stage of the project will include draft conservation statements for La Crête Fort, Archirondel, Icho, Seymour and Lewis Towers and La Tour Carrée, St Ouen. More complex sites such as Elizabeth Castle require a full conservation plan; draft part 1 (the condition audit of 1996) has been circulated.                     [Roger’s notes with official minutes]

5.2        The other project is the historic landscape characterization, a new area of work being developed by English Heritage. Roger circulated copies of the project design commissioned by the JHT. The two experts are due to return on January 14th 2006 for a few days. All buildings on the Richmond (John McCormack/Jean Arthur are already researching these), Godfray and 1935 OS maps will be recorded by Geographic Information Systems (GIS) digital mapping. The first character statements will include farm buildings and Methodist chapels (Mary Gibb/Neil Molyneux have researched these); Victorian urban houses will be covered in 2006. Future use is decided by the Historic Buildings Group, which is driving the project and includes politicians. Any income is recycled to further conservation projects.

            Sue Groves wants information of map resources at the British Library and National Archives, known to Marie-Louise Backhurst. Bertram Brée queried the use of experts from the UK, rather than from Normandy (eg. CRECET). Roger confirmed that English Heritage guidelines are being followed.

5.3        Frank Falle wants a coherent response on a particular building as the first stage. A period of consolidation will elapse before the next review in three years’ time. Roger confirmed that he would provide a schedule of work and a timescale.  Other sections (eg. Ornithology, Archaeology) should be involved; Roger needs Bertram Brée’s information on roosting birds at Icho and Seymour Towers. He has already included Mike Lees’ comments on L’Etacquerel Fort’s role as an artillery platform.

5.4        Frank suggested that five copies of each report on Forts and Towers are needed (one J/A, one SJL, three for Section scrutiny). A group of nine will study them (one copy for 3 people) – Nick Jouault, Marie-Louise Backhurst, Sue Hardy, Roy Dobin, Bertram Brée, Mary Gibb, Bob Le Sueur, Mike Lees, Mervyn Billot.   

            Comments to Roger Hills on Elizabeth Castle are required by the end of December 2005.

A group of three will study the Historic Landscapes reports – Jean Arthur, Mary Gibb and Marie-Louise Backhurst (Victorian urban houses).                          [Copy of the Project Design with official minutes]

5.5        Marie-Louise wants clear recognition of the contribution of named people from the Société Jersiaise, who get overlooked.



6.         Members’ contributions

6.1               Nick Jouault circulated an 1832 magazine article on Mont Orgueil Castle and an Illustrated London News article on Guernsey vraicing.

6.2               Georgia Le Maistre said that further postcards from the Monins collection would be for sale at the CI Antiques Fair, 19/20 November, RJAHS Trinity.

6.3               Bob Le Sueur said that there was a stone on Le Bourg beach incised with a ‘G’ – is it a vraic mark for Gilbert or Gallichan?

6.4               Bob reminded the Section that the SJ has two nominees on the JHT, one being the President ex-officio. The other is Prof. Sallis, whose term of office expires in 2006. Bob considers it important that the Section should consider a new name to go forward. Frank said that this could be discussed at the January 2006 meeting.

6.5               Guy Dixon said he would resume his research soon.

6.6               Rose Milllow asked whether any analysis has been done on the 1806 Don census. Marie-Louise said that Ngaire Ockwell published a short article in the CIFHS journal.

6.7               Bertram Brée will discuss the trip to Normandy in February 2006.

6.8               David Le Maistre bought a copy of a history of the parish of Vale, Guernsey, and circulated a postcard of the Great Western Hotel, St John.

6.9               Frank Le Blancq referred to the JEP of 10/11/05 about windows being broken at the shelter known as Ferguson’s folly at the Lower Park below Westmount. It was so-called after a Constable of St Helier. Frank has had an article of historical interest published in Weather, October 2005, and another will follow in the SJ Bulletin. He is working on an article on Père Marc Dechevrens, founder of the St Louis Observatory.



7.0        Date of next meeting

            Tuesday December 13th 2005 at 5.15pm, in the Members’ Room. This is our Christmas gathering.