Archive pictures of the week

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Elizabeth Castle 1786 with an embryo St Helier Harbour

This magnificent etching of Elizabeth Castle in 1786 shows how tantalisingly close to the St Helier shoreline the castle stands, but plans which existed at the time and have resurfaced on several occasions over the past 200 years to create a large, deep-water harbour linking the castle to the shore have never materialised. The unknown artist's work shows just how tiny the embryo St Helier Harbour was, and how isolated it was from the town it was intended to serve

Harry Vardon, Jersey-born most successful British golfer of all time

Harry Vardon, Jersey and Britain's most successful golfer of all time, won the Open Championship on a record six occasions, and also the US Open. He had a long career, first winning the Open in 1896, and again in 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911 and 1914. His US Open win came in 1900, and he was still considered good enough to represent the United Kingdom against the USA in 1921. This picture is believed to show him teeing off in the Open Championship in 1903

Abraham de Gruchy and Co

Abraham de Gruchy and Co, a business which is still in existence in St Helier's King Street, was founded in 1810 in St Peter and moved to the growing shopping centre in the town of St Helier 15 years later. This is an early promotional picture produced by the store

Mont Orgueil Castle

Mont Orgueil Castle in the 17th century

The Weighbridge

The Weighbridge is one of the most photographed parts of Jersey, and is the subject of many early postcards, some of which were expertly hand-coloured to produce exceptional images of this important part of St Helier when it was very different from the way it is today. This picture was probably taken in the early years of the 20th century, and shows a lively scene, although nowhere near as busy as it would have been during the potato season, when hundreds of horse-drawn vans would have queued up to have their barrels of potatoes weighed before being exported. The two main buildings in the picture still stand today, their facades largely unaltered. On the left is the Southampton Hotel, now only a bar and no longer a hotel. There are plans to restore the facade and rebuild the interior as office space. The Royal Yacht Hotel on the right has been much extended in recent years, but still retains the old facade on the corner of Mulcaster Street
This is the same area, but viewed from the heights of Fort Regent, in the early 1970s. How The Weighbridge has changed. The area in the foreground which was out of the top picture to the right, was once a small circular garden, enclosed by railings, with a statue of Queen Victoria in the centre. In this picture the gardens have gone, to make way for a bus terminus, and the statue of Her Majesty can just be seen in the middle of the car park beyond. This was only a temporary home because, despite promises that she would eventually return to her original spot, she has been standing for over 35 years in the Triangle Park (renamed Victoria Park) behind the Grand Hotel, which is the last building in the row of the Esplanade stretching into the middle distance of the photo0graph. Today the buses are in a new terminus, together with a shopping mall, in a redevelopment of the block in the centre of the picture, and the car park is also no more, having been transformed into Liberation Square, the island's permanent celebration of the end of the German Occupation. The start of the Albert Pier can just be seen on the left of the picture. Today there is a large reclaimed area beyond with housing and land still to be developed as part of the island's financial centre

Jersey Western Railway

When the Jersey Western Railway opened its service from St Helier to St Aubin in 1870, much of the track ran on sandy soil just above the high tide mark. At La Haule the line had to be raised on trestles, and a trial run train paused here on 29 September, four weeks before the line was officially opened, for a publicity photograph

St Aubin

10 July 2011

Three pictures for the price of one this week, showing the same view of St Aubin a few decades apart, and then over a century later. In the upper picture the terminal shed and hotel built to accommodate the trains and passengers of the Jersey Western Railway can be clearly seen ion the foreground, built on reclaimed land where, earlier in the 19th century, there was a busy shipyard on the shoreline, as can be seen in the etching below. The artist has used a little licence in creating a hilly skyline, whereas, as the upper photograph shows, the land above the village of St Aubin is fairly flat, stretching away towards Noirmont Point to the left. The lower picture also suggests that there was a more substantial terrace of merchants' houses along the inner wall of the harbour. As the colour photograph at the bottom of the page shows, save for the addition of a restaurant on the quayside beside what is now St Brelade's Parish Hall, the harbour has changed little in the past century, and many of the buildings constructed in the 19th century are still there today

Troops on the march

26 July 2011

There is a stark contrast between these two pictures taken only a few months apart. The top picture shows the Royal Jersey Militia marching through the streets of St Helier in 1939. Not many weeks had passed before the island had beeh occupied by German troops in the summer of 1940 and it was soldiers of the Wehrmacht who were marching through the streest of town. The upper picture was taken quite openly; the picture below was taken clandestinely through curtained windows. Discovery would have incurred a severe penalty for the photographer

Horse-drawn bus

4 August 2011

In the 1890s Down's horse buses operated between Rouge Bouillon and Havre des Pas, where this one was photographed. The driver was Thomas Louden, who was born in 1857. The bus carried an advertisement of de Faye's aerated table waters.

Victoria College OTC

16 August 2011

Many of the Victoria College pupils in this picture of the Officer Training Corps taken in 1911, would soon be going to war. Dozens of Old Victorians were killed in the Great War and some achieved the highest honour of the Victoria Cross, named after the same monarch as their school.

Royal Visit

23 August 2011

King George V and Queen Mary visited Jersey in 1921, ten years after his coronation. During their stay the Royal couple visited the States Building and Victoria College, attended a reception at Government House,met the public and particularly schoolchildren at Springfield, where the King received the gift of a Jersey cow from the island, and drove between engagements in a magnificent open-back Rolls Royce, which enabled the maximum number of islanders to get a clear view of their monarch

Charing Cross

30 August 2011

This picture of Charing Cross was taken around the end of the 19th century or early in the 20th.There is virtually no traffic, save for a bicycle and a horse and trap in King Street, which is on the left. The wider street on the right is Broad Street, which was St Helier's first main street. The column erected earlier in the 19th century in honour of St Helier Constable Pierre Le Sueur can just be seen at the end of Broad Street on the left. The facades of many of the builings in both streets today remain much as they were over a century ago, although many shopfronts have been modernised and some buildings in Broad Street have been demolished and replaced by modern structures. Click on the Google logo below to see Charing Cross today
Click to see Charing Cross today

Weighbridge hotels

8 September 2011

A very similar view to this of the Weighbridge has appeared earlier as our picture of the week, but this is such a fine image that we had no hesitation in publishing it. It clearly shows the three main hotels, on the left the Southampton, on the right the Royal Yacht Club, and in the middle the Star Hotel at the bottom of Mulcaster Street. The horses and carriages outside the railings of the Weighbridge Gardens, home to the out-of-sight statue of QUeen Victoria, and the dress of the young ladies in the foreground, suggest that the picture was taken in the last decade of the 19th century, or the very early years of the 20th. Today the Southampton Hotel building still stands, although it is just a bar now, the premises threatened with demolition for a new development. THe Royal Yacht CLub Hotel is now just the Royal Yacht, and has been substantially extended and redeveloped, although the facade of the original building remains largely untact. The Star Hotel is no more, the corner being occupied by a restaurant.

Bathing huts at West Park

21 September 2011

Having just spent a full week in Jersey for the first time in 12 years, I was amazed at how much the island has changed, and not for the better, writes Mike Bisson. But it has changed even more in the century since the time when no respectable Edwardian lady would take to the water without having changed into her voluminous bathing costume in the privacy of a bathing machine. These little huts, which were moved on wheels as the tide rose and fell, were highly popular at the turn of the 19th century and large numbers of them were used at Greve d'Azette, on the east of St Helier, and here at West Park on the other side. There is no record of them having been used on other beaches around the island, which were not nearly as popular in those days because of the difficulty of reaching them from St Helier.

The Kiosk, West Park

30 September

A view of West Park again this week, but looking in the opposite direction from last week's picture of bathing huts. This picture shows The Kiosk, a popular seaside cafe, which has been rebuilt at least twice since this picture was taken early in the 20th century. In the background is the Grand Hotel, and in those days, not only was there a road between them, but also a railway line. Building styles have changed, so have fashions, but still to this day people enjoy sitting in the sunshine on the edge of the promenade enjoying a drink or an ice cream.

Fliquet Tower

17 October

Some of Jersey's original coastal defence towers no longer exist, having been demolished by the Germans during the Occupation, or at an earlier time by the island authorities. Others have been converted into living accommodation, but remain essentially intact. One which still remains, but not exactly as it was when built is Fliquet's tower in the far north-east of the island. For some reason its private owners decided to remove the upper section of the tower, and today (as shown in the picture below) it is but a shadow of its former self. Very few images exist showing the tower as it once was, which makes this 19th century drawing particularly important.
A more recent image of what remains of the tower, its top removed and extra windows added

Dressed for the beach

25 October

An outing to the beach has long been a Jersey tradition. In the early years of the 20th century it was the preserve of those affluent enough to be able to afford the horse and carriage to take them there, and they always dressed for the occasion - not in t-shirts and trainers, but in their Sunday best suits. Hats were seemingly compulsory for ladies and gentlemen in Edwardian days and further protection from the sun was afforded by a dainty parasol: no Factor 30 sunscreen in those days! This picture was taken at the western end of St Brelade's Bay and St Brelade's Bay Hotel, one of the few buildings in the bay in the first decade of the 20th century, can be seen in the background to the right.

West Park's shipyards

2 November

West Park today is dominated by traffic. Sandwiched between the Esplanade on one side - the main gateway to St Helier from the west - and St Aubin's Road and Victoria Avenue on the other, carrying thousands of vehicles a day in either direction, it is undoubtedly the island's busiest crossroads. A century and a half ago things were very different, as this painting which had the place of honour on the cover of the special bulletin published to mark the centenary of La Société Jersiaise in 1973, shows so vividly. Painted by Felix Benoist in 1870, according to a note in the bulletin, the painting shows the area in much greater detail than any of the photographs which survive from that era. The view is from the summit of westmount, where a Victorian family is shown enjoying the outlook. Below them horses graze among rocky outcrops, long since levelled . But it is the scene along the coast which is most fascinating. No sea wall has yet been built, and a large shipyard occupies the shoreline on the right, smoke belching out of its chimney. There are further similar chimneys to the left, one standing next to the site now occupied by the Grand Hotel, which would not appear for another two decades. Benoist shows clearly how the town of St Helier has already spread to what remains its western boundary to this day, the Triangle Park and People's Park providing a valuable open space. This painting, which was in the collection of John Blench at the time of the centenary, is one of the best overall views of the island's capital town to survive from Victorian times. But there is something missing from the picture which suggests that the date of 1870 might not be correct. A year earlier the States had agreed to the establishment of Jersey's first railway, from the Weighbridge to St Aubin. The lines were laid and test runs were taking place in September of the following year. So when did Benoist undertake this work? It seems inconceivable that he would have ignored the railway line when his painting includes so much other detail, so either it was painted in 1870 from sketches made before the track was laid, or the date is incorrect. Can any Jerripedia user thrown any further light on this mystery?

Airline poster

12 November

Something different this week - not a picture of a place in Jersey, but a humourous 1930s poster promoting visits to the island by air with Jersey Airways. In the early part of the decade the Jersey Airways aircraft landed on the beach at West Park, but by 1937 the island's new Airport was operating at St Peter. However, the island had scarcely established its position on the commercial aviation map when war intervened and all passenger flights ceased in mid-1940

Sandcastle competition

17 November

Building castles in the sand was as popular in the 19th century as it is today, and the beach at West Park, below the Grand Hotel, was possibly even more popular then, when this photographs of a sandcastle competition was taken. This was the first dry stretch of sand to the west of the town of St Helier, and residents and visitors staying in town hotels flocked there to relax in the sunshine, although there would have been no need to take sunscreen, because Victorian morals dictated that every inch of flesh should be covered and hats were worn by all

Mystery casino

24 November

Normally Jerripedia attempts to provide answers rather than pose questions, but this week's feature picture is an exception. This little booklet was acquired in a recent on-line auction and sent to Jerripedia with the question 'Did Jersey really have a casino in the 1880s?' The questioner quite rightly observed that during the 20th century Jersey's politicians were implacably opposed to the creation of a public gambling venue, and the likelihood is that a proposal to create one today would prove highly controversial and probably fail. Yet here is a souvenir booklet in French for a casino in its second year of operation in 1884, 'by permission of the Bailiff, Sir Robert Pipon Marett'. The answer to this apparent anomaly lies in the original meaning of the word casino and in the text of the booklet. In the 19th century the word casino was commonly used to describe a building erected for public entertainment, sometimes, but not necessarily, including gambling. The attractions of Jersey's Royal Victorian Hall casino were advertised as sea bathing at 'the best beach in Europe', viewed from a seaside terrace; hot and cold baths; hydrotherapy; restaurant; and a children's play area. The establishment also had a concert hall, offering daily concerts with dancing, a full orchestral concert once a week and a 'concert spirituel' every Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock. But where was the Royal Victorian Hall, and what happened to it? The booklet says that it is immediately opposite Georgetown railway station, which was on the coast to the east of the junction of Green Road and Greve d'Azette, roughly where Maison Victor Hugo apartments now stand and close to Marina Terrace, where the celebrated French writer Victor Hugo lived some 30 years earlier. As to how long the casino was in business, that is a complete mystery (can any Jerripedia user provide the answer?). It cannot have been that long, because Georgetown Station was closed in 1891, which would hardly have happened if Royal Victorian Hall was providing large numbers of passengers every day.


1 December

Pictures of Jersey's St Helier harbourmouth abound, but this one, which is dated to 1890, is one of the most evocative of earlier times, although several elements of the picture don't quite 'fit' with what is known of the harbour at the time. There is no doubt that it is St Helier Harbour, with Commercial Buildings and Fort Regent above in the background, and the mixture of sailing vessels and two-masted steamer moored against the jetty in the middle ground, but what is the little paddle-steamer heading for the pierheads? It seems totally out of scale with the other vessels. And where exactly is the viewpoint of the picture. It must surely be the end of the Victoria Pier on which the father and son fishermen are standing, with the end of the Albert Pier opposite, but the shape of that pierhead seems strangely conical. Perhaps it is a case of poor draftsmanship. And the North Quay, to which the vessels in the middle ground are tied also seems thinner and more distant than it should be. But, of course, it was not until the 20th century that this quay was widened along its full length and renamed the New North Quay, so perhaps the artist has got this aspect of the scene more or less correct. But either the ship on the right, moored in the distant English Harbour wass very big, or the much closer and tinier paddlesteamer was very small! Perhaps a Jerripedia reader with better maritime knowledge than the editor's could provide some explanation.


8 December

The horse-drawn charabanc was the principal means of transport around the island in the 19th and early 20th century and no self-respecting tourist would miss the opportunity to take a trip around the coast or into the countryside. Pictures abound of these excursions, which were also popular with island residents, who would go on group outings with friends, because there was often a photographer on hand as the charabanc loaded in St Helier or stopped at a favourite beauty spot, and pictures would be on sale the following morning, or sometimes when the day's tour finished back in St Helier. These photographs were often printed as postcards and posted to friends back at home, and they are frequently to be found on sale today. This is one of extremely good quality, the exact vintage of which is uncertain. As ever, at the turn of the 19th century, everybody on board was very smartly dressed. Indeed, it is remarkable that two gentlemen on this journey were not wearing hats, which were considered not only fashionable, but virtually compulsory for men and women alike. And few concessions were made to summer weather, with the men always wearing suits, although the ladies could opt for a slightly lighter, albeit all-enveloping dress when it was warmer. This picture seems to have been taken at the other end of the year, with everyone well wrapped up for their open-air journey. As charabanc outings grew more and more popular the vehicles grew longer and wider, and needed a team of horses to pull them.

Holiday camp

17 December

Holiday camp style accommodation was as popular with holidaymakers in Jersey in the latter part of the 20th century as at any other British resort. There were two major camps at Portelet (now demolished and replaced with controversial flats) and Plemont (closed and awaiting an equally controversial redevelopment). Both of these camps date from after World War 2, but there was an earlier one at Grouville which was one of the pioneers of this type of holiday. Situated a short distance inland from the coast in Grouville Bay, the complex consisted of a number of small chalets surrounding a swimming pool, tennis court and other activities, with a large building doubling as a dinining room, bar and evening entertainment centre. Very little is on record about the camp, which is believed to have opened in the 1930s, and not to have re-opened after the end of the German Occupation. Perhaps a Jerripedia reader can provide further information

La Rocque Regatta

29 December

Today La Rocque Harbour is still a home base for a small number of fishing vessels, but in the past it was not only the most important fishing port, but arguably the island's only functioning port. Before St Aubin had jetties built to accommodate commercial vessels and at a time when early attempts to provide shelter at St Helier had been washed away by heavy seas, La Rocque was so important a harbour that vessels used to depart from there with messages for Guernsey. The importance of the port to the little south coast village continued well into the 20th century, and was recognised once a year with a regatta, in which fishing boats which would normally operate off the south coast and as far as the Minquiers, would participate in races. It was one of the social events of the year, drawing large crowds from all over the island.

Cattle exports

5 January

As Jersey's cattle began to develop into a widely recognised breed during the 19th century, a demand was created for exports to other countries. When it became apparent that not only was the Jersey capable of producing large quantities of milk with a high butterfat content, but that they were also equally at home in hot climates as they were on their home island, the demand for exports accelerated. Prices commanded by local animals were high, and many a Jersey breeder over the years has financed the purchase of a new car with the sale of a single heifer. This picture of cattle being loaded at St Helier Harbour was taken in 1906. It is believed that it shows one of a number of consigments at that time destined for Scandinavia.

The Weighbridge changes

24 January

Two pictures for the price of one this week, after our enforced shut-down. They are views of Jersey's Weighbridge area taken from a similar viewpoint but 30 years apart. The top picture was taken in 1875 and shows a large assembly of horses and carts, probably ready to take guests at the surrounding hotels on island excursions. The Weighbridge was a centre of tourist accommodation at the time. The establishments shown in the photograph are, from the right, the Royal Yacht, the Star, the Univers and the Weighbridge Hotel. By the time the bottom picture was taken in 1905 the statue of Queen Victoria had been erected, surrounded by a circular railed garden, the Univers had become the Navy Hotel, the Weighbridge Hotel was Richards' Finsbury Hotel, but the greatest change was the replacement of horse and carriage by the motor car, recently arrived in the island. These would have been among the very first cars to be driven on island roads, and a close examination of their occupants shows some very affluent families with chauffeurs at the wheel, or taking a back seat while one of the ladies takes the wheel for the photograph. It appears that the two outer cars are similar models, and the two in the centre are also a matching pair, but can a Jerripedia user help with more definite identification? email us ( (please use Jerripedia as the subject for your email)) if you have any further information on these magnificent motor cars.

Mont Les Vaux

13 February

Although St Helier has always been Jersey's capital, St Aubin rivalled it as a town in the 17th and 18th centuries and buildings were erected on all the roads radiating from the harbourfront. This is the bottom of Mont Le Vaux, the main artery leading west. This photograph was probably taken shortly after the turn of the 19th century. St Aubin on the Hill church can be seen clearly in the background. Although, as shown in the corresponding Street View below, the road is now surfaced and covered in 21st century markings, it is actually remarkable how little the area has changed. Many buildings remain in the same places, only superficially changed to meet the requirements of modern shops and restaurants. Sadly the pace of life is now such that children would risk their lives walking along the street with hand carts and milk churns, but the days of home delivered milk are long gone.

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Leaving the Town Church

3 March

St Helier's Parish Church, usually known simply as the Town Church, has been at the centre of Jersey life for centuries. A stone's throw from the Royal Square and court building, it has had many notable visitors. The most illustrious of all was certainly King Charles II, who worshipped there as Prince of Wales on two visits to the island during the Civil War. Today the church is the venue for many special services, including those after the swearing-in of a new Bailiff or Lieut-Governor. This picture was almost certainly taken in the first decade of the 20th century when a large congregation spilled out into Church Street and the Royal Square after morning service.

Negotiating the flooded entrance to Plemont cave

10 March

The beach at Plemont on Jersey's north coast has been a popular stopping point for excursion cars, charabancs and coaches for as long as the island has had a tourist industry. Visitors are attracted by the golden sand and the deep, tall caves. However, the main cave is often cut off by a knee-high pool and Victorian and Edwardian visitors in the smart clothing which was always worn on outings at the time had to be carried across by tour guides and others prepared to roll up their trousers. It was not only the ladies, in their long dresses and crinolines who entered and left the cave in this manner, but gentlemen and young men as well. See the Plemont page for more pictures.

Beresford Street

22 March

Beresford Street was first mentioned in 1822, at a time when the town of St Helier was expanding rapidly northwards from the Royal Square across meadows and swamps. It was named after the Marquis of Beresford, Governor of Jersey from 1822 to 1854, and the last to hold this office before the Sovereign's representative was downgraded to Lieut-Governor. It has always been a major shopping street, starting from the new market which was built at its western junction with Halkett Place, and close by were cattle, fish and toy markets. A feature of the street in the 19th and early 20th centuries was the blinds which extended across the pavement from buildings on the north side to protect their window displays from the sun. This photograph, taken in the 19th century, and looking west, shows that the street was cobbled at the time. The shop on the corner of the junction on the left (Halkett Street) was Orviss, the headquarters of a grocery group which had several other specialist shops in the area.

St Brelade's Bay

29 March

After the Second World War, St Brelade's Bay became, as it remains today, by far the island's most popular beach, frequented every year by thousands of islanders and holidaymakers. In the tourism heyday of the 1990s every available spot on the beach between the tide line and coastal wall would be packed with sunseekers. Today the bay has some of the islands best hotels and restaurants, beach cafes, and acres of car parking spaces. But for centuries this was a deserted bay, with only a scattering of houses, frequented mainly by smugglers. In late Victorian and Edwardian times it began to be one of the fashionable places to stop while on a tour of the island by horse and carriage, but even then the fishermen who operated out of the tiny harbour in their open rowing boats, appeared to number the well-dressed sightseers

Gentlemen's charabanc outing

10 April

Photographs of charabanc outings abound, and there are many of them in Jerripedia already. This one, however, is irresistible for the fashions and faces of the passengers. Hardly holidaymakers, but perhaps an outing for businessmen? Look at those moustaches, and the raincoats! And unusually for this era flat caps outnumber more formal hats, although the driver is sporting a fine silk tophat. Actually, it is most unlikely that the gentleman holding the reins was the driver. Almost certainly he was the leader of the group, and the man behind him without a hat is their driver and guide. As for the vintage, the fashions suggest that this photograph was taken no later than the first decade of the 20th century, and probably even earlier when Queen Victoria was on the throne. The photograph was taken by Albert Smith.

Aircraft on apron at Airport in 1953

16 April

Many photographs might have been chosen this week to mark the significant development of Jerripedia's aviation section as the 75th anniversary of the opening of Jersey Airport and 100th anniversary of the arrival in the island of the first aircraft approach. But this image of four airliners viewed from the observation gallery of the airport in 1953 epitomises an era of quiet and genteel civil aviation, before the advent of jet-powered airliners. Two De Havilland Rapides in the foreground, harking back to the pre-war aircraft so successfully operated from the beach at West Park and then the new airport by Jersey Airways, and two Douglas DC 3s, converted from wartime transports and used throughout the world for three or more decades after the end of the war, represent the Channel Island fleet of the major carrier of the time, British European Airways

Greve de Lecq cave visitors

23 April

There are many photographs from the early 20th century showing visitors to the caves at Plemont, Devil's Hole and Wolf's Caves, but this is only the third we have seen of the inside of the cave at Greve de Lecq, and the only one which shows an iron access ladder . The fashions on display suggest that this picture is of Edwardian vintage, taken in the first decade of the century. The cave runs right through the eastern headland. It is a tunnel 60 feet long, 15 feet wide, and 20 feet high, and emerges into the little creek on the other side of the hill, named Le Val Rouget.

Potato harvest

29 April

Potato harvest in July 1916 at A J Renouf's St Brelade farm.In the foreground are Mrs Vibert, Mrs Renouf's young daughter Lucille, Mrs Renouf and, on the far right, Mr Renouf and his young son Don. Behind them are three Breton workers.Not a lot has changed over the years when it comes to lifting potatoes for market. Certainly the fashions have changed over the past 100 years, the horse and cart has been replaced by a tractor and trailer, the immigrant farmworkers are more likely to come from Poland and Portugal than Brittany, but still the best way of lifting potatoes in the early fields is by fork, ensuring that the crop remains undamaged and commands the highest prices on the market.

Pomme d'Or Hotel

6 May

The board on the left advertises the aquarium at Havre des Pas, and to the right is haridresser C de la Haye's premises. The smock and hat worn at a jaunty angle by the man in the foreground give no real clue to the age of the photograph.
A couple stand talking in the archway which led through the hotel from the Weighbridge to the courtyard and gardens behind. For many years the gardens, where afternoon teas were served, were an important feature of the hotel. Today the hotel is one of the island's largest and stretches right through from the Weighbridge front to Wharf Street behind.
Four pictures for the price of one this week, showing the Pomme d'Or Hotel at the Weighbridge. The hotel was famously used as the focal point for the celebrations on the morning of the Liberation of the island from five years of German Occupation on 9 May 1945, the Union Flag being raised from the hotel balcony by liberating British troops where a Swastika had previously hung. To this day the hotel and the area in front, now named Liberation Square, remain the focus for the annual 9 May commemorative celebrations. These pictures are from an altogether different era, however. The picture above, and the two at the sides showing greater detail, is from a Victorian glass plate which came up for sale recently.The exact date of the photograph is not known, but it was probably as early as the 1850s, the hotel having opened in the mid-1830s. The shape of the building was unchanged for several decades, but this picture shows a low structure to the right with a sign for 'C de la Haye, hairdresser', where the Southampton Hotel was later built. There are many photographs in existence showing an oblique view of the Pomme d'Or and Southampton Hotels side by side, but head-on views of the Pomme d'Or like this are extremely rare. For more pictures of the hotel at various stages from the 19th century to the present day, follow this link.
This photograph is also unusual in that it shows horse-drawn vans queuing with potatoes for export with the Pommd d'Or Hotel in the background. The vast majority of pictures of queues in front of the public weighbridge are taken from the opposite direction. It can be seen that the hotel building has been developed, with a much more balanced and rather attractive facade, although the central archway has been maintained.

St Helier aerial photographs

15 May 2012

Low-level aerial photographs of St Helier are rare, particularly from the 1960s. These two images, taken from a larger image published in a 50-year-old book, show clearly the centre of the town in 1961, with some of the buildings which have long-since disappeared, while others remain largely unaltered to this day. The pictures are taken looking east, and the image on the left shows:



The image on the right has the Royal Square at the bottom right and shows:

Jersey Drag Hunt

23 May 2012

Jersey has no foxes to hunt, but there is a long tradition of drag hunting. The hunts are major social events for the farming community and other horse owners and, although confined to country lanes and fields today, the hunt used to meet at important locations throughout the island, including the Weighbridge, Government House, Rosel Manor, Greve de Lecq, St Peter's Barracks, Carrefour Selous, and here, in front of the St Aubin terminus of the Jersey Western Railway. The original Jersey Drag Hunt was formed about 1884, possibly making this hunt among the oldest in the British Isles. Tradition has it that the hunt was started by officers of the British army garrisons which were regularly stationed in the island. The hunt was always well supported by serving officers, as well as the farming community, whose horses would be used on the farm and in the fields, as well as carrying their masters on hunting days.

St Helier 1787 map

31 May 2012

This map of the town of St Helier, drawn by M Momonier in 1787, is an interesting contrast to the aerial photographs featured on this page two weeks ago. Six years after the Battle of Jersey (1781) the town of St Helier was still extremely small, stretching along the waterfront from the Ordnance Office (14), roughly where the tunnel under Fort Regent is today, as far as the Hospital (19), which is still in the same place on what is now known as Gloucester Street. The area in between was occupied by warehouses and merchant's homes. One of the most important residential areas was Hue Street (15), where most of the old cottages were demolished in the late 20th century to make way for high-rise blocks of flats. The prison (19) was still straddling the road at Charing Cross, which effectively formed a gateway to the town. There was a road running from Charing Cross east to what is now Snow Hill, but it ran alongside the back of buildings which were built facing Broad Street and the Royal Square (8), with meadows on the opposite side. This was Rue de Derriere, now renamed King Street at its western end and Queen Street, and constituting the town's main shopping precinct. It can be seen that the roads leading north from the town centre were the recently constructed New Street (13), leading to Vauxhall, an isolated residential area, and another (6) roughly corresponding to today's Bath Street. Halkett Place, the main thoroughfare leading off King Street today had not been constructed. Indeed, the whole area to the north of King Street, shown in the 1961 aerial photographs featured two weeks ago, was entirely undeveloped. The full key to the numbers on the map is: 1, St Saviour's Road; 2, road to Bagatelle; 3, Military road to Grouville; 4, old road to Grouville; 5, road to Chapelle des Pas; 6, by-road to St Saviour; 7, Vauxhall; 8, Royal Square; 9, Town Hill, eventually the site of Fort Regent; 10, New Road to Town Mills and Trinity; 11, Town Church; 12, Old ordnance yard; 13, New quay; 14, Ordnance office; 15, Hue Street; 16, Prison; 17, Road to Rouge Bouillon; 18, Road to St John and the west; 19, Hospital; 20, Barrack office; 21, Barracks

Battle of Jersey painting

8 June 2012

The Battle of Jersey was fought on 6 January 1781 in the Royal Square in St Helier. The invading French troops, led by the self-styled Baron de Rullecourt, were defeated by garrison and militia forces led by the gallant Major Peirson. This famous painting of the battle by American artist John Singleton Copley is owned by, and usually on display at the National Gallery in London. The States of Jersey commissioned their own copy, which hangs in the Royal Court chamber. The original painting came to Jersey for the first time in May 2012, on loan to Jersey Heritage Trust for a special exhibition at the Jersey Museum.

Chausey cottages

15 June 2012

This picture was supplied to Jerripedia with the caption 'Jersey fishermen's cottages, Chausey' The buildings are not those which are familiar in pictures of the Minquiers reef, which lies about half way between Jersey and Chausey, so it must be assumed that this is an early photograph or drawing (the quality is not good enough to be certain) of les iles Chausey, and that these are French fishermen's cottages. There is some evidence that Chausey was, in Roman times, considered as part of the Channel Islands, but although they are inhabited today and attract thousands of day-trippers through the summer, for a long period they afforded only a temporary home for fishermen operating out of Granville and nearby ports on the French coast. There is no evidence of any strong link between the Channel Islands and Chausey in Norman times which might have caused Chausey to have become English possessions after the loss of mainland Normandy by King John, and Chausey has remained resolutely French over the centuries

Jersey Airways

23 June 2012

Two pictures for the price of one this week, returning to the aviation theme in a year which celebrates 100 years of flying in Jersey and the 75th anniversary of the opening of Jersey Airport. When the Airport opened in 1937 it was almost exclusively used by Jersey Airways for commercial flying and two of the locally-based airline's de Havilland aircraft are seen landing here from the south on one of the cross runways. Today the only runway runs east-west to the left of the terminal building. Jersey Airways' flights to London before the Second World War landed at Heston Airport, where passengers were greeted in style by uniformed staff and a 32-seater Tillings Airflo coach, made by Thurgood's of Ware, the company established by Bill Thurgood, the founder of the airline. After the war Heston was not again used for commercial flying and Jersey Airways operated to Croydon, and then Gatwick

St Helier in the 17th century

29 June

Of all the early maps of St Helier which are in existence, this one from 1691 shows most clearly how small the island's capital town was in the last decade of the 17th century. The developed area consisted of a small triangle, dominated by the Town Church and Royal Square, with Mont de la Ville on one side, open fields to the north traversed by streams, and a short stretch of coastline protected by a granite wall. The most substantial area of buildings was to the north of Grande Rue, which is today known as Broad Street. This stretched from Charing Cross, the gateway to the town, to the churchyard, becoming progressively wider. To the south of Grande Rue sand dunes stretched down to the sea, which advanced sufficiently far on high tides for small vessels to be moored against the churchyard wall. It appears, however, that by the time this map was drawn a small area of land had been reclaimed to the south of the church, and La Muraille de la Ville (the town wall) had been constructed to prevent waves and sand being blown on to Grende Rue on stormy days. To the north of the buildings lining the opposite side of Grande Rue was Rue de Derriere (the back road), which is now King Street. If the map is accurate there were only some 14 properties on the other side of Rue de Derriere and behind them was meadowland. The meadows were crossed by two streams, Faux Bie and Grand Douet, the former reaching the sea where the Esplanade stands today, and the later flowing through Charing Cross and then back across the sand dunes to enter the sea just below the church. None of today's main routes out of the town existed then. There was a track leading north from outside Charing Cross along what is now Hue Street, a second track leading north-east from what is now the junction of King Street and Halkett Place, and further tracks leading to the north and east from the ends of La Motte and Colomberie. Access to what was then a small port at Havre des Pas required a long journey around the foot of Mont de la Ville, on top of which Fort Regent would be constructed some two centuries later.

Royal Square 1898

12 July

This week's feature picture shows the grand ceremony held in the Royal Square in 1881 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jersey. The picture is interesting in its own right, but also because it marks a major addition today of pictures to the gallery of images of the Royal Square. These pictures show the Square in very early years, before it was surrounded by buildings; at the end of the 18th century; throughout the 19th century when major chages were made to the buildings on the east of the Square, gradually expanding the line of government buildings; and into the 20th century. As with many historical pictures, sadly including a substantial proportion of those offered to Jerripedia (for which we remain ever grateful) details of what is shown are usually sadly lacking or non-existent. Putting dates to the pictures of the Royal Square involves the painstaking work of analysing changes to the surrounding buildings, the planting of trees, the replacement of the Town Church clock and other details, the dates of which are often known.

La Repasseuse

19 July

La Repasseuse, by French revolutionary artist Jacques-Louis David, forms part of the art collection of St Helier's Town Hall. It was among 23 paintings donated to the parish in 1890 by Mrs Lucinda Mary Turner, sister-in-law and heiress of 19th century St Helier Constable Pierre Le Sueur. Because of its size and condition at the time, the painting was put in storage. With this decision, the Town Hall had unknowingly hidden away a work of art that would one day to be sought after by the world’s most famous art galleries. The painting was re-discovered 75 years later, but experts began to question if the piece were genuine or not. However, the matter was resolved in 1965 when the National Gallery London put a seal of approval on the painting's authenticity. It has hung proudly in the Town Hall ever since. It is part of the collection featured on the Town Hall page, as part of a new section of Jerripedia launched this week which examines hundreds of works held in 29 different public collections in the island. The articles in this section feature galleries of the collections, large and small, and looks in detail at some of the works. There are also new articles devoted to important Jersey artists in our Art and artists section.

La Collette jetty

5 August

For a long time St Helier did not have a proper harbour. Although there was a jetty on the west side of Mont de la Ville, in the area where today's South Pier stands, it was little used, being in such a state of disrepair that it offered more danger than protection from the elements. The other side of the hill at La Collette offered much greater protection from the prevailing westerly winds, and a small jetty there seems to have served as the town's principal harbour, at least until a better pier was built at St Aubin, adjoining the fort. There are records in the 16th century and 17th centuries of various comings and goings at Havre des Pas, although the reefs which stretched from close inshore well out to sea would have prevented vessels of any size using the facility, and it is perhaps likely that small boats would have been sent inshore to collect and disembark passengers and load and unload limited amounts of cargo. Neither the date this picture was drawn, nor the era it depicts are known, but it is supposed to show a jetty at La Collette. This presents something of a problem, however, because maps of the time show an l-shaped jetty, with south and east arms, facing inwards from the point of La Collette, which would mean that there was no view of Elizabeth Castle. Perhaps a degree of artistic licence has been used, perhaps this is not La Collette at all; either way, it is a superb image of sea travel 400 or more years ago.

Malzard family

19 August

Families just don't any longer pose for photographs like this outside their home on St Helier's busy ring road. This was the Malzard family, outside their terrace house in Rouge Bouillon. Jerripedia editor Mike Bisson recalls that they were somewhat distant cousins of his father's family, linked by marriage to the Twynams, who came to Jersey from Hampshire in the 1850s. The picture probably shows head of household Don Malzard in the hat on the right, his wife Rosina Twynam with baby daughter Olive and elder daughter Rose, and was taken in 1897 or 1898. Also in the picture is Rosina's widowed mother Mary Twynam. Son John, born in 1892, is not in the picture. He was known as Don in later life. Rose married Percy Le Masurier but they had no children and after she was widowed she lived with her sister Olive, who never married, in a different part of Rouge Bouillon. John and Rosina Malzard moved house several times with their family. The 1891 census shows them at 26 Clearview Street, two doors away from Rosina's mother. John's occupation was solicitor's clerk. By 1901 they had moved to 56 King Street, where John was a tobacconist and cigar merchant. They can only have been in Rouge Bouillon for a few intervening years.

Captain Pinel

21 September

This fine gentleman is sea captain John Pinel. A descendant, Bob Pinel, saw a picture which was already in Jerripedia's gallery of sea captains and recognised it as having been taken at the same sitting as this photograph of Capt Pinel on his own. He sent us the new picture from Australia noting that Capt Pinel was his great-great-grandfather, born Jersey 1844, died Liverpool 1909. The quality of the group photograph, believed to have been taken on the vessel Plaia is not good, but there seems little doubt that it is the same man on the same occasion. Common features are the rolled up paper he is holding, the shape of the leg of the chair that he is sitting on and the chair's armrest. Also the shape of the ships cabin, with the port hole makes Bob believe it is the same ship.

Caesarean Nurseries

2 October

Caesarean Nurseries was a major establishment in St Saviour, open from at least the mid 19th Century until the beginning of the 20th century. The nursery was clearly an undertaking of considerable size, and the limited records which still exist suggest that it was renowned as a major supplier of tropical and sub-tropical plants to the rest of the British Isles. The owner for over 35 years, Charles Bernard Saunders, was recognised as an authority on these plants and also grew many of the large pears that in the Victorian era made Jersey specially famous for this fruit. He acquired the property and the adjoining Alphington House in 1865 from his brother Alfred, who had inherited it from their father Bernard, who appears to have founded the nursery some time before 1937. Charles Bernard's son, renowned 20th century historian Arthur Charles Saunders, sold the nursery, Alphington House and the adjacent Swiss Cottage in 1901 to Hermann Becker, who sold the houses seven years later to Francis John Bois. A reference has been found to Charles Bernard Saunders being dead by 1899, so presumably his son ran them for a short time. It is not clear when the nurseries ceased to operate (although there is no doubt that Becker ran them for a time) or exactly what area was covered, but the land has now been returned to open fields. The only road in the area which runs in the same direction as the one shown in the bottom right corner of the drawing, passing the entrance pillars, is Les Ruettes, which is just to the south of Alphington House. Although it appears in a book describing the Channel Islands at the time of Queen Victoria's visit in 1846, the drawing could not have been made before 1894, when the Observatory tower, which shows clearly in the middle of the top of the picture, was erected. To the right of this tower is what appears to be the spire of St Thomas's Church. There is a reference in an 1840 guidebook to the island to large nurseries close to Government House, but it is not clear whether this is a reference to Caesarean Nurseries, which are some way distant from there.

HMV dealer sign

18 October

Faded almost beyond recognition in 2012, but promised restoration as part of a controversial scheme by the Co-operative Society to redevelop a large block in the centre of St Helier, this is the HMV dealer sign on the Pitt Street/Dumaresq Street corner where photographer Francis Foot had his shop. In addition to the photograph side of his business he sold early gramophones and recorded music - hence the HMV sign - and fishing supplies. Standing below the sign are Mrs Margaret Foot, née Vernon, and one of the couple's four children

Airport building restoration


This is both a new and a historical photograph. New, because it was taken on 18 November; historical, because it shows a view from Jersey Airport's air traffic control tower of the main airport building, which earlier this year lost most of the ugly extensions added over the years to the original 1937 structure. It may not be quite the airport it was when it first opened 75 years ago, but it is undeniably much more attractive than it appeared for most of the last 40


5 December
With the impending German invasion inevitable, and days rather than weeks away, thousands of Channel Islanders were faced with the agonising dilemma on 19 June 1940, and in the following days, whether to remain in their homes and await whatever Occupation would bring, or whether to evacuate from their island and face an equally uncertain future in an area of England which would be chosen for them. Many mothers with young children had already seen their husbands leave to fight in the war and had to make the agonising decision for themselves. A large number of photographs such as that below survive to show what it was like to sit and wait at the quayside for passage on a boat, but those showing the evacuees' arrival in England are much rarer. This one, taken from a new history of the German Occupation by actor and historian John Nettles illustrates so vividly the trauma which these families must have gone through. An iconic photograph of one of the most dramatic episodes in the life of an island community and its inhabitants
Young and old await an uncertain future on the dockside in St Helier in June 1940

Health and Safety

16 December

This picture shows the Nurses' Home at Jersey's General Hospital under construction in 1949. It is not the major construction in the foreground - one of the first major post-war projects - which is of particular interest, but the decoration work being undertaken on the Opera House facade, across on the other side of Gloucester Street. Look at the top left corner of the picture at men painting the outside of the Opera House perched precariously on ladders which reach from street level to a minimum of two storeys high. And the man on the right is painting five storeys above the ground. Health and safety issues had clearly not been invented 63 years ago. The picture comes from the archive of the General Hospital.

Cider making

1 January 2013

Cider was once Jersey's favourite drink, its biggest export and a crop which dominated the countryside. In the late 18th century 15% of the total area of the island and 20% of enclosed fields were given over to apple orchards, despite the States deciding in 1673 to ban the creation of any more orchards in an attempt to ensure that sufficient land was devoted to vital crops such as wheat. Cider making went into decline during the 19th century and by the middle of the 20th, Frank Pinel, who, in this picture, is supervising the process at Les Ruettes, on the border of St Lawrence and St John, was the last to make cider by hand in the traditional way. By the time that this picture was taken in 1958 most producers were using Hessian (sack cloth) to envelop each layer of crushed apple in the press. Mr Pinel was using the traditional more labor intensive method of woven straw matting, which produced cider with a distinctive and superior flavour. It was traditional to provide the seasonal Breton farm-workers with cider but because cider had fallen out of favour with the local market, the relatively short seasonal demand was satisfied by importing from France. The circular stone apple crushers which start the cider-making process which remain popular as ornaments in the gardens of well-heeled islanders, are often mistakenly referred to as cider presses, but the press is the device which takes the crushed apples and produces the juice which is then fermented to make cider. Perversely the apple crusher is known as a pressoir in French.

Three harbourmouths

8 January 2013

This aerial photograph of St Helier Harbour, taken some time in the 1990s, is not of the best quality, but it vividly indicates how the island's main port has grown over the years. The original harbour, bounded by Commercial buildings, La Folie, South Pier and the New North Quay, is in the left centre of the photograph. This section of the port dries out completely at low tide and contains the original English and French Harbours and what is now known as the Old Harbour. Today these harbours are used exclusively for leisure craft. Moving out towards the camera we see the Albert and Victoria Piers, built during the 19th century and for over 100 years the outer limits of the harbour. In the late 20th century there was further expansion to create Elizabeth Harbour, a roll-on roll-off terminal in the left foreground, which is today the main centre of activity for both cargo vessels and passenger and car ferries. To the right is the slightly earlier marina, with an industrial complex behind on reclaimed land. Out of shot on the right is the berth specially for tankers delivering fuel to the island.

English Harbour

15 January 2013

Another historical picture of St Helier Harbour this week. This is the English Harbour, nestling between the pier at La Folie and Commercial Buildings. In the earliest days of the harbour as we know it today, there were just two mooring areas either side of La Folie, barely protected from westerly gales by a much shorter version of what is now known as South Pier. Between South Pier and La Folie was what it now known as the French Harbour. These two harbours both dried out rapidly after high tide so were of limited use for cargo vessels, which were more likely to moor in the shelter of St Aubin's Fort and then alongside the new jetty which created St Aubin's Harbour. In the early 20th century the wall of the English Harbour facing Commercial Buildings was a popular mooring place for large private yachts and, as in this photograph, quite sizeable sailing vessels, but today it is used exclusively for small leisure craft. Although the moorings are among the first to dry out on an ebbing tide, they are nevertheless much sought after by boat owners

Queen Victoria's Visit

22 January 2013

Queen Victoria was the first reigning monarch to visit Jersey for centuries, possibly the first ever, and her visit was keenly anticipated and large crowds gathered at every vantage point on the day itself. This lovely painting shows the smartly dressed crowd waiting in the Royal Square for the Queen to be driven through in her carriage from Broad Street to Peirson Place

Riley-Horton wedding

28 January

This photograph has very tenuous connections with Jersey, but it has been chosen as our feature picture because it is such a magnificent pictorial record of an early 20th century wedding. The groom was Oswald Charles Hamlet Riley (1878-1966) a second cousin of Athelston Riley, who bought Trinity Manor in the first decade of the century. The bride was Christobel Mary Stuart Horton (1887-1960) and apart from that, little else is known of the couple and the people in the photograph.

Le Hocq Tower

6 February

This is the earliest known picture of Le Hocq Tower, one of Jersey's round coastal towers which were built to protect the island from invasion by the French in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Le Hocq's tower had not been built in 1781 when the French successfully invaded the island just up the coast at La Rocque, leading to the Battle of Jersey. This painting in by W C Stanfield, and it dates from about 1840. It has been in the gallery of pictures of Jersey's coastal towers for some time, but we have now acquired this much better quality image. There are a dozen other new images of Le Hocq Tower, which now has its own special gallery on the page of pictures of all the towers, several of which have long been lost, either to stormy weather or German explosives in the Occupation

Militia Camp

18 February

In the early years of the 20th century annual militia camps were held in a number of locations, including Grouville Common and Les Quennevais. The largest camp, however, was usually staged outside the walls of Fort Regent, on what was known as the East Glacis. Later in the century this area of land was developed for housing. Today the field sloping down from the derelict swimming pool is known as Glacis Field and many islanders do not know that there was a larger, flat, open area to the east of it where militia camps and training exercises were held. Not only did the camps have a serious military purpose, but they were also major social events and officers would entertain their ladies and families on sports day, attracting large numbers of St Helier residents to visit Mont de la Ville.

Lion Hotel

28 February

This magnificent photograph of a heavily laden charabanc and a motor car parked outside the Lion Hotel is something of a mystery because we do not know where the Lion Hotel was, and we do not know exactly when the picture was taken. Photographs of charabanc outings are very common, because they attracted professional photographers keen to sell copies of their work to those on the outings, but photographs of motor cars of the same vintage are much rarer, and the combination of the two is unique in the Jerripedia archive. Update: Mystery solved. The establishment has been identified as the Red Lion Hotel in Belgreve Bay in Guernsey, which explains why the Jerripedia editors could not place it in Jersey. It's such a grand photograph, however, that it deserves its brief moment of glory by being retained as our picture of the week

Newspaper kiosk

3 March

Why have newspaper and magazine kiosks disappeared in Jersey? And, for that matter, in the British Isles generally. They are still a familiar sight in many European countries. This lovely photograph shows Iris de la Mare outside her kiosk on the slipway at West Park. We don't know the exact date of the photograph but everything seems to point to the late 1930s

Royal Visit

11 March

The visit to Jersey by Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort, Albert, on Thursday, 3 September 1846, was surprisingly brief. The Queen, believed to be the first reigning monarch ever to visit the island, set foot on Jersy soil at 11 am, having spent the night on the Royal Yacht anchored in St Aubin's Bay, and departed at the end of the afternoon, after a carriage tour of the island. This was at the very dawn of photography and no photographs of the visit are known to exist. Many paintings and etchings were produced, however, and this one, from the Illustrated London News, shows the large crowd which gathered in the Royal Square to see the Royal Party pass along Vine Street, into Peirson Place and then King Street.

Broad Street, 1875

22 March

Not only is this one of the best photographs of Broad Street, but taken in 1875, only three decades after photography came to the island, it is one of the best early pictures of anywhere in Jersey. The photograph was one of a number of surviving pictures of the Street taken by Ernest Baudoux and shows clearly that the street was surfaced with cobbles at the time. Remarkably, although the use of many of the buildings pictured has changed over the past 138 years, the general view is much as it is today. The main difference is that a cafe, formerly public toilets, now stands in front of the Le Sueur Memorial, also now surrounded by trees.

La Corbiere

26 March

Two pictures for the price of one this week. Today the picture above is one of the most photographed views of Jersey, but there is something missing here. This is an early picture of La Corbière on the south-west corner of the island, where a lighthouse stands today. It was the first concrete structure of its type to be built in the British Isles and for 140 years it has been the main beacon alerting shipping in the English Channel that the rocky Jersey coastline is close by. As with many easily accessible areas off the south coast, La Corbière is a popular spot for low water fishing, and a 1930s photograph shows a family group exploring the rock pools

Victorian beach dress

11 April

Not a lot can be written about this picture of a stylish Victorian lady on the beach at West Park, except to say that it illustrates perfectly how people dressed over a century ago when they ventured on to the beach. West Park, on the western fringes of St Helier, was a popular venue. The outline of Fort Regent can be seen clearly on the skyling behind the subject

School photographs

16 April

Two pictures this week which could not be more contrasting. Above are the children of St Paul's School in 1907. A private school, it clearly catered for the children of families which could afford to send their daughters to school smartly dressed and impeccably turned out. The style is perhaps more Victorian than Edwardian, but Britain's longest reigning monarch had only been dead for six years. Below are the children of Val Plaisant Infants School, pictured 15 years later in 1922, but it almost seems as if the clock has been turned backwards. These youngsters (urchins is the word which springs to mind) were not the children of the well-heeled, but state funded education in Jersey was sufficiently well advanced by this time to ensure that they had the opportunity of a better chance in life than their parents had had. No doubt the instructions to both groups were: 'Sit still, face the front and keep quiet!' but the little girl to the right of centre of the back row in the picture below is be the only one of these 50 Jersey schoolchildren showing any sign of enjoying the experience

Havre des Pas pool

24 April

Havre des Pas Pool was opened by the Jersey Swimming Club in 1895. Generations of islanders have learned to swim at the pool, which has been a year-round attraction for both residents and visitors to the island. Diving champions have trained there, hardy individuals have taken the plunge on Christmas Day or participated in the annual swim from Green Island. And how many thousands of local youngsters must have left their bicyles leaning against the railings (no need for security chains when this picture was taken early in the 20th century). We have a new history of Havre des Pas Pool which gives more information about its's opening and development

St Catherine field

28 April

This delightful picture of St Catherine, probably taken around the turn of the 19th century, would be worth its place on this page for no other reason than that it shows a typical farming scene in Jersey over a century ago. But Jerripedia editor Mike Bisson had another reason for choosing this image, because it shows the same view that his parents enjoyed from their house when they retired to this part of the island in the 1980s. Little has changed today (apart from the construction, on the spot where the photographer probably stood, of the house in which the Bissons lived) and the field is still cultivated, albeit with tractors rather than horse-drawn implements. Also, as with many parts of the island, there are far more trees today than there were a century ago and this uninterrupted view can no longer be enjoyed

The first weighbridge

4 May

We need four pictures this week to tell the story of the development of the area of St Helier's waterfront which has come to be known as The Weighbridge. There have been two public weighbridges at the town end of St Helier Harbour, both built on reclaimed land. The first, the construction of which was ordered by the States in 1825, was situated next to the Southampton Hotel, as shown in the picture above, taken on a busy day when farmers were queuing with their vans to have potatoes weighed before they could be exported. This picture dates to the mid-1870s, because in 1877 the new, larger weighbridge, further south of the Southampton Hotel, started to be used. It is not known who took this photograph, but it is attributed to both Edwin Dale and Ernest Baudoux by the photographic archive of La Société Jersiaise. The middle picture shows the new weighbridge, at the top of the New North Quay, in front of the terminus of the Jersey Western Railway. This picture dates to late 1889 or early 1890, because the circular gardens have been laid out but the Statue of Queen Victoria, which was unveiled in the centre of 3 September 1890 is not yet in place. The picture shows clearly that the Old Harbour extends as far north as the Albert Harbour behind it. In the first half of the 20th century a substantial section of the top of the harbour was filled in to provide more space for harbour activities and for car parking. Although in everyday parlance the term 'The Weighbridge' covers a large area at the top of the harbour, the only properties which actually bear the address Weighbridge Place, are those in the row in the top picture. In the mid-70s the Southampton Hotel, built in 1864, was a fairly modest structure, which by the time the middle picture below was taken after 1899, had grown an extra story and a much more decorative facade, which survives today, although the business is shortly to close and the interior of the building to be gutted and redeveloped. Next to the Southampton the Weighbridge Coffee Tavern has metamorphosed into the Weighbridge Cafe, and the Weighbridge Hotel alongside it into the Finsbury Hotel. The row is completed by Shaw's Navy Hotel

Before the Grand Hotel

16 May

These photographs by Ernest Baudoux were taken in the mid-1870s. The upper picture shows the back of the Marine Hotel on the Esplanade, with its swimming baths. This hotel, formerly the Hotel Empress Eugenie, was demolished and the Grand Hotel built in its place, opening in 1890. The Marine Hotel was also known as Jewell's Hotel, after one of its proprietors. The hotel appears not to have made the corner of the Esplanade and Pierson Road as did the Grand Hotel when it was built, but there was originally another separate property to the side. The open land in the foreground is Triangle Park and in the background the sweep of the Albert Pier can be clearly seen, as well as Fort Regent on the skyline. Below is a rare picture of the hotel from the front showing clearly that the Marine Hotel did not occupy the whole Esplanade frontage between Pierson Road and Kensington Place, as it does today, and also that the hotel was set right on the roadside, whereas the Grand was built further back, with an elevated terrace in front.

Wartime creche

22 May

In the 19th and early 20th centuries it was not common for women to go out to work. They stayed at home and looked after large families. Everything changed with the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 and women were forced to take jobs to support their families when their husbands went off to fight in the war. This created a problem with what to do with the children and creches had to be opened to care for them during the day. This delightful picture by Percival Dunham shows children at one of these creches at Beaulieu

Gorey land reclamation

31 May

The major land reclamation schemes around St Helier Harbour which started in the last quarter of the 20th century and are still in progress had their origins in the need to find places to dump much of the rubble and other solid waste which the island produces on a daily basis, but they were by no means the first efforts at land reclamation. In the early part of the 19th century, perhaps even earlier, land was reclaimed at what is now the innermost part of St Helier Harbour, the area now known as the Weighbridge, which was previously sand dunes washed by high tides. And in the 1870s, after the shipbuilding yards which lined the coast at Gorey had ceased to operate, a large section of beach was reclaimed to create a coastal road, and, in due course, an extension of the railway line from Gorey Village to the pier. The picture below shows what this area was like before reclamation started. Four-storey buildings, probably some of the tallest houses in the island at the time, backed directly on to the beach and were supported by wooden struts. Washing lines stretched across the sand and the high tide lapped at the exterior walls of the houses. The route from the pier to the village was on higher ground behind these buildings. The picture above shows work in process to reclaim this section of foreshore, the position of the new sea wall indicating just how much land which today is covered in gardens, the coast road and another line of buildings, was reclaimed from the sea

Air hostesses

26 June

These two pictures were only taken about 20 years apart, yet they show as striking a difference between style and fashions as could probably be found over any period of two decades in Jersey's history. The top picture, taken in the 1950s, shows air hostesses of Transair, an airline founded in 1947 which used to carry newspapers to Jersey and many other destinations throughout the British Isles. It operated holiday charter flights to the island and also a seasonal scheduled service to London Heathrow. Below are the renowned 'Caledonian Girls', on the steps of a BAC 111 at Jersey Airport some time in the 70s, after the Caledonian Airways had merged with BUA to create British Caledonian. The airline and its aircrews were enormously popular and it grew to become the ninth largest airline in Europe and the largest independent, before a hostile takeover bid by British Airways.

Sweet manufacturer

3 July

Jersey was a much more self-sufficient community a century ago than it is today, when activities such as sweet manufacturing have all but died out. At the end of the 19th and in the early 20th century there were a number of sweet manufacturers, among them A Atkins, who was based at 5 The Parade. A report on his business was published in a 1911 edition of Jerseyman, a weekly newspaper which launched that year.

10 July

Battle of Flowers

The Jersey Battle of Flowers first took place in 1902 as part of the celebrations for the coronatin of Edward VII. There are many pictures in existence of the Battle that year, and in subsequent years, and Jerripedia has a substantial collection in its gallery, including at least one from all the early years. Few, however, are of the quality of this picture from 1909, when decorated horse-drawn carriages paraded one after the other in front of the spectators' grandstands. Unfortunately we do not know who took the photograph, but it is likely to have been one of the island's professional photographers of the time, possibly Albert Smith, Francis Foot or Percival Dunham


16 July

Our feature picture this week serves as an introduction to the remarkable story of the Jersey vessel GDT, which, in the second half of the 19th century, plied the routes between the island, the Canadian coast and southern European ports. This sturdy little vessel was badly damaged on a stormy Atlantic crossing, during which its captain was seriously injured and crew members were lost overboard. The GDT survived and then went to the assistance of the crew of a foundering Belgian vessel. With food and water running desperately low the GDT, with the survivors of the other ship, reached safety in Portugal, and eventually returned to Jersey, only to be swept ashore in St Aubin's Bay in yet another storm. Read the full story of the wreck of the GDT

23 July


This is the 100th picture to appear in Picture of the week, and it is the first time we have featured an individual property. This imposing house is (or rather was) Plaisance, which was demolished after being acquired by the great benefactor Thomas Benjamin Davis fulfilling a promise he made to a previous owner after being caught 'scrumping' for chestnuts in his garden. The picture was taken in 1938, shortly before the house was demolished to make way for Howard Davis Park, which T B Davis named in memory of his son, who was killed in the Great War. Distant views of the house are quite common, but this shot, taken by an Evening Post photographer, is the first close-up we have seen. Our thanks to the newspaper's photographic archive for sending us the picture.

31 July

Plaza 1939

The majority of our weekly feature pictures could be described as 'evocative of a bygone age', but none more so than this image of the Plaza Ballroom taken in 1939. Europe was on the brink of war, Jersey would soon have five years of German rule which would all but bring an end to simple pleasures such as ballroom dancing. But in 1939 Jersey's economy was booming, life continued virtually unaltered despite the gloomy news daily received of the political situation in Europe. And the Plaza was one of the island's premiere entertainment venues, somewhat more sophisticated than the discotheques and other nightspots of today. We have recently introduced a new section of the site looking at life in the years leading up to the German Occupation. Visit The thirties - the island's economy booms‎ to learn more about an important and happy period of island life

9 August

Madeira carriage

At first sight our feature picture this week would appear to have nothing to do with Jersey. This image is of a traditional ox-drawn sled in Funchal, Madeira. The connection with Jersey is that Funchal is one of the twin towns of Jersey's capital Saint Helier, along with Avranches in Normandy and Bad Wurzach in Germany. Funchal, the capital of Madeira, was chosen because of the many Madeirans who have settled in Jersey over the past 50 years, having moved from one holiday island in the Atlantic Ocean to another in the English Channel in search of work and prosperity. At first the Madeirans, who are Portuguese, were only seasonal visitors to Jersey, but since Portugal joined the European Union they have had the right to remain permanently, and several thousand have done, making up the island's largest immigrant community. They have integrated into Jersey life and married and brought up families, and now there are many second and third-generation Portuguese, born in Jersey and considering themselves to be Jerseymen and women. Links between Jersey and Madeira are strong, both between the two capitals, and the islands as a whole, and high-level delegations regularly travel from one to the other for official visits.

13 August

LL postcards

The LL series of postcards of Jersey forms a central part of many collections. Taken in the early years of the 20th century, over 300 images comprise one of the most important sets of images showing what life was like in Jersey 100 years ago. The postcards cover an enormous variety of subjects, with pictures of St Helier Harbour, country lanes, ladies in Jersey bonnets, the castles, beautiful bays, town streets, the railways, important public buildings, prehistoric tombs, statues and monuments among others. Jerripedia now has virtually a complete set of these images, which are often said to have been the work of French photographer Louis Levy. Go to our LL postcards page to see the full set and discover why nobody called Louis Levy had any involvement in producing them

19 August

Images of France

This is Mont St Michel, just off the French coast in the corner of the Baie de Mont St Michel, where Brittany and Normandy meet. It has strong historical connections with Jersey. During the 11th and 12th centuries, before the Channel Islands became separated from the Duchy of Normandy, the Abbey of Mont St Michel had strong connections with several of the island’s churches, and derived a considerable income from them. In 1168 Philippe de Carteret gave the church of St Ouen to the Abbey. As late as 1254, Henry II confirmed that the monks were entitled to wreckage which washed up on their Jersey lands. Many important ancient records relating to Jersey have been discovered over the years at the Abbey. This superb picture, shows the causeway which has connected the islet to the shore for many years, and which is in the process of being removed so that the mount once again becomes an island at high tide. We have chosen this image as our picture of the week to introduce a new feature to Jerripedia – historical pictures of towns in Normandy and Brittany with which Jersey has links, including the twin towns of the 12 Jersey parishes. Go to our Normandy and Brittany pages for links to the new galleries

28 August

Snow Hill by Charles Hugo

This remarkable photograph of Snow Hill was taken in 1853 by Charles, the son of French political refugee and writer Victor Hugo. This is one of the earliest surviving outdoor photographs of Jersey and it shows the cutting at Snow Hill long before it became the town terminus of the Jersey Eastern Railway

4 September

Postcards of Edwardian Jersey

Something very different this week. Our collection of LL postcards of Jersey is proving so popular that we though we would put together a rotating display of some of the best of them in panoramic format.

12 September

Cattle on show

The parochial and island cattle shows were once among the most important events in Jersey's calendar, attracting large numbers of exhibitors and big crowds. Today the number of herds in the island has dwindled to a tiny number and there is no longer the interest in the handful of shows which remain. This picture shows Jersey cattle awaiting their turn in the show ring at a St Ouen cattle show in the early years of the 20th century

20 September

18th century St Helier

This is one of the earliest surviving drawings of the town of St Helier. It has not been possible to date the picture accurately, but because Fort Regent was built on the town hill in 1806, and does not appear in this picture, and the town is clearly starting to spread out from the earlier collection of buildings around the Royal Square, it probably dates from the late 18th century. The tower of the town church can be made out just to the left of centre in the background. The tall building further left in the middle ground are probably the hospital. The artist's viewpoint was probably Westmount, and stretching from there to the town boundary were sand dunes, with mounds of seaweed collected to dry on the shore. The solitary building in the foreground is probably the picket house where the West Park slipway would later be built

26 September

St Ouen's Bay holiday chalets

St Ouen's Bay, which runs the full length of the west coast of Jersey, is a protected area now and virtually no new buildings or extensions to existing ones are permitted. But before the Second World War things were very different, and weekend bungalows stood all along the shore. This Tuck postcard shows holiday chalets surrounding the Chateau Plaisir. Many of these buildings were demolished by the Germans during the Occupation and permission was refused for them to be reconstructed after the war

1 October

Civil War:Troops cross to the castle

Troops cross the causeway from West Park to Elizabeth Castle during the English Civil War. This conflict had a major impact on Jersey, with political control passing backwards and forwards between the intensely Royalist de Carteret family and their Parliamentary opponents. We have recently added a major new section on the Civil War in the Channel Islands to Jerripedia, including a 1937 article from the Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise, divided into nine parts

6 October

Woman tightrope walker at St Aubin

Maria Spelterini (1853-1912) was an Italian tightrope walker, the first woman to cross the Niagara Falls in 1876. She also crossed again blindfolded, manacled, and with peach baskets strapped to her feet. She was known as the female “Blondin”. Details of her earlier appearance in Jersey are very limited. Her appearances at St Aubin in 1872 were to help the small harbour maintain its status as a busy and thriving part of the island and support the railway link with St Helier. She put on several performances, some of which included illumination and fireworks. This was at the start of her career. There is little detail of her exploits before her performance in Jersey, but it is known that she also performed in St Petersburg, Moscow, and Catalonia.

15 October

Market Square in 1733

Unlike the majority of images which appear as Picture of the Week, this one has been in Jerripedia's collection for some time, but this is a much better quality copy and deserves its place here as a perfect illustration of what life was like nearly 300 years ago, when the Royal Square we know today was still called market square, and was surrounded by an informal collection of one and two-storey buildings with thatched roofs. The painting clearly depicts an event of some sort, with finely dressed officials in conversation in the centre while townsfolk go about their business all around. A banner hangs from the cohue, or court building in the centre, to the left of which is the market cross. On the far right can be seen the Town Church and the corn market building. The banner appears to read 'General Chevalier Lieut Governor 1733, which might suggest that the red-coated man in the centre is the island's new Lieut-Governor being welcomed by the Bailiff and other dignitaries, but this does not appear to tie in with any appointments known for that year. It is also not known whether this is a contemporary depiction of the event or one produced some time later.

October 27

Grouville 'concentration camp'

It is well documented that during the Second World War Jersey was occupied by the Germans, but not so well known that in the earlier conflict of 1914-1918 German prisoners of war were transported to Jersey. The main camp built to house them was on the sand dunes in St Ouen's Bay, but an early holiday camp at Grouville was also pressed into service and in an eerie foretaste of events to come in central Europe, it was described as a concentration camp

4 November

Jersey cattle in the USA

An important part of this wide-ranging website is its bibliography of books, newspapers and magazines about the island and published in the island. One section attempts to keep track of the growing number of these books which can be read online. We have just discovered an excellent book entitled Jersey Cattle in America written in 1885 John S Linsley and published in New York, and we have chosen this picture from its frontispiece as our feature picture this week. Further pictures from the book will be added to the site in due course

11 November

Farming families

Unfortunately we do not have very much information about the above picture, which has been in Jerripedia for several months, and was drawn to our attention by the arrival of another copy some days ago. So although it has been sitting in our Farming picture gallery and our Special picture gallery for some time, we thought that it is such an evocative picture of farm life a century ago that it fully deserved an outing as picture of the week. All we know is that this is a Dutot family, photographed in their farmyard in 1910, surrounded by their chickens and with a magnificent assembly of seed potatoes in boxes behind them. Another picture below of a Jersey farming family. Only this time we know even less. We have been unable to put a name to the family. Can anybody help?

18 November

Deckchairs at West Park

Two pictures for the price of one this week, both taken about the same time – probably late 1960s or early 1970s – and either side of West Park Café, showing just how popular a spot this was with sunseekers at the time. West Park has the first stretch of dry sandy beach to the west of the town of St Helier and it has been a popular venue for islanders and tourists alike, ever since it became popular to sit and soak up the sunshine

25 November

Vicars visit Faldouet Dolmen

Our feature picture this week is an unusual image, taken some time towards the end of the 19th century, showing a group of clergymen visiting the dolmen at Faldouet in the north-east of Jersey. And unfortunately that's all we can tell you about this old photograph.

2 December

St Aubin's Harbour in the Victorian era

Our feature pictures this week are two very early photographs of St Aubin's Harbour taken from different viewpoints. These have recently come up for auction, although listed in error as being pictures of St Helier Harbour.

9 December

Family photograph

Francis Foot was a prolific commercial photographer in the early 20th century. After his death in 1966 his glass plates and negatives lay gathering dust in the deserted family shop in Pitt Street, until 30 years later, following the death of his son, they were donated to La Société Jersiaise by Foot's grandson. Many of the glass plates had been badly damaged, including this, one of many surviving pictures of the photographer's family. He frequently stopped while on an outing in his car and got the family to pose for his camera. Here we see in the car, in 1924, Francis Foot's 80-year-old mother Louisa, his wife Margaret, and eldest son George, and on the running board, children Dora, Reg and Stanley. Our biography page for Foot includes a gallery of more family photographs, pictures of island locations and events, including the early years of the Jersey Battle of Flowers

16 December 2013

On board the St Malo ferry

Our Picture of the week regularly features an aspect of the island which has changed dramatically or disappeared altogether since the photograph was taken. This week's feature picture is one of those which conjures up images of a time when life was lived at a different pace, and in a different style. This photograph was taken on the deck of the steamship Laura between Jersey and St Malo in 1905. Unfortunately we have no information about the people in what is a lovely photograph. But how much better could it have been if the portly gentleman had been facing the camera rather than looking the other way? One can only surmise that he did not want his picture taken and was deliberately looking the other way, because otherwise surely the photographer would have waited until he turned round.

6 January 2014

Royal visit

Most of the surviving images of the visit to Jersey in 1849 of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are lithographs by the prominent Jersey artists Philip Ouless and John Le Capelain. Our feature picture this week is a drawing by an unknown artist showing the arrival of Victoria and Albert at the Victoria Harbour and, although not exhibiting quite the artistic quality of the better known paintings of this important event in the island’s history – the first official visit by a reigning monarch – it has a particular charm and captures the atmosphere of the day

13 January 2014

Ouless sketch of St Aubin's Bay

Our feature picture this week is worth of its place in its own right, but it has also been chosen as a taster for things to come next week. This sketch of St Aubin’s Bay was made in September 1873 by one of Jersey’s greatest artists, Philip Ouless. The sketch shows St Matthew's Church and the windmill and coastal tower at Bel Royal. The windmill has long since disappeared, the coastal tower was blown up by the Germans during the Occupation, but the church remains and is now usually known as the 'Glass Church', because of the magnificent collection of Lalique glass which was used when the interior was refurbished. This sketch was probably the inspiration for the later lithograph of the central area by Ouless (below). Both drawings show that there were almost no buildings on the shoreline between Millbrook and St Aubin in the distance. Today, from the church westwards there is an almost unbroken line of buildings. During the coming week we will adding more sketches by Ouless, J E Lempriere, an 18th century Jersey artist who is new to us, and other Jersey artists

20 January 2014

Ecrehous visit in 1893

Our feature picture this week is a photograph of an official visit to the Ecrehous in 1893, at a time when ownership of the reef was still disputed between Jersey and France and regular visits were paid to assert Jersey's claim to sovereignty. On this occasion the visiting party included the Lieut-Governor, Sir Edwin Markham, the Bailiff, Sir George Clement Bertram, Jurats of the Royal Court and other officials. The party travelled from Gorey on the ss Commerce and the photograph was taken by Tynan Brothers of Bath Street

27 January 2014

Militia camp

We already have a large selection of pictures of Militia camps in the early years of the 20th century, but this one is new to us, and of particularly good quality. It was taken in 1906 on the East Glacis outside Fort Regent, by the prominent local photographer of the time Albert Smith and reproduced as a postcard, no doubt achieving good sales to members of the Militia who took part, and their families and others who visited during the duration of the camp. It shows militiamen lining up in threes outside their tents, ready for drill practice. And notice what perfectly straight lines those circular tents were arranged in. At that time militia service and attendance at an annual camp was compulsory for all men between the ages of 17 and 35. Only eight years after this picture was taken many militiamen, undoubtely including some of those photographed, would leave the island, some never to return, to fight for their country in the Great War

3 February 2014

Salvation Army postcard

Our feature picture this week is also not new to the site, the image from the postcard having been present for some time. But we have not previously been able to date the picture of a Salvation Army gathering at the Weighbridge. Having just obtained this postcard, dated 1899, we can confirm that it is one of the earliest to have been sent from the island, only a handful dating back to the first in 1895 still in existence. This is a typical postcard of the era, when the back of the card was reserved strictly for the recipient's name and address, and any greetings having to be written on or around the picture. Even though cards would soon be produced with pictures covering the whole of the front, postal restrictions would continue to require messages of greeting to be written across the sky, or in some other convenient place where the writing would stand out from the background

11 February

Belsen survivor

This picture is believed to show Jerseyman Harold Le Druillenec with a British 'Tommie' at Belsen concentration camp just after its liberation by English troops in 1945. Le Druillenec and his fellow Jerseyman Frank Le Vilio were the only two British prisoners to survive Belsen, although the survival of Le Vilio only came to light many years after the war. Harold Le Druillenec, however, was not only named as a victim in the indictment against the camp commandant and guards, but gave detailed evidence later in 1945 of what he and others suffered at Belsen. A biography of Le Druillenec, together with a transcript of his evidence has been added to Jerripedia in the past week. Before you click on the link to read what he had to say, beware that this is a very harrowing account of life and death in a German concentration camp. This photograph appeared in The Herald, the forerunner of The Sun in 1964 and now appears on the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum website, suggesting that this is believed to be a soldier from the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry or the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars

17 February

Notre Dame du Bon Secours

This fine aerial photograph shows Highlands College in the days when it was known as Notre Dame du Bon Secours School. The school, built in the grounds of the house in the left foreground known as Highlands - hence the name it has always gone by - was established as a French naval training establishment in 1894, and afterwards run as an ordinary school by the Jesuits. Before and after the Second World War it became a school for training French missionaries, but was taken over by the States in 1970 and developed to become a college of higher and further education. The house Highlands now forms part of the administrative offices of the Education Department

24 February

A paddle at Plemont

Although we have not been able to identify exactly where or when this photograph was taken, we are happy that it was in Jersey, probably at Plemont on the north coast, and the gentlemen's clothes suggest that it was in the first decade of the 20th century. But were the men local or a group of visitors? It's impossible to say, but they were undoubtedly on a charabanc outing and had made their way down the cliffs to enjoy a paddle in the sea, probably after a visit to the caves which were a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Of course, people still enjoy the caves and beach at Plemont today, and it is not uncommon for them to roll up their trouser legs for a paddle, although few, if any, will be wearing three-piece suits.

3 March

Carriages at Greve de Lecq

Last week's feature picture was a photograph taken on the beach at Plemont, and this week we move further along the island's north coast to Greve de Lecq. From the earliest days of the island's tourism industry in the 19th century, Greve de Lecq was a popular destination for visitors, and a number of hotels were built in the bay. The most popular of them at the turn of the century was Dooley's Pavilion, also known as the New Pavilion or simply The Pavilion. It first appears in the 1891 census under the management of Rodney Pooley. At the time, Pooley was a 41-year-old man from Surrey. He had died by the 1901 census and his sister Charlotte, born in London in 1859, is recorded as hotel proprietress. The hotel was a popular venue for visitors and Mr Pooley seems to have been a very caring employer, leaving various individual legacies in his will to members of hotel staff. He first appears in the 1881 census as a visitor at the home of Alfred de Veulle at 45 David Place. By 1891 he has married Elizabeth, who was born in Grouville. Rodney was probably the son of Alexander Pooley and Eliza, of Clapham, Surrey. The hotel was later destroyed by fire and rebuilt. Then in the 1980s the site became Caesar’s Palace, a venue for live shows and cabaret. In the late 19th century and early 20th it was popular not only with visitors, who would arrive by carriage from St Helier Harbour and be taken on island tours in horse-drawn charabancs, but also with local people for dinners, weddings and other celebrations. Many Militia functions were held there with the participants posing for photographs outside. The hotel site has long since been redeveloped for housing, but the Greve de Lecq Barracks opposite still remain

10 March

Which ship?

A maritime mystery this week. These two photographs, supposedly of the same vessel, came to us captioned 'Southampton'. However, the only ss Southampton which operated to St Helier, where the picture below was undoubtedly taken, was a paddle steamer which was in service from 1860 until 1897, and was broken up the following year. The lower picture, which purports to show the Master of the vessel, appears to have been taken some 14 years after that. The clothing in the upper photograph would also seem to suggest the Edwardian era rather than Victorian. We asked Kevin Le Scelleur, an authority on steamships, if he had any suggestions, and he expressed the view that the Master is standing at the top right of the upper picture. He cannot explain why the lifeboat has the name 'Southampton' on it. As far as the lower picture is concerned, he said: "The other picture is very interesting. I think it is the 2nd Mate standing up, and the vessel is Laura at right angles to the Victoria Pier, swinging to berth at the west cross berth. The interesting bit are the vessels in he back ground. The three boats in the middle of the harbour are I think GWR Roebuck with a tug on the left side and a salvage vessel on the right. This is after her grounding on the Kaines under La Moye, and if this is correct the picture was taken on either 14 August 1911 when she was towed into the Harbour, or on 19 August when she left for Milford Haven. This also ties in with the rock breaking platform in the upper part of the Harbour." Can any Jerripedia user throw any more light on these fascinating photographs?

17 March 2014

A bay changes

St Brelade's Bay was Jersey's most popular beach during the tourism boom in the second half of the 20th century, and remains so today, but it was not always so. Before the Second World War there had been very little development in the bay, and coastal areas such as La Collette, West Park, and even the sandy north coast bays at Plemont and Greve de Lecq were more popular destinations for visitors and locals alike. Even into the 20s and 30s, when the photograph above was taken, St Brelade's Bay was still a quiet rural area, with no sea wall, and only a handfull of luxury homes to be seen along the shoreline. By the 1960s, when the picture below was taken, everything had changed, and on a sunny summer day it was difficult to find a vacant patch of sand to set up a deckchair and windbreak

4 April

A tree-lined country lane

The annual migration of our editor Mike Bisson from Spain to France has caused an inevitable hiatus in the updating of the weekly feature picture, for which we apologise. Normal service is resumed with this photograph of the lane between the manors of Vinchelez de Haut and Vinchelez de Bas in St Ouen. This short stretch of tree-lined road has always been a popular subject for photographers because over the years it has been probably the most enclosed by branches and foliage of any country lane in the island. This image was taken by an amateur photographer, certainly in the 19th century, and possibly as early as the 1860s or 70s, making it a very early view of Jersey's countryside.

16 April

A garrison soldier's album

We have four feature pictures this week, taken from the private album of an officer in the 66th Regiment who was stationed at Fort Regent as part of the island garrison in the late 1860s. The picture at the top left is the first we have come across of the accommodation inside the barracks, and, taken in 1869, it shows that the officer lived in some comfort in what he described as his 'casemate' with access direct on to the parade ground in the centre of the fort. The other pictures show the 66th Regiment band, a groun of officers relaxing outside the 'Ante room' and a rare early view of Bel Royal, with St Matthew's Church, now popularly known as the 'Glass Church, and the Bel Royal windmill and coastal tower in the centre.

4 May

St Helier Harbour

After a short gap our weekly feature picture returns with a magnificent image of St Helier Harbour, apparently in the 1950s, taken as so many have been over the years, looking down from Fort Regent. Although the English Harbour in the foreground is full of leisure craft, the Old Harbour to the right seems strangely empty. There is a mailboat, probably Isle of Jersey, berthed on the Albert Pier in the background, and a single cargo vessel on the New North Quay. In the foreground is La Folie Inn, now sadly closed and with an uncertain future. Close examination of other areas reveals a harbour almost totally lacking in activity, which leads us to believe that the photograph must have been taken very early in the 'fifties, or possibly even earlier

10 May

St Helier Harbour

The contrast between this image of the fledgling St Helier harbour in the early 18th century, with just a single jetty, and the previous week’s image (above) from the 1950s is striking. We don’t have a date when the drawing was made, nor the time it is meant to illustrate, but in that respect it presents a considerable problem. The picture appears to show just a single jetty, so busy that other vessels are forced to stand on the beach below South Hill, but close examination suggests that Fort Regent has already been built on Mont de la Ville. The Fort was constructed in the first decade of the 19th century, but by then St Helier Harbour was growing and the construction of the north pier was well advanced. But there is a further even more serious problem because a monument can clearly be seen on the shore between the two beached boats. This is where the Harvey Memorial stands, and that was not erected until 1871. All of which combines to indicate that a considerable amount of artistic licence has been used to produce an attractive although historically inaccurate drawing, perhaps undertaken as late as the early 20th century

23 May

1906 wedding

No sooner do we think that we have caught up with our backlog of Jersey family trees to process than another batch arrives from researchers eager to see their families featured in Jerripedia. Please keep them coming! The latest batch of trees included one for the Abel family, which first appears in Jersey records in the very early years of the 18th century, when two brothers were married in St Helier. The tree was supplied to us with a number of superb family photographs, including this one of an Abel family wedding a century later in 1906.

30 May

Plemont 1904

Four pictures for the price of one this week, all copied from 1904 stereoviews of Plemont, a beach on the north coast of Jersey famed for its caves, accessible down a steep cliff face thanks to a network of steps and bridges, whose structures have varied over the years. Since the first parties of islanders and holidaymakers started to explore Jersey in horse-drawn carriages and charabancs in the 19th century, Plemont has always been a popular place to halt, clamber down the rocks, and explore the caves and rock pools. There are many much better quality pictures of Plemont on the Jerripedia page devoted to this sandy bay, which is completely covered by high tides and today is popular with surfers, but these have a certain fascination having been taken by an amateur photographer well over 100 years ago.

14 June

Dressed for the beach

Only the most well-to-do families in the Victorian era could afford either to own their own camera or to have family photographs taken by a professional. This super picture of an unidentified family was taken by Philip Godfray, which dates it to between 1848 and 1898, although the clothes suggest that it was taken at the end of that period, just inside the 19th century. Quite why this family chose to pose for their group photograph on the beach is not clear, but the picture has the appearance of a commissioned photograph, rather than one taken by an itinerant photographs durig a group charabanc outing. If only we knew who these people were - but as with many family photographs, there were no names written on the back!

19 July

Dressed for the beach - Part 2

Our picture of the week feature has had a bit of a summer break (or at least our picture editor has) so we thought it appropriate to resume where we left off five weeks ago with a summer beach picture. Taken at West Park in the early years of the 20th century, it shows very little of the flesh which is exposed on the same beach on a warm summer day in the 21st century. Hats are de rigeur for all, including the children who wore very sensible broad-brimmed versions to shade them long before sun screen lotions were invented
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