Archive pictures of the week - 2014

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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 group 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 during 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

26 July

Harbour infill

The statue of Queen Victoria which was for decades the centrepiece of a circular garden at the Weighbridge has long since been moved to West Park and today there is a four lane highway and harbourside parking area between the top of the old harbour and where the gardens used to be. As the picture above shows, until the top of the harbour was filled in during the 1930s, there was only a narrow strip of land between the harbour and the gardens, which were created in the last decade of the 19th century, from when this picture is believed to date. Below is a rare picture of infilling work in progress

8 August

Works outing

We were sent a batch of pictures of members of the d'Authreau family just as we were creating a family page with links to the existing family tree and details of the involvement of six members of the family in World War One. It was difficult to know which of several superb pictures to choose as this week's feature picture, but we settled on this wonderful photograph of four d'Authreau brothers who were in business together and were treating their staff to a work's outing. The picture was taken in Church Street, presumably outside their business headquarters, but we have no further information on what type of business it was. Standing in front of the charabanc with staff members aboard are (l to r) John James (1857-1938), Christian Harold (1883-1968), Frederic Powell (1878-1964) and William Victor (1865-1960). It appears that the picture was taken some time in the first decade of the 20th century, before William Victor, Frederic and Christian served in the Armed Forces during World War One. Clearly moustaches were fashionable at the time, all four brothers and seven of their employees sporting one.

25 August

Harbour postcards

Postcards were in their infancy when these two were written in 1903. All that was allowed on the back by the Post Office was the recipient's address, so any available space on the picture side was used to write the message. These two cards are based on photographs taken of St Helier Harbour in 1903 by prolific local photographer Albert Smith. The messages are written in French and are clearly in two different hands, although the photographs are from the same set. The upper picture shows horse-drawn carriages awaiting the arrival of the mailboat, which is about to dock and discharge its passengers who will be taken direct to their hotels. Horse-drawn transport is the feature of the photograph below, but these are farm carts laden with potatoes and ready to pass through the Weighbridge before being loaded on to ships on the New North Quay

6 September

Champion cyclist and aviation pioneer

14 September

St Helier in 1790

This drawing of St Helier as it was in the late 18th century has been on the site for a couple of years, illustrating an article on a talk given in 1980 on the growth of the town of St Helier. We thought it deserved the fresh prominence of being selected as our picture of the week, showing as it does what a small village the island's capital was under 250 years ago. It was surrounded on the east by Mont de la Ville, where Fort Regent would be built only a couple of decades later, on the north by marshland, on the west by sand dunes and on the south by the sea, which reached almost to the parish church, which can clearly be identified in the centre of the picture.

24 September

Allix postcard

This view of St Aubin in the early years of the 20th century is not particularly interesting in itself - postcards showing similar views abound. What is interesting is that we know who sent the postcard, we have her family tree in Jerripedia, and furthermore, her father Henry Allix, who ran the family shop whose address is shown on the card, was himself one of the earlist publishers of postcards in Jersey. We believe that the sender of the card was Henry's daughter Sophie, but it could possibly have been his wife, also Sophie. Either way it is not one of Henry Allix's own series of postcards, but one published by the Dundee firm Valentine. It appears from the message on the card that Sophie was a collector of postcards, and we believe from comparison with other Valentine postcards of the era, that it was published about 1903 (Henry published his own postcards between 1905 and 1914, which would surely have been chosen by Sophie had she had access to them) and, judging by the handwriting, was probably sent by Henry's daughter, then 17, rather than his wife, who was then nearly 50. By 1918 the younger Sophie had become Mrs Arthur Le Quesne. Arthur was first married to Sophie's younger sister, Jane, who died in 1918 at the age of 30. The note at the top of the card, clearly in a different hand, is fascinating in that it describes Jersey, in French, as 'an English possession in the Mediterranean with a population of 2,470'. See the Allix family page for more information about the family and their business.

2 October

Trains and boats

We had a postcard of St Aubin as our feature picture last week, and here is another one taken from the opposite direction. But why is there a picture of a mail steamer passing Elizabeth Castle on its way out from St Helier below? At first glance the two pictures have nothing in common, but look again at two views which have been photographed time and time again. The St Aubin picture shows a train crossing in front of the terminus station on its way to the tunnel and beyond, the track to La Corbiere. We don't think we have ever seen a picture capturing the moment when a train traversed the stretch of line in front of the terminus. We have tried hard to date the picture, but without success so far. The picture below is easier to date, because if you look carefully at the breakwater leading from Elizabeth Castle behind the ship you will see piles of concrete blocks. Work was clearly well advanced on the western arm of what was to have been a new, much enlarged St Helier Harbour, and blocks were being manufactured on the extending breakwater to take it further south beyond the Hermitage rock, which can be seen above the ship's bows. The breakwater can be seen extending to the left, which dates the picture after 1872, as shown from the opposite direction in our report on the progress of the project, and 1875, when the Elizabeth Castle arm having been completed, a second severe winter storm damaged the La Collette arm, work on which was eventually abandoned in 1877. We think the vessel shown is the South Western, which operated the mail service in 1875.

14 October

Air raid precautions

As early as 1938, the year before the Second World War broke out, and two years before the Germans launched an aerial bombardment before invading and occupying Jersey, the threat of air attacks to come was so strongly felt in the island that a major effort was put into developing air raid precaution drills. Our feature picture shows a large crowd assembled on the slopes of the Lower Park to watch a parade of firemen and others demonstrating how advanced their preparations were

20 October

1860s photographs of two ports

27 October

King's birthday

There is an air of mystery about this week's feature picture. We know when it was taken - 1907; we know where - Millbrook, on Jersey's south coast; we know the occasion - the King's Birthday; and we know roughly who is in the picture - the Royal Court, States Members, officers and men of the garrison regiment; but that's about all. We are not sure whether the occasion was Edward VII's actual birthday in November, or his official birthday, the anniversary of his Coronation, in August. We have no idea who took the picture, although the informal group and the fact that most are facing away from the camera suggest that it was an amateur snapshot rather than an official photograph. Although we are told that the location was Millbrook, it doesn't look like it. It is difficult to determine exactly where the picture was taken and which way the photographer was facing. It is also difficult to understand why the island's great and good would have assembled at Millbrook on such an important occasion. Perhaps there are Jerripedia readers who can add further information before we have the opportunity to study 1907 newspapers in an attempt to discover more.

4 November

JMO group photograph

Last week we had a picture which posed several questions which we were unable to answer but there is an even greater air of mystery about this week's feature picture. We know when it was taken - 1909; we know more or less where - on the sand dunes in St Ouen's Bay; and we know roughly who is in the picture, thanks to the placard - a group going by the name of JMO; but that's very definitely all. We have no idea what JMO stood for a century ago. Probably Jersey ....... Organisation, but what? There are several hundred people in the photograph - try counting them! - but we have no idea what was behind such a large gathering on the dunes. Perhaps there are Jerripedia readers who can add further information before we have the opportunity to study 1909 newspapers in an attempt to discover more.

12 November

1914 Battle of Flowers!!

This photograph was sent to us captioned '1914 Jersey Battle of Flowers', and, as such, would have been the first image we had of the last Battle to be held before the outbreak of World War 1. It is a superb picture, both for its content and the quality of the photograph. However, there is one major problem, and that is that the Battle of Flowers, scheduled to take place on 13 August 1914, was cancelled because of the outbreak of the war. We also have reservations about whether it could have been taken at the Jersey Battle of Flowers in another year because it is very difficult, because of the lack of depth of field, to establish exactly where it could have been taken. At first sight the slopes of Westmount can seemingly be made out in the left background, but it is what appears to be a large building, together with a palm tree, behind the carriage which is unsettling. It would be interesting to know what other similar events were taking place elsewhere at the time.

19 November

Militia infantrymen

It's sad that so many old photographs never had the names of the people in them written on the back. It's a perennial problem for family historians, and also for Jerripedia editors, who come across fabulous images such as this one taken at a Royal Militia Island of Jersey summer camp, probably in the first decade of the 20th century, and probably at Fort Regent. We do know that the men photographed were part of the 3rd Battalion (Light Infantry) but we know nothing more

25 November

Weighbridge gardens

We feature three pictures of the Weighbridge Gardens this week, the top one of which is very rare, because it shows the circular garden which was such a feature of this area at the top end of St Helier Harbour for nearly 80 years in the course of construction. Although the photographer focussed on the Old Harbour rather than the construction work in the foreground, the outline of the circular garden can be clearly seen, with part of the outer wall already under construction. This was soon to be surmounted by the circular iron railings and, in 1890, the statue of Queen Victoria, which was a belated celebration of her golden jubilee three years earlier, was unveiled. But first, as the middle picture shows, a tall flagstaff was erected in the centre of the newly laid-out gardens, presumably as a temporary measure until the statue was ready. It would stand in this position until 1972, when it was moved a short distance away, before being taken to the Triangle Park at West Park in 1976. The bottom picture shows the statue in place in 1908, and the line of horse-drawn carriages for hire where motorised taxis would queue until the whole area was given over to bus parking in the 1970s. The top picture is the only one we have ever seen of the gardens under construction, and it shows very clearly how close they were to the edge of the Old Harbour, although infilling was undertaken in the 1930s to create car parking here. What also shows clearly in the top photograph is how narrow the far end of the New North Quay originally was. Early in the 20th century it was widened so that it was the same width along its full length

1 December

Royal Visit

The visit of King George V and Queen Mary to the island 12 June 1921 was only the second official visit ever paid to Jersey by a reigning monarch. The first visit was that of King George V's grandmother, Queen Victoria. Many functions were packed into a busy day for the king and queen in 1921 and, this being the first Royal Visit after the invention of photography, which came too late for Victoria's visit, many thousands of photographs were taken. This informal picture was taken just after the Royal party arrived at Springfield Stadium, where the King was presented with a Jersey cow for the royal herd at Windsor. After this picture appeared here we were sent a set of images from a scrapbook of the 1921 Royal Visit which were held for some time by Jersey's Public Library before being passed to Jersey Archive. They are believed to have been assembled into the scrapbook by Government House after the visit, because among the collection is the letter of thanks sent by the King from his Royal Yacht after the visit and a copy of the menu for the dinner given on the yacht, autographed by the King and Queen. We have created a new page containing all the images from the scrapbook

8 December

Convicts

Apart from the prison uniforms that these three men are wearing in a photograph taken in 1912, there is nothing about their appearance or demeanour which suggests that they were hardened criminals, but such they were. The trio (left to right), Clifford Charles Walker, aged 18, of St Helier; Walter Gallichan, 20, of St Helier; and William Edward Le Bas, 49, of St Peter, were all sentenced to 12 months hard labour on 23 March 1912, for burglary, having been presented in Court by Centenier Charles Cuming. Walker had three previous convictions for burglary and robbery, twice in 1909 and once in 1912, and had been progressively sentenced on those occasions to one month, three months and four months hard labour. Gallichan had just one previous conviction, having received two months hard labour in 1910 for burglary. Le Bas had been before the Court twice, in 1908 and 1910, the first time having received six weeks hard labour for making a false declaration of a birth, and the second having been fined ten shillings for assault.

31 December

La Moye Quarry

We end 2014 with a picture of La Moye Quarries, close to La Corbiere on the south-west corner of Jersey, which were once the island's largest, and one of the great industries of the island. Stone from La Moye was used in the construction of St Helier Harbour, but it was also exported and used to build the Thames Embankment. The Jersey Western Railway was extended from St Aubin to La Corbiere, chiefly to provide access on a branch line to the quarries. This is a very rare picture showing the quarry in use. Today the excavated ara is used as a holding reservoir for the island's desalination plant, which converts sea water to drinking water
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