Four pictures illustrating the history of the Weighbridge area

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The first weighbridge

These four pictures 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 1928 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-1870s 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
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