Photographs of Jersey in the '60s and '70s by Pierre Mette
Pierre Mette on the south coast at La Mare with a Ford convertible
Pierre Mette was a keen amateur photographer and his work for Falles Garage regularly took him out-and-about in the island, and his camera always went with him. His images of the island and the company he worked for from the 1950s to 1980s were taken on transparency film, and digitised by his boss and lifelong friend John Falle. Most of the photos he took from the 1950s up until the early 90s, were processed onto colour slides, which were then transferred onto cd discs by my father. Pierre died in 2016 and his collection passed to John Falle's son Helier, who has made them available to Jerripedia, both as a record of island life, mainly in the 1960s and '70s, and as a tribute to Pierre Mette
Pierre Mette and Roy Salzac
Memories of a friend and colleague
John Falle wrote this tribute to Pierre Mette:
- 'Pierre was born in Brittany in 1925 and he was three years old when he came to live in Jersey with his mother. They lived at Victoria House, in Victoria Road in Georgetown, St Saviour.
- I knew him from our school days at St Luke's, though he was a couple of years ahead of me, but we bumped into each other occasionally as I only lived down the road in Plat Douet Road.
- He started working at Falles in the late 1950s, repainting and touching up the scratches of the hire cars; at first part-time, then full-time. He had a gift for colour matching. When he had done his touch-up, you couldn’t tell that the paintwork had ever been damaged. The problem was to find Pierre when he needed to do a quick repair, the hunt usually found him on the beach under the seawall at Greve d’Azette with a pretty girl.
- After a while he was full-time with the hire cars, one of his tasks, which he excelled in, was public relations, which meant chatting up the hotel receptionists to get them to recommend Falles Hire Cars to their guests.
- Pierre was a "Jack-of-all-Trades"; he could turn himself to doing most things, so long as it was not anything to do with writing.
- At one time he was the Mobylette salesman – the motorised cycle, a very popular means of transport in the '60s - when I acquired the agency. One of Pierre’s favorite sales tricks was to ride behind a cyclist struggling up a hill and gently give him a push, often resulting with a successful sale.
- Pierre often joined us on Sotalia - the family boat - for several seasons, helping to crew it on the many trips we had down the Rance and along the coast . On Sotalia we visited just about every port and river inlet on the north and south coast of Brittany, and along the way Pierre made many friends at these ports of call. Often after a prolonged stay at a port one would often find Pierre with his feet under the table enjoying a glass of wine or pastis with friends (and girlfriends) that he had made.
- Pierre was a lifelong friend of mine and he was liked by virtually everyone who met him. He never married, but he was never short of girlfriends and he has a daughter, Louise, who was brought up and lives in England and who visited him in Jersey from time to time.
- In his latter years he suffered from dementia and even though I used to go to see him at Maison de Ville, and La Haule after that, unfortunately I don’t think he remembered who I was anymore, despite talking to him about the garage, hire car and boating days.'
Around the island
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