Special picture gallery

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This is a gallery of some of the best pictures in Jerripedia. There is no particular order and there are no particular subjects. Just superb historical pictures of the island of Jersey for you to enjoy. You will find a further selection of special pictures which have been featured as Picture of the week in the archive of that selection.

Do you have pictures which you could contribute to Jerripedia? If you have family photographs taken in the island, historical postcards or other images which you would like to share with Jerripedia users, please let us know. You cannot upload images yourself, but please contact editcontact@theislandwiki.org - please use Jerripedia as the subject of your email, to let us know what you have and we will make arrangements to add the images to the site.


Mystery casino

Normally Jerripedia attempts to provide answers rather than pose questions, but this picture is an exception. This little booklet was acquired in an on-line auction back in 2011 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.

Charabanc

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.
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