Archive pictures of the week - 2012

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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. Today 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.

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.
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