Archive pictures of the week - 2022

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2 January 2022

Grouville Bay

To welcome in the New Year we are reviving our Picture of the Week feature after a gap of over a year. Something had to give in late 2020 when our editor, Mike Bisson, had to take on the additional responsibility of webmaster, with many issues to resolve, but he hopes to be choosing a weekly feature picture throughout 2022. While deciding which to choose from the many interesting pictures which have been received in the past couple of weeks, this view of Grouville Bay in the late 19th century arrived, and because it shows something which was the subject of some mystery when it appeared as Picture of the Week back in 2016, it was a logical choice. Unfortunately it is not a particularly good quality image. It is taken from a Godfray postcard published in 1907, but the photograph was clearly taken some years earlier. The enlargement of the centre section below explains why. The building in the middle is clearly identified as Grouville Village Station, which for many years was the terminus of the Jersey Eastern Railway, until it was extended to Gorey Harbour in 1891. It is not possible to tell whether the line continues past the station in this photograph, but it can't be, because behind the station there is clearly a shipyard with a vessel under construction, and none were built at Gorey after 1883. This was the most southerly of the shipyards on the coast at Gorey, and as far as we are aware, there have been no other pictures published which show it in operation, although it does appear on plans of this part of the coast. What does not appear in this photograph is the coastal tower which stood to the left of the shipyard until it was demolished in 1871, so the picture can be dated between 1871 and 1883. What links this picture to the one chosen as our weekly feature picture in 2016 is the triangular structure to the right of the station. This was a windmill which was used to power a pump which extracted underground water to fill a tank next to the station so that the steam engines which operated on the railway line could have their tanks refilled. Initially this water was held in a tank next to the windmill, but later on, when the line was extended to Gorey Harbour, a more substantial tank was built next to the station platform
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9 January 2022

Gorey seafront

We move along Jersey's east coast from last week's feature picture, but not very far, and with a photograph taken at about the same time. (Last week's picture of Grouville Bay would have been taken from somewhere on the high ground on the left of this one). This is a view of Gorey seafront from Castle Green, to the side of Mont Orgueil Castle. The image is not new to Jerripedia - we have had a copy since 2019 - but this one is much better quality. Although a number of the buildings are still there, the scene today is very different. This photograph was taken before a seawall was built to reclaim land in front of the buildings in the foreground, beyond the roofs of the line of buildings built at the foot of the castle along the quay. The reclaimed land was used to create a coast road, railway line and pedestrian promenade. That work was completed in 1888, so that gives us the latest possible date for the photograph. But it can be dated much more closely because we now know that the picture was taken by Gregory and Eddy, who were in business at 15 Bath Street between 1871 and 1877. They produced a set of photographs of island scenes in carte de visite format. The picture below, presumably taken at the same time, shows the view from the opposite direction. The upper photograph would have been taken from the grassy slope behind the masts of the vessels moored inside the harbour. The small vessels in the upper picture are oyster boats, remnants of the major fishing industry centered on Gorey from 1810 to 1870. On the shore in front of the boat with a sail is one of the many shipyards which were operating at Gorey from the mid-1840s, reaching their peak in the 1870s. There is no vessel on the stocks, but further along the coast, behind the oyster boat with a sale, a ship can be seen under construction on the beach. Ship building was not the only activity on the shore. The houses treated the beach as their back yards and a long line of washing is just discernible at the bottom of the picture. The third picture shows the scene from the same viewpoint 100 years or so later, and the bottom picture shows a similar view, but taken from the castle, in 2005. Many more pictures of Gorey over the years can be found in our Gorey photo gallery and we have also created a page showing more pictures from Gregory and Eddy's set, some of which have been in Jerripedia for several years; others are new to the website
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