Observatory timeline

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The tower
The observatory in 1949

Maison St Louis Observatory through the years

  • 1880 - The Jesuits arrived in Jersey and set up at Maison St Louis. By 1914 there were about 140 Jesuits in residence
  • 1893 - Father Noury made the first weather recordings and Marc Dechevrens arrived in Jersey
  • 1894 - Dechevrens started weather observing. The Observatory and a 50 metre tower to the east were built and operating by the end of 1894. It was a hive of activity with detailed observations and Dechevrens undertaking much research. He used the tower for wind research and for ten years from 1898 took readings of the Earth's magnetism.
  • 1909 - Dechevrens left the island for two years due to ill health
  • 1914 - Nearly 70 Jesuits returned to their countries when war broke out and the weather programme reduced from eight to three readings a day
  • 1920 - Observing ceased and Dechevrens died in 1923 aged 78 years
  • 1925 - Father Christian Burdo reopened the Observatory
  • 1929 - The Jesuit Tower was demolished. It was too expensive to maintain
  • 1933 - Father Rey was one of ony ten Jesuits to stay in Jersey during the war. His weather readings are the only ones for the war period. He had several run-ins with the Germans but they did not discover that he had made crystal wireless sets.
  • 1954 - Maison St Louis (but not the Observatory) was sold. The Jesuits left the island, except Father Rey, who remained to carry on with the weather observing. A proposal for the States of Jersey to buy the Observatory failed.
  • 1969 - The Observatory became the islands Health Resort station when the Weighbridge site closed (readings from here are published in the daily newspapers)
  • 1974 - The States bought the Observatory for £7,500
  • 1979 - Father Rey broke his leg in December and formally retired in 1980. He moved to France and died in 1982 aged 83. The Jersey Met Department took over the observing (three times a day)
  • 1981 - Some modifications and refurbishment took place at the Observatory, especially the living accommodation. Syd Rogers, a retired forecaster, took over as resident observer and remained for 20 years
  • 1994 - A series of events was organised on 23 March to celebrate the centenary of the Observatory
  • 2002 - Syd Rogers (aged 85) retired as the resident observer
  • 2003 - The future of the Observatory is secured as the Jersey Meteorological Department prepares to transfer to the Environment Department
  • 2004 - A Campbell Scientific automatic weather station was installed in January, with recordings entirely from the station commencing 2005

Historical article

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