Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Egypte, Ayton, Lair and Les Rouaux

Let's have a look down our own "Egypt" - starting from the end of this road (Streetview)...

I see no desert or pyramids, but hey.
The footpath is actually a track, navigable by a robust vehicle, all the way down to the memorial that we'll see in a moment. From a bend in the track, before we've dropped too far in altitude, we get a glimpse along the coast eastwards to Vicard Pt. (Bing sat view)

On the inland side of the next run of track, an old ruin. Hard to not try to imagine who lived here, when, for how long, how they lived, etc. What would they make of their old fireplace now? :)
Before heading down the final straight(ish)...
.. another path heads up to the east and it's quite a trek to Bouley Bay.
Bluebells by the stream.
.. and we finally reach an old cottage and war memorial at Petit Port.
The view.
Dedicated to the British and French commandos who landed here in Christmas 1943 for a  reconnaissance raid called Operation Hardtack 28. Commanding officer Captain Philip A Ayton was seriously wounded by stepping on a landmine as the group returned to the beach. Sadly he died the following day.

More recently, a bench dedicated to the Special Boat Service.
An old cottage now called Wolf's Lair, maintained by the Jersey Canoe Club.
Wonderfully peaceful place for a camp fire.
Looking east.
The path down to the beach is part path, part stream. Tricky!
Leaving Petit Port behind, it's now just standard cliff path (looking back, trying to make use of the yellow gorse in the shot)...
.. with an old section too close to the edge, now cordoned off and re-routed.
This coastline is "Les Rouaux", and we're heading west towards Belle Hougue Pt.
They hover in one place so well that it's not too hard to take a snap.
At this time of year the grass isn't too trampled, so it's like a nice green carpet sometimes - and the bracken hasn't taken over the slopes yet. It gives the north coast a quite different feel to what you see later in the season, so it's well worth a hike on a nice day.

From here you can keep to the footpath to Bonne Nuit, or one long straight climb takes you back up to a corner of La Rue d'Égypte (Streetview).

Sunday, 19 May 2013

May's Misc

We'll start this batch of snaps with a thumbs up for The Mansell Collection for tarting up a landmark building at First Tower (Streetview) and keeping it alive, as well as giving the island another attraction for visitors.

Next, some views around Town. A mix of old and not so old architecture at Nat West, Brook St.
Charing Cross from a distance, from King St with a view all the way through to Seaton Place.
Charing Cross / York St with the bunting up for Lib Day.
Sand St scene.
Lib Wharf...
.. still trying to make an empty unit seem used, by exhibiting art.
 .. but here's one new outlet...
.. More Than Sport
.. and at the other end of the Wharf, a franchise of UK chain Joe Delucci's - another chance to eat in a former public toilet :)
.. and in the former Tourist Info office, Seafish Cafe ...
.. menu close-up.
The little train is up and running for another season.
The Boat Show had good weather for a change...
.. some idea of the scale of the event.
More street scenes - Conway St...
Fresh new leaves around the Town Church...
.. new Crew shop in Halkett Place...
.. the old Trattoria Centrale (7-11 Don St), closed for some time, is nearing its transformation into Ormer - your chance to have Shaun Rankin cook for you.
The Fish Market is still there, although (unshown) one closed unit inside the place makes it look a bit unloved.
Something about this building and its balconies appeals to me, although those old windows suggest some cold winter conditions inside.
The old Victoria Club is now a Jersey Pottery foodie place, trying to emulate a posh London eatery by the looks of it...
.. looking up, they don't make 'em like this any more - more's the pity. The architects these days think that they can't do it any more, for reasons that only make sense amongst themselves.

They've called it Banjo, for some reason.

.. how the old chapel development "1875" (Wesley St, Dandara) is looming over Beresford St.
Looking along the Le Gallais section Bath St.
This week saw the start of the destruction of St.Martin's School playing field.. hoarding up around the playground...
.. a gap in the fence for access to build on the green field. Booooo!
Amazingly, although I noticed a bunker at Mont Matthieu many years ago, somehow I've never noticed (until now) the part with the view over the bay! As I'm always looking into the distance, I can't believe how I've missed that for all this time :)

Friday, 10 May 2013

Jersey's Royal Square

First, a map, courtesy of MS Bing, for those unfamiliar with the Royal Square...

The Google Streetview Car couldn't drive through the square, so I've taken some snaps to show you around. The view looking back to here (Streetview). This was the start of Royal Court Road (now closed and paved over) with #19 on the left, and the States Chamber on the right. The Members' Entrance in on the right, and we plebs get to see them come in and out on States Sittings Days. This is where many TV interviews happen, as the reporters hang around here waiting to catch their prey.

Turning around to look farther along the old road, and on the left is the entrance to the Royal Court (high risk prisoners are whisked in the back entrance in Hill St) - there has been a courtroom here since the mid 1700s. This is where you don't mind going to buy a house but would rather not go for any other reason :)

The appearance of a mythical creature like a unicorn just about sums up many low opinions of the place :)

These bulky steps protruded out into the road once it was paved over, after the Library closed and moved up to Halkett Place. 1886 appears over the doorway. It now houses the Greffe and offices of Very Important People.

The western end of The States Buildings, and the end of the old Royal Court Road emerges here (Streetview) to join Church St by the Town Church. The doorway facing the church is in many couples' wedding photos as the Registry Office used to be inside this end of the building.

I believe the Bailiff's Chambers at the end here (as seen on Streetview) were built in 1931 if I've read and decoded MCMXXXI correctly.

Next, we have the United Club looking down at us, from the 1st Floors and up, with their entrance in Church St. The Ground Floor is address #10 Royal Square, the present Registry Office...

.. with the entrance in this route to Library Place (and onwards to Broad St - here looking back from Lib.Pl. on Streetview) and prior to that it was a trust company with all those little company registered office brass plates at the doorway. In the 1933 almanac it was the Public Health Office. Going back even earlier, it was the Corn Market from the 1600s.

Across the passageway from the current scene of wedding photos, we have #11, a former Guardhouse (until the mid 1920s) called Piquet House.

This stone gives more history. In almanacs from 1933 onwards it was used by the National Provincial Bank, later known as Nat.West, and finally Roy West  in the 1980s. The Chamber of Commerce had its base here for a while back in the 1930s, and before that (1890,1901,1910) the "Nouvelle Chronique".

An old Police Alarm box in the wall at #11...
.. a close-up of the details.
A lamp is another old Police feature...
.. and a nice sundial.
One of the entrances to #11 presently says "Home Affairs Department".
The view from here into the Square.
There doesn't seem to have been a number 12, the first property in Vine Street is right next to #13.
Vine St is another place Google didn't reach, this is as far as they went (Streetview) - looking up from the other end. Here #3 Vine St on the left is the St.Helier Registrar, and on the Even Numbered side of the street things start at #2, currently the rear of HSBC. Before that it was Collins and a useful passageway through to King St - sorely missed.

#6 Vine St and along - some good old Jersey architecture here on the way down to Jack Wills (formerly CT Maine's Jewellers) at #18 (also taking up part of Brook St and around into to King St.)

Back to the Square, and #13 (Slomans Estate Agents at present) has had a busy past, being Guardian R.E. Insurance in 1988's almanac, a number occupiers before that, and was the A.G.'s office in 1920. And back in 1879 it was the Uruguay Consulate!

#14 is currently the back of Cath Kidston, formerly Evans, Au Caprice back in 1988, many and various offices before that.

 #15 is currently "Le Petit Greek" cafe (here looking down Vine St in the distance) with a past including Royal Insurance in 1988's almanac, the Judicial Greffe and Defence Committee in 1964's, and from the 1920 issue and back to 1890 at least, the American Consulate.

#16 is at the end of this block before Peirson Place, and has been home to Gallichan Jewellers since way back in 1845! The Royal Trust of Canada was upstairs in the 1978 issue, and Norwich Union in 1964.

That golden statue is of George II (all mileages from St.Helier are measured from here), erected in the square in 1751 in gratitude for his gift of £200 towards the construction of a new harbour - this also being the origin of the name Royal Square.

From King Street, Peirson Place is a short stretch of where we used to be able to drive from Vine St around this corner, into the end of King St (here in Streetview) and emerge in Halkett Place facing Queen St (Streetview)... before it was paved over too. Not a bad decision - the area is much nicer now.

#1 Peirson Place. You've probably heard of 1781 and all that.

#2 is on the doorway at The Peirson, and there's a #4 on the side entrance to

To finish our look at Royal Square JE2 4WA addresses, the Peirson Pub is #17, there is a passageway between here and #18, to Halkett Place, going behind the King St Jewellers Hettich (emerging here on Streetview).

The Peirson's neighbouring pub the Cock and Bottle (formerly the Cosy Corner) is #18, and the adjacent property (next to the States Chamber) is #19 - former home to the Chamber of Commerce, Healey and Baker, and Ermitage Management (1988 almanac), R.A. Rossborough (1978 almanac), Norwich Union (1964), Le Masurier & Co (1933 and 1920 copies), the "Chronique de Jersey" in 1910, back to 1873 etc.

The history of the States Buildings block probably deserves a book of its own, having a wide variety of interesting entries in the old almanacs from the days before the whole lot became our dear government.
Old Royal Square addresses have even gone up to #21 or more, most confusingly! The middle of the block appears to be around #4 in some almanacs. I'll keep an eye out for any history of the place if it crops up, but that's the end of my research here for now.