Friends of the Maritime Museum

Newsletter No 75 October 2000

From the Chairman

Fiona is now in the workshop and whilst considering the installation of a small auxiliary engine it was found that some of the boats timbers need replacing. We have agreed with the Museum Service that the Friends will cover the cost of the materials whilst the Service provides the resources of Trevor Bull, who will undertake the work with Dave Hocquard and Bob Asplet. The Friends input could be considerable, and so the final decision on the engine for next season can only be taken when the project is well under way and an idea of the final cost is known, but all the required work for the engine will be put in to place as the work progresses. We would be most happy to receive any sponsorship towards the cost of this work and the engine.

Corporate Sponsorship

As you ran see we are very busy with the maintenance of our historic collection of boats, all part of our Maritime heritage. We would be very pleased to hear from any Company who would like to be involved with this valuable work, contact K. Le Scelleur - telephone 720098 or by email


Our next talk is on Friday 1st December in the Members Room of the Société Jersiaise, Pier Road at 8:00pm. The title of the talk is 'Have paddle, will travel' and the speaker is Kevin Mansell. Kevin is a very experienced sea kayaker who has led expeditions to Spitzbergen, Alaska, Greenland and Labrador as well as to warmer places such as Jersey, Brittany and Malaysia. The talk will be illustrated with his photographs of the expedition which will also include some of the wildlife he encountered on the way.

The Open Evening held at the Maritime Museum on 28th September was well attended and offered members the opportunity to see and read about all the exhibits without the usual hustle and bustle during the day. We must record our thanks to our "in-house" caterers for the non-stop supplies which were much appreciated.


Our Membership Secretary has asked me to remind you all that subscriptions fall due by January 1st 2001 and prompt payment - -is appreciated. If you wish to pay by standing order contact Mrs S de Gruchy on 730058


Re: the St Helier Yacht Club booklet on the St Malo evacuation. This booklet was edited and published for the Club by Philip Jeune. If you still have not got a copy then they are available at the Maritime Museum shop.

Boats - Bob Asplet.

Sailing is at an end for this year. Fiona has had the mast taken out and is now in the workshop, quite a tight squeeze as she is the maximum size for the workshop. Florence, Jesse, Diana and Martlet will stay in the water for the moment, but will be getting the annual spring clean in the early part of next year, ready for the sailing season. We look forward to some good racing next year between Florence and Jesse, together with the other boats that have been competing in the dayboat races organised by St Helier Yacht Club. Next year we expect to see the ex -RNLI lifeboat Howard D on 'our pontoon in the Old Harbour, she will lie afloat until restoration is complete. This will no doubt prove a further attraction for visitors to the Maritime Museum.

International Congress of Maritime Museums - From Doug Ford

In September, with some financial assistance from the Bob Harding trust, I attended the Interim Congress of Maritime Museums held in the Royal Danish Naval Museum in Copenhagen. There were about 100 delegates from all over the world - Australia, Europe and both North and South America. The first day's business was held in Copenhagen and centred on two issues - international co-operation between maritime museums and new ways of using protected port buildings, with speakers from France, Germany, Poland, Sweden and the U.K. In the evening we visited the rigging shears (a large crane used to step masts) at the Trekoner sea fortress. On the second day, the Congress moved to the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde and the business centred around maritime archaeology with Professor Ole Crumlin-Pederson of the National Museum of Denmark talking about research issues and Thijs Maarieveld of the Netherlands Institute of Ships and Underwater Archaeology addressing the issues of the divers right to dive and their responsibility towards the wreck. The final session was with Tinna Damgaard Sorensen speaking about the learning links between archaeological research and the public through interactivity. This was put in to practice in the afternoon, when I was rowing in the Helge Ask, a replica of the Skudelev 5 Viking Longship. I was pleased we only had to row a couple of miles down the fjord and not all the way to London, but it was interesting to put theory into practice. On the third day we met in the Danish Maritime Museum at Elsinore Castle and business centred around projects in which the Museum was a partner with other institutions. These were the regeneration of the waterfront at Barcelona, a research project centred around North Sea Ports and an exhibition about the North Atlantic maritime heritage staged in the hold of a cargo ship which then visited ports around Scandinavia, Shetland, Faeroes and Iceland.

Following the Congress I visited the Fisheries Museum in Esjberg, which combines an aquarium with a study centre for the seals that live on the nearby skerries. Recently they have gone in to partnership with a university to create the Centre for Maritime and Regional History. A variation on this last initiative would be a useful addition to Jersey. Attending the ICMM conference was most useful, as it allowed me to exchange views with a broad range of professionals and also to measure our Maritime Museum against some of the better museums in the world. I am now trying to find funding to attend the 2001 Congress so any tips about potential educational trusts would be gratefully received. It was most gratifying to be told by a delegate from Australia that the Maritime Museum in Jersey was the best and most innovative maritime museum he had visited in the last ten years.

Have you heard?

Major Bolitho (nicknamed "Pullthrough") a long -standing member of the Royal Yacht Squadron and keen 12-Metre yachtsman. An expert helmsman, he was almost certainly the only man ever to sail one of them backwards. This occurred on one occasion whilst sailing at the Ecrehous, where as we all know the tide rips through rapidly. He judged that he would have more control over Morwenna if he sailed at a lower speed than the current was carrying him. So he aimed the 12-Metre's bow in the opposite direction to where he wanted to go and, with the wind abeam, sailed steadily stern-first through the dangerous rocky outcrops. (Source: lan Dear 'Sailing in Eccentric Circles")


Editor: Sheila Billot, La Porte, Rue du Pont, St. Saviour, Jersey JE2 7HT.


To return to the Friends of the Maritime Museum homepage

To return to Patrimoine des Côtes