Friends of the Maritime Museum

Newsletter No 76 February 2001

From the Chairman

Our next Members Evening will be on Friday 2nd March and will be held at the Archive Centre commencing 20.00hrs. This is because we need an Audio Visual room and it will give you an opportunity to see this prestige site. The evening will comprise video footage taken by Alastair Layzell for the Vintage and Veteran series which his company Colonial American has just produced for Meridian and Anglia regions, hosted by Juliet Morris, showing on ITV at 17.30 on Tuesdays. Number six in the series covers fast rescue and patrol craft which have been restored to full working order, and preserved in their full glory. The majority of the filming took place at the time of the last Boat Show, and Alastair hopes to be with us that evening and present the programme.

Boats - From Bob Asplet

If you have visited the Maritime Museum in the last few months, you will see that we have been pulling Fiona to pieces. We found some rot in the timber used in the restoration in the early 1990s which needed replacing and knew of some cracked frames that would need renewing at the same time. On examination in the workshop, it seemed sensible to renew more frames than was originally planned, to avoid having to disturb the gunwales and stringers again in a few years time. Thanks to Trevor Bull with assistance from Dave Hocquard, Terry Brown and myself we are making good progress, and hope to have Fiona in the water again later this year. I hope that we will see her sailing again by July, or even earlier if there are any volunteers with shipwright skills (or have general DIY skills) and could spare some time during the opening hours of the Maritime Museum and join us with this work. The other boats are still in the water, they will need to come out for painting etc. as soon as the weather gets a bit better.

Perhaps the following item will help you all to get into a sailing frame of mind

Archive recording - From Doug Ford

RFP Halliday 1916

At the recent Conference for Folk Life Studies which was held in Jersey last Autumn I had the good fortune to meet Peter Kennedy who travelled the British Isles recording traditional musicians and singers in the 1940s and 1950s. During a visit to Jersey in July 1957 he made a 32 minute recording of "Sea Songs, Shanties and Sail-talk" by Commander RFP Halliday. In the years prior to the Great War Halliday sailed windjammers such as the Ville de Dieppe, the lmberhome and the Killoran rounding Cape Horn on many occasions. After the war he was employed on the GWR mailboats and cargo boats before he gave up the sea and joined his wife's family firm - John Terry Limited, Agricultural Merchants on the Esplanade, St. Helier. These historic recordings include the shanties Maggie May, Paddy West, Go to Sea No More and excerpts from Paddy Doyle's Boots, Roll the Cotton Down and Whiskey Johnny as well as his reminiscences about Judge Raffles cleaning up Liverpool, Boarding House masters and crimps and shanghaiing.

You will be able to listen to the recordings at the Maritime Museum from the end of February onwards and we will be selling these unique recordings from the middle of March. The price will be £12.50 per CD, the cost reflects the fact that they are being made individually for us. With the exception of La Prise de St Helier collected in Granville I believe that these are some of the only recorded sea songs associated with the Island. If you would like to order a copy of Commander Halliday's 'Sea Songs Shanties and Sail-talk' then please get in touch with me at the Museum tel. 01534 633340 or e-mail me on for further details.


Research - Alec Podger
Now that the worst of the upheavals are over at the Museum we are now "back in business". We have had our difficulties with cramped situations, dust flying around not to mention a burst water pipe over the computer! The computer is now in the new computer room and we are continuing with entries of the Ships Crews.

Use of Boats
St Helier Yacht Club will be arranging a series of races for the older boats again this year, and both Jesse and Florence should be out there. Keep an eye out for them on summer evenings when there is an evening high tide. Now that we have more boats, we need more people to help with maintenance, so the usual plea goes out for help, and of course, if you are a competent sailor why not use the boats? They need to be used more. Even better if you are prepared to take novices with you we could get a training programme organised - is there anybody who would like to take this on? We plan to have both Jesse and Florence sailing together this year in which case we could possibly arrange some match racing. Perhaps our Corporate members would like to get their staff involved. Bob Asplet is the man to contact tel.731255 or e-mail on

Sorel Light is now run on solar power after 37 years on acetylene gas.
It had become increasingly difficult to obtain the necessary spares so a change to an alternative had become essential.

A free floating 1 5-foot wide buoy is anchored in the approaches to Plymouth Sound is actually an experimental system designed to harness wave energy. lts most likely use in the future will be to power offshore installations and possibly remote islands. The device, run by a subsidiary company of the University of Plymouth, generates power from an air turbine driven by the air displaced by the oscillation of multiple columns of water. Similarly a power system currently generating electricity on the small Scottish island of Islay using wave energy called the Limpet module by Wavegen is already in use.

(Source Planet Jersey, Energy edition)


The AGM will be held on Tuesday 24th April in the Audio Visual Room at the Jersey Museum entry by the Weighbridge entrance. Nominations for all the positions on the Committee are welcome. Following the AGM a film entitled "Man of Arran" the first documentary type film made in the 1930s by Robert Flaherty will be shown. It has very good footage of shark fishing and how the fishermen coped with all the weather, good and bad,in those days. Robert Flaherty made his name with the film "Nanook of the North".

Remember our next meeting is at the Archive Centre on Friday 2nd March at 8pm on the filming of the Vintage and Veteran series by Alastair Layzell. The majority of the filming took place in Southampton Water at the time of the last Boat Show.

And finally
Environmental Services are having an "Everything Marine" weekend on March 3rd/4th at the Albert Pier terminal.


Editor: S 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