Friends of the Maritime Museum

Newsletter No 77 August 2001

"News from the Bridge"

Welcome to the new look Friends Newsletter.  For this change in format and presentation we have to thank Doug Ford and the services of the J.H.T. and I trust that the members like the new look. The changes not only bring a better presentation, but it will allow photographs to be included which will be a great advance all at little or no extra cost from the previous production.


As most members know the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the Island on Friday 13th July, and the Duke paid a visit to the New North Pier where he inspected the Lifeboat service, Fishery Protection craft, the youth of the Island, as well as the historic craft (with Bob Asplet attending), and toured the Maritime Museum where he took great interest in the rebuilding of Fiona in the workshop.


As you will see elsewhere we are holding an Open Garden at Badgers Holt, St Brelade on the 19th August in order to raise funds, and we thank members Mr & Mrs Reg Langlois for allowing us the use of their garden. We could do with people to help out with the car parking etc., and I hope as many of you as possible will come and visit and help swell the funds.


Kevin Le Scelleur, Chairman.



The inshore series of races for dayboats is almost complete, with only two races to go. Currently Moana (Heather Speller) is leading but Jesse (Cath Challinor) is lying second, with Florence (John Asplet) fourth. We have 6 boats racing, but unfortunately one of the competitors was hit by a rowing boat and has been forced to take the boat out of the water for repairs. The races have been quite competitive, and with some adjustment to handicaps has become more even. Moana is hard to beat, though the results have been quite close on occasion.


Jesse has been using the original mast and although it was stiffened up, is inclined to bend in the stronger winds and this puts the mainsail out of shape. Because of this, the boat has not been used in strong winds and we will probably have to consider a new mast for her. For some reason Jesse’s mast is about 2 feet longer than Florence’s, this extra length could possibly be due to using the mast from some other boat as a replacement. Diana has been acting as start boat for the series, and has been invaluable in towing the boats to the race start and back again afterwards.


Diana, Jesse and Florence had a scrub up and were in the Marina for the visit of HRH Prince Philip on Friday 13th July. Unfortunately they were not in a very prominent position and were partly obscured by the RNLI lifeboat "Alexander Coutanche"


Fiona is still in the workshop, the frames have been completed and the thwarts are loosely in place. At the moment the bilge keel planks have been taken out and are being stiffened. It would appear that these are originals, and although they look a bit sad, they are reasonably sound below the surface and we aim to refit them. After that, there is a little planking to renew, engine beds to fit, stern tube to bore, decking to replace, engine to fit, etc etc. Although it seems we are doing well, there is still a long way to go, exact completion time is not fixed but we still look towards the autumn.


Martlet is also out of the water for overhaul, there is a small amount of wood work to renew, but regrettably is having to take a back seat while we work on Fiona.

Bob Asplet


Notes from the Shipping Register  -  At Sea in 1836

1836 was a particularly bad year for sailors. In 1835 four Jersey-registered vessels had been lost at sea or wrecked, the average from 1837 to 1844 was three per year, with four years only having one each, but 1836 saw no less than twelve that were wrecked or never returned.

BRITANNIA, a 25-ton cutter owned by Philip Bertram was totally lost on the 23rd November on a bank going in to Padstow harbour.

CANADA, a 129-ton Brig owned by De Garis Bros., sailed from hence 8th March for Newport, with a crew of nine, and not heard of since.

CASTOR, a 104-ton schooner owned by Alexandre & Mauger, totally lost on or about 10th January off the Scotch coast near Stranraer.

DEFIANCE, an 11-tonCutter owned by John Becquet was drove from her moorings in S.Catherine’s Bay from the 27th to 28th March and went to pieces.

DOLPHIN, a 16-ton Cutter owned by Clement Richardson was Driven from her Moorings in St. Catherine’s Bay from 27th to 28th March and was totally wrecked.

GULNARE, a 46-ton Cutter owned by Picot & Laurains was lost in St. Brelade’s Bay on the 8th October.

LORD GAMBIER, a 64-ton schooner owned by Machon & Anley was Lost wirh Register, having sailed from Swansea for Jersey28th February with a crew of five and not since heard of.

SENECA, a 103-ton Brig owned by Philip Perchard Foundered about 5 Leagues E by S off Ushant 26th December on her way from Newcastle.

TOM & MARY, a Snow (like a Brig) owner Peter Le Bas Wrecked 18th May 1836 on the Coast of the Island of Lissoe on her voyage from hence to St. Petersburg.

TWO FRIENDS a 75-ton Schooner-Brig owned by Le Vesconte & De Carteret was Lost 9th August on his way from Barbadoes to the Bahama Islands.

YOUNG PEGGY, a 60-ton Schooner-Brig owned by Le Cronier Bros. was Lost with Register, having sailed from hence 20/11/1836.


The crews of most of these listed are there also, as for instance, the LORD GAMBIER, in which the whole crew, Master, John Blampied, John Oliver, Joshua Marett, Joseph House and Jacob Blow were all drowned.


The above was taken from information on our computer. Where else could you get all that detail in less than 90 minutes!

Alec Podger

Well done to our two Data-Inputters, any more volunteers? Ed.



The Eagle

Earlier this year we received a photograph at  the Martime Museum of a brigantine on which the legend read, "Eagle" Greve de Lecq, John Le Couteur Doré, Master.


This, of course, is the schooner featured being launched  in the shipyard model in the Maritime Museum.   Built by FC Clark, the Eagle was a 148 ton schooner built for Joshua J Le Touzel. She was sold in 1863 to John Morel and the registry was transferred to Cardiff although she reappears in the local registry in the 1870s.  In January 1883she was changed to a brigantine and it is this version of the Eagle that is shown in the photograoh,  She finally left island waters when she was sold to France in March 1885.

Doug Ford


How others saw us……

The French magazine Le Chasse Marée has recently published a fifth volume in its series devoted to the music of the sea. This time the collection is drawn from the French speaking parts of North America – Ontario, Quebec, Arcadie (Nova Scotia), Terre-Neuve and Louisana and amongst the songs there is one called La peche des Jersiais. The song which shows all the signs of having been written by a local fisherman is quite biting in its condemnation of the Jersey companies such as Robins and Le Boutillier. The author accuses the Jersey merchants of having false weights and overcharging for second rate goods and of mocking the French Canadians behind their backs.


L’automne n’est pas encor venu

Qu’il faut peser la morue.

Les Jersiais, avec leurs balances

Leurs balances ey leurs faux poids.

Ils s’en vontde grave en grave

Ramasser ce qu’on leur droit.


In addition to the words and music, the books contain some rather fine photographs and illustrations of the period. The volumes cost 100F and can be obtained from Chasse Marée and most good bookshops in Brittany.


Maritime Museum

The latest addition to the Maritime Museum’s Shipwrecked exhibition is a stunning collection of objects from two of the most well-known shipwrecks of the twentieth century They have been made available through the kindness of local collector David Gainsborough Roberts, who has loaned the pieces to the Maritime Museum for the period of the exhibition, despite interest from several other maritime museums nationally.

The White Star liner Titanic was reputed to be unsinkable. However, on her maiden voyage in April 1912, she struck an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic, with the loss of 1589 passengers and crew. The Maritime Museum has several items on display which belonged to survivors, such as a fur coat which kept a stewardess warm in a lifeboat, a gold napkin ring from a first class passenger, a bunch of keys marked Titanic belonging to one of the ship’s lamplighters, and several contemporary postcards of the ill-fated ship.


The Cunard liner Lusitania was torpedoed off the coast of Ireland by a German U-Boat in 1915, en route from New York to Liverpool. She sank in 20 minutes and 1198 people died. A cork lifebelt from the ship was washed up on the Welsh coast, and is now on display, along with some postcards and a commemorative medal struck in Germany at the time of the sinking, from the Museum’s own collection.

Ginny Deller


Forthcoming Events

Sunday 19th August Open Garden to be held at Badgers Holt, St. Brelade, courtesy of Mr & Mrs R.Langlois from 2 to 5pm. Many alterations have been made to the attractive garden since we last held a fund raising Open Garden there and it will be well worthwhile attending. There will be Teas and a Raffle and there is ample car parking which will be signposted. Entrance £2, children free. We hope you will support this occasion to help us continue maintaining our little fleet of veteran boats.


Open Evening for Members only to be held at the Maritime Museum on Tuesday, 25th September from 6 to 8pm. Refreshments will be served. This will give everyone the opportunity to view all the new exhibits referred to above and to see progress on Fiona ( unless she is already in the water). There are various other new items of interest throughout the museum since our last Open Evening, which was a very enjoyable social occasion.


On Board a Jersey Steamer

A midsummer Sunrise

Long had I watch’d, and, summon’d by the ray

From those small window-lights, that dip’t and bow’d

Down to the glimsing waters, made my way

On deck, while the sun rose without a cloud;

The brazen plates upon the steerage-wheel

Flash’d forth; the steersman’s face came full in view;

Found at his post, he met the bright appeal

Of morning-tide, and answer’d "I am true!"

Then back again into my berth I crept,

And lay awhile, at gaze, with upward eye,

Where gleams and shadows from the open ocean swept,

And flicker’d wildly o’er the dreaming fly,

That clung to the ceiling. Then I slept

And woke, and sought once more the sea and sky.


Charles Tennyson Turner 1808-1879 (Brother of Alfred Lord Tennyson.)

In future newsletters we hope to carry one advertisement, the cost of which will help to pay for the postage and stationary costs for that issue.  If your company would like to be the sole advertiser for the next issue the cost will be £150. For further details contact the chairman via the Maritime Museum.


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


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