Saturday, 23 September 2017


Just a note that "hærfest" is the Old English word from which we derive "harvest" and which means Autumn.


The priest is calling tribe to come
Raise the song of harvest home;
May sacred gathering begin
Winter storms are coming in
Coming now the raging tide
May harvest blessings now abide
Where in spring the sowers roam
Raise the song of harvest home

The seasons bless each tribal field
That in autumn, fruit shall yield
That which past in spring was sown
Now with fulsome joy is grown
Praise the earth, her bounty dear
When the full corn shall appear:
Now our harvest, come and see
What turning wheel brings to be

Autumn tides bring sandy foam
Fishermen bring harvest home;
Fruit of the sea, across the bay
Little boats set sail that way
In deep waters, nets they cast
Coming home to shore at last
Fish and shellfish in their store
Thank the sea kelpies once more

Sunset comes, and twilight gloam
Sing praises for the harvest home;
Gather all the people in,
Around the fires, kith and kin
Here the time of harvest tide
In sacred circle do abide;
Gather all, and cease to roam
Raise the glorious harvest home.

Friday, 22 September 2017

A Guided Walk round St Martin's Church - Part 1

A Guided Walk round St Martin's Church - Part 1

This is a brief look at St Martin's Church from the Guide leaflet with my photos included from a visit this year. The map at the end shows locations where numbered.

For a more detailed history, the reader is referred to my transcription of G.R. Balleine here:

The CHANCEL, boarded off in 1550 was used as the Parish School until it was restored in 1842. A further restoration in 1877, funded by the Seigneur de Rosel saw the creation of the REREDOS screen behind the altar. Made of Caen stone, the reredos was restored in 2012 in memory of Mrs Mary Keyworth a generous benefactor of the church.

Mosaic panels in the reredos represent the four Evangelists who can also be seen in the bronze insets on the BRASS CROSS given in memory of a former resident of St Martin's House opposite the church. 

The magnificent EAST WINDOW depicting `The Ascension of Our Lord' was restored in 2000 by public donation (6). 

We have four PISCENA used for the bread and wine - remnant of Fraternity Chapels of the Parish and brought here when the chapels fell into disrepair centuries ago (7a, b, c). 

THE SAINT MARTIN STATUE: This wooden statue, depicts our Patron Saint as a medieval soldier in a familiar pose. It was presented in 1936 by Lady Trent, wife of Jesse Boot, the founder of Boots the Chemist (5). 

The uncompleted MABON CHAPEL begun in the 16th Century is now the VESTRY. In the 18th Century it stored two cannons used to defeat the French forces at La Rocque during the Battle of Jersey. 

In the vestry is a 16th Century WINDOW the only one with plain glass. Note the rounded Norman top.

The VESTRY SCREEN (4) like the Lady Chapel Screen (3) is a memorial to a former Rector.

The GRAVESTONE of a 17th Century Rector (4a). Another one is to be found by the Lectern (4b). 

The PULPIT used to be on the other side of Church where the Eagle lectern is now (3). Here's me in the pulpit!

The LIST OF RECTORS is impressive going back to our earliest records including Deans of Jersey. Look how long they stayed! The most recent addition makes history as the first female Rector to be appointed in Jersey (2).

Map of Church

Thursday, 21 September 2017

And so to bed.

And so to bed... more selected quotations used by me on Facebook to round off each day, with added pictures.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Charles Dickens:

So does a whole world, with all its greatnesses and littlenesses, lie in a twinkling star. And as mere human knowledge can split a ray of light and analyse the manner of its composition, so, sublimer intelligences may read in the feeble shining of this earth of ours, every thought and act, every vice and virtue, of every responsible creature on it.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Brenda Sutton Rose:

The wind whirls and whistles and strip pink blooms from the mimosas, scatters twigs, broken limbs, pine needles and pine cones across our yard, and robs the pecan trees of a thousand leaves. The storm eventually dies, but the bruised trees continue to weep into the night, still shimmering with dewy leaves when the sun comes up the next morning.

And to to bed... quote for tonight is from Monica Baldwin:

The Sussex lanes were very lovely in the autumn . . . spendthrift gold and glory of the year-end . . . earth scents and the sky winds and all the magic of the countryside which is ordained for the healing of the soul.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from José N. Harris:

There is beauty in truth, even if it's painful. Those who lie, twist life so that it looks tasty to the lazy, brilliant to the ignorant, and powerful to the weak. But lies only strengthen our defects. They don't teach anything, help anything, fix anything or cure anything. Nor do they develop one's character, one's mind, one's heart or one's soul.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from E.B. White:

“Why did you do all this for me?' he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.' 'You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.”

And so to bed.... quote for tonight is from Wendy Mills:

Friends are sometimes the only thing that keep us from plunging into the abyss. But you have to reach for them, and they have to be there on the other side of the cliff reaching out to you too.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from John Bunyan:

Who would true valour see,
Let him come hither;
One here will constant be,
Come wind, come weather
There’s no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent
To be a pilgrim.

Whoso beset him round
With dismal stories
Do but themselves confound;
His strength the more is.
No lion can him fright,
He’ll with a giant fight,
He will have a right
To be a pilgrim.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Madeleine L'Engle:

They walked these self-same stones.
Mary was wilting, weary with the journey,
weary with the years and all that she
had understood and had not understood.
Obedient always, she deferred to John,
smiling a mother's smile at his great joy.
Chariots of gold raced through the godless streets;
Apollo and Diana had grown dim;
only the emperor was god.
They paused, perhaps, Mary and John,
at these same vacant gates
of the sad temple of forgotten gods,
and Mary smiled and turned and said,
"My son, the old gods have been lost."
And John replied, "Bring we now the new -"
And in his harrowing of a shadowed Hell
perhaps the old gods were redeemed as well,
and joyfully sing their praise to him
with cherubim and seraphim.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

A Century in Advertising - Part 1

My look at some of the advertisements and products of yesteryear. Some weird and whacky, some surprisingly still around today. Here are their stories.

1900 - Box Brownie

The Brownie camera, introduced in February 1900, invented low-cost photography by introducing the concept of the snapshot to the masses. The Brownie was a very basic cardboard box camera with a simple meniscus lens that took 2 1/4-inch square pictures on 117 roll film.

The Brownie camera was conceived and marketed for sales of Kodak roll films. Because of its simple controls and initial price of $1 along with the low price of Kodak roll film and processing, The Brownie camera achieved and surpassed its marketing goal.

The Brownie is among the most important cameras in history.

One of the most popular Brownie models was the Brownie 127, millions of which were sold between 1952 and 1967. The Brownie 127 was a simple bakelite camera for 127 film which featured a simple meniscus lens and a curved film plane to compensate for the deficiencies of the lens. Another simple camera was the Brownie Cresta which was sold between 1955 and 1958. It used 120 film and had a fixed-focus lens.

The last official Brownie cameras made was the Brownie II Camera, a 110 cartridge film model produced in Brazil for one year...1986.

1901 - Snake-Oil Medicine

David Straight, in his article against pain, noted that:

"While the precise formula varied over time, the principle active ingredients in Antikamnia tablets remained the coaltar derivative acetanilid combined with caffeine, sodium bicarbonate, and citric acid."
"Because of the deaths associated with this drug, Antikamnia was one of the patent medicines particularly targeted by progressive consumer advocate Harvey W. Wiley, the first commissioner of the newly created Food and Drug Administration. The term “patent medicine” is somewhat of a misnomer, because few, if any, of the medicinal remedies marketed before the advent of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug laws were actually patented."

"After the Food and Drug Administration ruled in 1907 that preparations containing acetanilid must be clearly labeled, the Antikamnia Company changed its formula for the domestic market, instead using acetaphenetidin, an acetanilid derivative. It then advertised that its product contained no acetanilid. However, the British market, still unregulated, continued to receive the original formula tablets. "

"The Antikamnia Company directed a large percentage of its advertising budget into direct mailings, such as this postal card to physicians and pharmacists, providing them with free samples and literature to gain their acceptance and prescriptions."

1902 - Electric Cars

The Studebaker Electric was an automobile produced by the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company of South Bend, Indiana, a forerunner of the Studebaker Corporation. The battery-powered cars were sold from 1902 to 1912

Studebaker formally began production in earnest in 1902, and the company chose battery-powered electric vehicles because they were clean, easily recharged, and worked well in urban centers without need of refueling depots.

From 1902 to 1911, Studebaker produced around 1800 electric vehicles of all kinds. Even Thomas Edison owned one. His son told the Studebaker company that Edison “drove the wheels off of it” until the early 1920s, Beckman says.

But like today, the big technological hurdle was keeping an electric car charged. Back then, a Studebaker could go 40 miles at about 20 mph before losing power. Then you would have to plug it in and recharge it, and the electrical structure of US was not set up to handle this.


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Andium: More Transparency on Income Flows

Andium: More Transparency on Income Flows

A Freedom of Information request yielded this:

“Information on the annual value of Income Support is publically available as part of the Social Security Department’s Annual Report. Where information is provided on the expenditure of individual components (housing component) it is available as an estimate based on a percentage of the total expenditure of Income Support.”

It is almost impossible to find the figures for the income support rental component relating to Andium Homes in their reports.

But thanks to a recent question by Deputy Tadier, we have a figure for 2016.

Looking at Andium Homes, their 2016 report states that:

“We will generate rental income through the continued implementation of the rent policy adopted by the States of Jersey. The rent policy provides tenants with a 10% discount compared with the private market as well as full provision for assistance in the form of Income Support, dependent on individual circumstances. Rental income funds all of our expenditure including maintenance costs and the development of new homes (through repayment of loans). The rent policy is vital to our business model and therefore to the delivery of Decent Homes and the provision of more homes”

“In 2016, we outperformed our budget and delivered an operating surplus (before depreciation and impairments) and project similar surpluses for all future years included in the 2016-2020 Strategic Business Plan.”

“We are pleased to report an operating surplus before depreciation & impairment of £5,757k (2015: £2,795k) (compared to the budgeted surplus of £3,898k). This is after returning the agreed £27,728k (2015: £27,439k) to the Guarantor.”

“The Company has delivered the agreed return to the States of Jersey of £27,728k for the year. In accordance with the Transfer Agreement entered in to between Andium Homes and the States of Jersey, the Company will continue to deliver a quarterly return to the States of Jersey of £7,010k which will continue to be adjusted annually in October by Jersey RPI.”

Does that sound good? Andium Homes is returning to the States £27,728k for 2016.

But in answer to a question to the States, Deputy Susie Pinel noted that:

“I can report that the total amount of income support allocated to rental payments for Andium tenants in 2016 was £16.5 million across 2,884 tenants.”

She also goes on to say that:

“The total amount of income support allocated to rental payments for other trust tenants was £3.3 million across 590 tenants. The total amount of income support allocated to rental payments for private sector tenants was £9.5 million across 1,868 tenants.”

And notes that:

“The rent policy that Andium set was so that we can pay back the loan of £250 million that we needed to fund this work. Tenants pay rent at below market value of 90 per cent of the market rate and enjoy a secure tenancy and the extra support that Andium provides.”

I have no doubt that Andium is delivering homes, and is better placed to do so that the States Housing Committee. I do not want to see this change. But what I do want is better transparency concerning the flow of income into Andium from the States as well as the flow back.

Where we have Rental Income of £46,091k in the accounts, it should be noted that £16,500k of that is in fact being funded by the States that is 35%. That’s not an insignificant amount.

The net return to the States then is £11,228k. That’s still good, but it is not perhaps as glowingly high as pronounced in the accounts.

The States funding via income support rental component does not appear in the accounts, but in the interests of transparency, I think it should, rather than having to be teased out by means of questions by States members.

I would also like Social Security to make the replies to Deputy Tadier’s email form a distinct and easily locatable part of their annual report.

We do need more transparency on income flows.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Advocating The Jersey Way

Advocating The Jersey Way

In Connect magazine this month, local Advocate Olaf Blakeley focuses on a phrase which has gained notoriety in recent months, following the publication of the report of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry: "the Jersey Way..."

"Words and their interpretations differ from time to time and from person to person. A few years ago you could type ‘Olaf Jersey’ into Google and you’d find me; nowadays, when you type that, you get a list of pages showing children’s jumpers with a snowman on the front, who likes warm hugs.

"The problem with the negative interpretation of ‘The Jersey Way’ is that it is based on beliefs which cannot stand up to logical assessment. The words, negatively used, imply there is a corruption that exists between cliques and clans to keep things secret which should be public. Well, what things? And how? Secret meetings between those in power who huddle together and plot? Really?

And yet Ian Gorst, speaking about the behind the scenes machinations which led to Philip Ozouf being dismissed as Assistant Minister, commented on “skulduggery in dark corridors”. Indeed he mentions that there had been “Conversations had behind closed doors, along darkened corridors, shadowy figures with half-truths and innuendo with supposed facts.”

So who is correct? Olaf Blakely, who does not sit in the States, who is only an outside observer, or the Chief Minister, who can see all too well what has been happening? I would say that the weight of probability is that Olaf Blakely is presenting a far too rose tinted picture, which cannot stand up scrutiny.

"If people believe it’s the States - our politicians - who do this, where do they do it? It can’t be in the open debates where propositions are passed in front of the glare of the public. That’s not secret. If people believe it’s the judiciary how is that possible when court sittings are in public? I’ve tried and failed to have private court hearings, with judges rejecting my submissions for a private hearing on the basis that they must be open to the public.

But not all the decision making is in the public domain, in the States. It is disingenuous of the Advocate to suggest that everything that goes on is public. If he reads the Care Inquiry report, he will see many case where matters never get to the States or to the Courts.

He will see how Anton Skinner decided to conceal the abuse by the Maguires because he thought it would be easier to get them out from their post, and a letter thanking them, which he admitted was phoney, was concocted as part of that process.

And while it is open to scrutiny in part by the public, has he noticed the raft of Ministerial decisions which don’t all come before the States. Often the details are noted to be in a report, which is not available because of “commercial sensitivity” or one of the other excuses to keep information secret.

And just look at the delays which Scrutiny had in trying to prise information about the Finance Centre from the States of Jersey Development Fund.

To say nothing of the JEP leader which said:

“Rather than giving the most vulnerable young people the security and safety that each one of us would want for our own children, on countless occasions the people charged with their care ignored their concerns, their allegations of suffering, and the abuse went unchecked. The States was described as an 'ineffectual and neglectful substitute parent'.”

Not doing something, or trying to avoid doing something – as Terry Le Sueur did with the Care Inquiry itself when he was Chief Minister, may not be as visible, but it is still there. Look at the way in which we didn’t really need a Commissioner for children because we had the Williamson report, and everything was on track – and then read Chief Inspector Alison Fossey on how the Williamson report was defective in a number of ways.

"To be frank, I’m a little fed up with people moaning and asserting there is a ‘Jersey Way,’ applying a negative definition. It makes no sense. I would never try to deny that it’s possible that some people may have a little sway here and there where others may not: a parking ticket ‘overlooked’ or, more seriously, a planning application passed, which ought not to be. But to label this the ‘Jersey Way’ insinuates that if it exists, it only exists in Jersey. Get a grip. Do people honestly think the UK, France, Germany or Spain are all absent of such possible practices? It’s absurd.

Of course such practices do occur elsewhere, and they often get names associated with them. The government of John Major was associated with the word “sleaze” depicting low moral standards, and financial chicanery that was just short of illegal.

Now the practices which have gone on in Jersey – neglect, looking the other way etc – have been clustered into what Richard Dawkins would call a “meme”, a phrase into which all kinds of bad practice and malpractice and neglect

“The most recent criticism of the phrase has come from the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry. The Inquiry heard the term used frequently by those appearing before it and, oddly, seemed to latch onto it. I am very surprised. I’m very surprised that an intelligent chair of the Inquiry allowed a recommendation to be made that in order to dispel or remove the perception of the Jersey Way there should be a separation of powers between the political and the judicial sectors. There is already.”

Well, The Bailiff makes decisions about who may or may not be allowed to speak, or put questions in the States, or about the propriety of a member’s conduct. Such decisions may well be challenged in the Royal Court on grounds of illegality but, of course, the Bailiff cannot sit to hear and determine those challenges to his own actions.

Recently the Bailiff was sitting over a States sitting discussing the Bellozanne covenant, which had of course, been subject to a court case, which at the time was ongoing. He had presided over the Court, and was now presiding over the States. After challenged by Simon Crowcroft, he recused himself.

Can the learned Advocate please explain to me how this ties in with his assertion that there is a separation of powers between political and judicial sectors, because it seems to be that he is living on another Island?

"The politicians who make up the States Assembly are not our judges. True, some used to be lawyers but none of the politicians make judicial decisions. The only common parties are the Bailiff and/or the Deputy Bailiff. But, with the greatest respect to both of those office holders, they do nothing in the States. Of course, they have a role, but they don’t make decisions or even influence decisions. How on earth could an intelligent committee come to such a conclusion applying logic? Applying sensible reasoning, how on earth could the replacement of the Bailiff and Deputy Bailiff in the States suddenly signal the death of the Jersey Way (if ever it lived)?

But what about reform of the Bailiff’s office to make it fit for purpose? The Advocate cannot see that there are problems with the position of the Bailiff as it stands and this needs changing if the role is to be kept.

"I honestly believe that those who believe that secret handshakes exist between those in power have never either properly thought about the issue, or stepped foot in either the States or our Island courts. I have. Both. I have been in numerous court hearings in which judges have declared at the onset possible conflicts between their roles and the subject matter to be adjudicated. I have been called into judges’ chambers where a judge has explained to me he/she cannot sit on the forthcoming matter because of a possible conflict. I have attended the Bailiff in his chambers on urgent legal matters which have either been audio recorded, or conducted in front of the Judicial Greffe, for record keeping purposes.”

This is a straw man argument. Olaf Blakely paints an idea of conspiracy with secret handshakes as if this is the way things are done. He knows that is hardly likely to be the case. He also concentrates on the Royal Court, where behind the scenes deals are far less likely to occur, and where the scope is proportionally more limited than the States Chamber.

But real life works much more like that described in C.S. Lewis essay “The Inner Ring”, when he look at War and Peace, and comments:

“In the passage I have just read from Tolstoy, the young second lieutenant Boris Dubretskoi discovers that there exist in the army two different systems or hierarchies. The one is printed in some little red book and anyone can easily read it up. It also remains constant. A general is always superior to a colonel, and a colonel to a captain. The other is not printed anywhere. Nor is it even a formally organised secret society with officers and rules which you would be told after you had been admitted. You are never formally and explicitly admitted by anyone. You discover gradually, in almost indefinable ways, that it exists and that you are outside it; and then later, perhaps, that you are inside it.”

And he describes how this semi-informal group works out in practice:

“There are no formal admissions or expulsions. People think they are in it after they have in fact been pushed out of it, or before they have been allowed in: this provides great amusement for those who are really inside. It has no fixed name. The only certain rule is that the insiders and outsiders call it by different names. From inside it may be designated, in simple cases, by mere enumeration: it may be called “You and Tony and me.”

"When it is very secure and comparatively stable in membership it calls itself “we.” When it has to be expanded to meet a particular emergency it calls itself “all the sensible people at this place.” From outside, if you have despaired of getting into it, you call it “That gang” or “they” or “So-and-so and his set” or “The Caucus” or “The Inner Ring.” If you are a candidate for admission you probably don’t call it anything. To discuss it with the other outsiders would make you feel outside yourself. And to mention talking to the man who is inside, and who may help you if this present conversation goes well, would be madness.”

This is far more what happens out of site than the Dan Brown fantasy of Olaf Blakely. There is no secret society of the Illuminati in the States. But it would be a fool indeed who assumed therefore that there would as a consequence be no inner rings.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

All Bishops and Curates?

Bishops and Curates

From "The Pilot", 1968, comes this, an interesting historical ramble.

Some Church Customs Explained
By S.G. Thicknesse

All Bishops and Curates?

THE prayer for the whole state of Christ's Church reduces to order the confusion of clerical titles. In England there are only, practically speaking, two orders, the episcopal and the priestly. Although it is easily arguable that the office of deacon is another, as it was before the Reformation, it is in fact only very rarely now a lifelong calling in the Anglican Church.

It has come to be generally regarded rather as the necessary preliminary step to the priestly order.

The other minor clerical orders, of subdeacon, reader, exorcist, and doorkeeper, disappeared much more completely from post-Reformation England.

Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple

Yet if the orders are but two, the administrative ranks are numerous. An English bishop (the Anglo-Saxon attempt at saying episcopus) can become, `by divine Providence,' his Grace, the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all England, or his Grace, the Lord Archbishop of York, Primate of England.


Elsewhere, as in the Greek Orthodox archbishopric of Jerusalem, the title is still Metropolitan, and in some sees with mighty histories in both Greek and Roman Churches, like Constantinople, the title is Patriarch.

To the Archbishop of Canterbury, the bishops of twenty-eight dioceses are suffragan, that is assistant and subject in jurisdiction, as are thirteen to the Archbishop of York. Similarly, diocesan bishops have suffragan bishops, under their jurisdiction responsible for part of the see.

It was when, in the great mediaeval dioceses of England (the Bishopric of Lincoln, for example, included the counties of Rutland, Northampton and Oxford), the bishop was so much away from his Cathedral city, that somebody in full priest's orders-the dean-became master in his place of the business of the Cathedral.

When divisions of big dioceses have taken place after 1882, and parish churches become cathedrals, the new dean has usually been called provost. This was because of the Crown's warning that all deans were appointed by the Crown, not by anybody else.

Because the title of dean belonged mediaevally to the chairman of other bodies besides cathedral chapters, it is still to be found elsewhere. 

In the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge, for example, the dean is as a rule responsible for the discipline and morals of the undergraduate members of the college. In the supreme ecclesiastical court in England, the court of the Arches (the corrupted form of ecclesia Beatae Mariae de Arcubus, St. Mary-le-Bow, where the court was held), the president is called the dean. The Bishop of London is dean of the Chapels Royal. 

Although they are in the diocese of Winchester, the islands of Guernsey and Jersey each retains a dean of its own. 

Dean of Jersey

When parishes were grouped for administrative purposes, the chairman of each group was, and is, the rural dean. In the dioceses of Exeter and Leicester he has always been entitled the Dean of Christianity.

It was not only in the affairs of his cathedral that a mediaeval bishop, also lord of great temporal estates, had to delegate responsibility. He had to delegate it, besides, throughout his diocese. His subordinate officer, at first the bishop's deacon, in time gained a good deal of independence and called himself archdeacon. He held a jurisdiction second only to the bishop's, and became responsible for the administration of church revenues, for ecclesiastical and clerical discipline, and for the morals of the laity.

Although from the eighth century the archdeacon had usually been in priest's orders, it was not until 1662 that English law required him to be so, nor until a century ago that it stipulated that nobody should become an archdeacon who had not been at least six years in priest's orders.


The ancient, powerful, and much disliked, Archdeacon's Court has scarcely functioned in England since the seventeenth century. But every archdeacon is still responsible for the state of parishes and the fabric of churches, making visitation and instituting churchwardens, though now usually in part not the whole of a diocese. 

Although in procession the archdeacon comes after the dean, he has long had an important place in many cathedral chapters and, in the diocese at large, an eminence so venerable as to be capable of rousing the envy of deans.

By Trollope's day he had long outlived an unpopularity which had forced that distinguished scholar, John of Salisbury (d. 1180), to exclaim `Is it possible for an archdeacon to be saved?'

Archdeacon (right) in The Barchester Chronicles