I did a rare shift at Jersey’s Maritime Museum the other day – front desk, selling entry tickets to (mainly) our overseas visitors. It is, by general consensus, an excellent attraction. The museum is pretty big and showcases the Island’s long maritime history in an imaginative and interactive way. Young and old enjoy it equally.
A major bonus within the building is the Occupation Tapestry Gallery. This was created in 1995 and is a classy and poignant reminder of the unhappy Occupation years and had much input by the survivors.
My 30-minute lunch break came but the usual cubby hole had an electrician working away therein. I was directed instead to the Boat Workshop, accessed through ‘no entry’ doors deep within the museum. Like Alice climbing through the looking glass I found myself in a different world I only vaguely knew existed.
Over two levels lie workshops for carpentry and related works together with a big library of seafaring books and other assorted ephemera all connected to the sea. I found a kettle, made a coffee and sat down. There on the table I glanced at a French language glossy trade magazine which could have been printed yesterday but which, upon inspection, was dated October 1992.
One of Jersey Heritage’s remits is the restoration and maintenance of the ‘Heritage Fleet’, vessels that have a long connection to the Island. This work is done mainly by enthusiastic volunteers.
The boats bob happily in the nearby harbour to be taken out for a spin around the bay when occasion permits.
Shame on me that it took me so long, and a busy electrician, to discover all this.