Customs & Festivals

Ladies' College Christmas

15th December 2015
Kindergarten Christmas shows, from the Harvey family collection, recorded in Aunt Loo's Account of the Children, in blue Writing Album. The photograph, by C L Bienvenu of Cordier Hill, is of Elise Mauger, aged '9 years, daughter of HM's Sheriff of Guernsey. In fancy costume, 'The old Guernsey woman,' worn by Edith M Harvey at the Ladies' College Kindergarten cantata, 19th December 1896. Given to Miss Harvey by Mrs H D Mauger.' Winifred Harvey was very badly affected by asthma as a child, and missed long periods of schooling as a result. The Writing Album also contains programmes for the 1893 and 1894 performances, as well as a Matinée musicale of May 19, 1896.

The Invisible Man: A Midsummer Tragedy

22nd April 2015
This story is by J R Le Ruez, and was published in the magazine Guernsey Gossip and Visitors' List, June 6 1908. The tale comes from Jersey, and is interesting because of the superstitions and beliefs it is based on; in the seventeenth century Elie Brévint of Sark, himself of Jersey extraction, wrote of the belief that one could aller à la graine de fougère, or 'use the fern seed' and become invisible.

November 5th

Guernsey did not celebrate November 5th until the 19th century, when the 'Guy Fawkes' Night' festival was introduced, probably by British immigrants, and began to replace the traditional burning or burial of the 'budloe' log on New Year's Eve. Late in the century the celebrations were 'officialised'. The photographs are of the procession of 1900; the one above shows the collectors wearing their placards, and the other the budloe paraded on a stretcher.

A Link with the Past: Ah! Mon beau laurier!

Guernsey's favourite dance, the rather flirtatious 'Ah! mon beau laurier!.' The illustration is of a modern hurdy-gurdy, or 'chifournie,' used in the old days to accompany the dancing: with thanks to Guernsey Post Office, who also produced a superb video of the chifournie being played in Le Hurel barn in Guernsey. The chifournie has been replaced in Guernsey by the fiddle or accordion in modern times.

Extracts from The Star, September 1916

Children misbehaving at Candie ; Healy Maindonald, bigamist ; Fishing on Sunday ; Petition re military service ; Roll of Honour ; Ernest Carré, Le Poidevin, Ferguson ; Enlistments ; Bordage widening ; Guernseymen killed ; Albion Terrace School ; Old custom for scaring birds ; Jean-Philippe De Carteret obituary ; Guernsey prices The Star , September 2, 1916 BAND INTERRUPTION AT CANDIE Many correspondents have spilt ink in writing to you complaining of the behaviour of juveniles at the Sunday evening performances in Candie, but apparently they have fallen on deaf ears, as the nuisance still…