London Meeting, 22 November – “On British Soil: Nazi Persecution in the Channel Islands”

On Wednesday 22 November, we have arranged a special viewing for members of the Guernsey and Jersey Societies of the exhibition “On British Soil: Nazi Persecution in the Channel Islands” at the Wiener Library.

For more details of this exhibition, please see the Wiener Library website.

Venue: Wiener Library, 29 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DP.

Time: 6pm.

Cost £5 including wine/nibbles. Please let Keith Le Page know if you would like to come through Contact form.



London Meeting, 11 November 2017 – Zoffany’s Daughter

9780992879143At our London meeting on 11 November, we will be welcoming Australian historian, Stephen Foster, to talk about his new book, Zoffany’s Daughter: Love and treachery on a small island  – the story of Cecilia Horne, daughter of the famous painter, Johann Zoffany, who was imprisoned in Guernsey in 1825 for child abduction.

Venue: Fountains Abbey, 109 Praed Steet London W2 1RL (nearest tube Paddington)

Time: 12.15pm.

Next London Meeting, 14 October – Alderney’s Bayeux Tapestry

8452948035_0b88c04a95_oAt our next London meeting on Saturday 14th October, we are delighted to welcome Kate Russell to tell us all about Alderney’s Bayeux Tapestry Finale. Kate will tell us about the island’s efforts to recreate the missing final section of the famous tapestry, including the coronation of William the Conqueror on Christmas Day 1066.

All welcome.

Venue: Fountains Abbey, 109 Praed Steet London W2 1RL (nearest tube Paddington)

Time: 12.15pm for lunch


The Summer Review is out now!

Review Summer 2017 mockup

The Summer edition of The Review will be in the post next week.

This edition has a distinct literary theme. We have a report on our May presence at the Guernsey Literary Festival, details of an obscure literary connection between Sebastian Faulks, Elizabeth Goudge and Victor Hugo, Bruce Parker’s account of the P.G. Wodehouse Library that has been established at Dulwich College and news of efforts being made in Guernsey to establish a Victor Hugo bench.

For those less interested in literary matters, there is news of our sporting triumph over the Jersey Society at the recent Boules Muratti, a report on our Annual General Meeting, an article from Canadian member, George Matheson about his quest for his family’s Guernsey origins, an excerpt from Stephen Matthews’s gripping memoir of his childhood experience as an inmate of Biberach.

Reviews of recent local books include Guernsey As It Used To Be by George W.J.L. Hugo, Stone Witness, an eclectic collection of poetry from Guernsey poet Richard Fleming, David Bellos’s case for Les Misérables to be considered The Novel of the Century and Rob Batiste’s Big Book of Guernsey Sport.

In addition, we have the usual summary of Island News, and details of forthcoming Society meetings in London and Guernsey.

The Review is sent out free to members three times a year.


Next weekend: Boules Muratti, 10 June 2017

Saturday 10 June sees the return of our annual Boules Muratti match against the Jersey Society.

Come and join us for this seventh match against The Jersey Society in London and help us maintain our recent great record. No advance notice (or boules experience) necessary.

Meet for lunch from 12.00 at The Prince of Wales pub, in the corner of Cleaver Square, Kennington, London SE11 4EA (nearest tube: Kennington).

For full details, click here (PDF file) - Boules notice 2017.

Boules Muratti 2016

Next London meeting: 20 May 2017 – AGM and Guernsey Quiz

Our next London meeting will be our Annual General Meeting on 20 May.

As usual, we will keep the official business short – and will then have our traditional Guernsey Quiz.

Venue: ‘Fountains Abbey’, 109 Praed Street, London W2 1RL.

Time: lunch from 12:00. AGM will start at about 1:30pm, shortly followed by the quiz.

Non-members who want to find out what the Society is about are welcome – no booking necessary, just turn up.

Spring 2017 edition of The Review is out now

rgs2017aOur Spring edition is showing off our brand new design layout – and we hope you like it.

As well as the new design, we publish results of the Survey we conducted earlier this year, and the actions being taken as a result. The most significant change, based on your feedback, is that we are now planning a series of articles on current affairs in the island, as well as the usual summary of main news stories from the last four months which appear in our Island News section.

In the first of our current affairs articles, we talk to Jonathan Le Tocq, Minister for External Affairs, about the potential impact of Brexit on the Bailiwick, and how the States will be involved in the forthcoming negotiations. He shares his interesting perspectives on the challenges and opportunities this will bring to the islands.

We also talk to John Silvester of the Little Chapel Foundation about the efforts being made to save the island’s most popular tourist attraction. This will also be the focus of our April social meeting – for more details, see our Meetings page.

Those interested in our usual range of articles on local history will not be disappointed. John McCormack takes another look at some of the peculiar features of the Castel Church, including a door to nowhere, an unusual hexagonal pillar and its Roman foundations.

There is also the second part of Stephen Foote’s article on the shipwreck of the Echo in 1884. The first part told the story of the tragedy and the impact it had on Christmas in the island. This second part looks at how the community rallied around to support the widows and children of the crew members who perished.

We are also delighted to publish the first winner of the Guernsey Society trophy for Local Poetry from this year’s Eisteddfod – Jan Hugo’s poem ‘A Bordeaux Stone’ impressed the adjudicator who said “I wish I had written that”. In May, the Society is sponsoring an event at the Guernsey Literary Festival, and there is more news about that too.

There are reviews of some of the best recent local books, including Rose-Marie Crossan’s Poverty & Welfare in Guernsey, 1560-2010, Rob Batiste’s LOOKback, and Richard Hocart’s The Country People of Guernsey and their Agriculture, 1640-1840.

In addition, we have the usual Island News section, and news of forthcoming Society meetings in London and Guernsey.

The Review is sent out free to members three times a year.


Next London meeting, 28 April: Little Chapel meets Little Venice

The Little ChapelOur next London social meeting will be a pub crawl in aid of the Little Chapel Foundation on Friday 28 April.

Meet at ‘Fountains Abbey’, 109 Praed Street, London W2 1RL at 5.30-6.00pm. We’ll walk along the Paddington Arm Canal to Little Venice, and eat at the ‘Bridge House’ at 6.30pm.

NB If you are coming, please contact us, as we will need to know numbers for the restaurant.

We will pass on the latest Little Chapel news and accept any donations for its restoration – this isn’t a condition of attendance!

Next London meeting: Saturday, 4 March 2017, Gilly Carr

For our first meeting of 2017, we are delighted to welcome back Dr Gilly Carr, with a talk entitled A stub of pencil for a piece of bread: why Frank Falla is my hero of the occupation.

Gilly is Fellow and Director of Studies in Archaeology and Anthropology at St Catharine’s College Cambridge, and has written extensively about Channel Islander Occupation resistance and deportation. Her talk will cover the ‘Frank Falla archives’, and the website that she is building to cover the stories of islanders sent to Nazi prisons and concentration camps.

We have a new location – ‘Fountains Abbey’, 109 Praed Street, London W2 1RL. This is a historic Victorian pub, located almost next door to Paddington station, and we’ll meet for lunch at 12.30.

Winter 2016 edition of The Review is out now

Review Winter 2016

The Winter edition of The Review includes the tragic tale of the shipwreck of the sailing ship Echo in December 1884, and the effect it had on Christmas in the island. Gillian Mawson’s article on The Poetry of WW2 Evacuation, shows how exiled islanders expressed their hopes and fears in verse. Continuing on the poetry theme, we are also delighted to publish Richard Fleming’s poem La Gran’mère du Chimquière, commissioned by the BBC for National Poetry Day 2016. We also include a follow-up to the story of the Stranger family in WW1 which appeared in our Winter 2014 WW1 Centenary edition.

The book review is of the recently-published Through Spain with Wellington: The Letters of Lieutenant Peter Le Mesurier of the ‘Fighting Ninth’. This recently-discovered correspondence provides a unique record of Wellington’s campaign to drive Napoleon out of Spain written by a Guernseyman, and edited by Adrian Greenwood.

All in addition to the usual Island News and Membership News.

The Review is distributed free to members three times a year and includes a range of articles on Guernsey’s past, present and future. For more details see The Review.

A full index of articles since it began in 1945 can be found here - Index of Articles.

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