Rural – Jersey Country Life Magazine

EUNE FROUQU’THÉE D’JÈRRIAIS – (A FORKFUL OF JÈRRIAIS)

We continue our series of article in Jèrriais – Jersey’s own traditional native language.

The ‘frouque’ in question is a digging fork, rather than a table fork. An English translation follows. This contribution comes from Aline Cattermole

L’HÉTHITAGE DÉ FLORENCE BOOT EN JÈRRI

À ch’t’heu qué j’sis à êcrithe, j’sommes acouo bein embêtés auve chu fichu virus et jé n’pouvons tréjous pas viagi hors l’île, ou même, aver des touristes à visiter l’île. Lé temps est long pouor les cheins tch’ ont lus fanmil’ye hors l’île, comme nous, tch’avons not’ fanmil’ye dans la Grand’ Tèrre et dans l’Sud dé l’Angliétèrre. Ch’est difficile étout pouor les cheins tchi travâlent dans l’tourisme, l’s hôtels … I’ daivent attendre fête d’èrtouônner à eune situâtion pus normale.

Mais, i’ faut rester optimiste, nou-s-espéthe qu’la situâtion s’en va s’amender auve lé vaccîn et l’arrivée d’l’Êté. I’ faut vivre dans l’espé et dans l’attente…

I’ y’a pouortant des bouonnes choses à n’pouver viagi d’aut’. D’abord, ch’est mus pouor l’envithonnement viyant qu’i’ y’a mains d’êmissions d’carbone. Et jé n’sais pas s’ous avez r’mèrtchi mais, duthant l’preunmié lockdown, lé ciel ‘tait bein pus bliu et bein pus cliai qu’d’habitude. Ch’est probabliément qu’i’ y’avait mains d’pollution grâce à mains d’boulants sus les c’mîns et mains d’avions dans l’ciel.

Eune aut’ bouonne chose à n’pas viagi et à rester siez sé est qué ch’na donne l’opporteunité d’dêcouvri not’ Île. Y’a tchiques mangnifiques taques en Jèrri qué j’dêcouvris seul’ment à ches drein. Par exempl’ye les Pouquelées comme la sienne dé Faldou, tchi surprînse!

Quand nou c’menche à s’înterêssi à l’endrait iou qu’nou d’meuthe, nou c’menche étout à s’întérêssi à s’n histouaithe. Ch’est chein qu’jé fis et j’dêcouvris un auteu hardi întérêssant tch’êcrit entouor l’histouaithe dé Jèrri. San nom est Paul Darroch.

À chein qué j’en sai, il a publié deux livres “Jersey: the hidden histories” et “Jersey: secrets of the sea”. Les deux sont disponibl’yes à WH Smith en Ville, et sus l’applyicâtion Kindle. J’acatis les deux livres sus Amazone et j’les dêchèrgis sus ma tabliette. J’èrquémande hardi ches livres. I’ sont hardi bein êcrits et agriabl’ye à liéthe. Chein qu’j’aime hardi est qu’ Paul Darroch mêle tréjous la Grand’ histouaithe, les légendes et les p’tites histouaithes entouor la vie des Jèrriais en lus temps.

I’ r’corde étout eune séthie d’podcasts [côssées d’audgo] tch’a nom “History Islands”. Ou pouvez les r’chéver dans vot’ boête d’s email et l’s êcouter sus n’împorte tchi machîn êlectronnique. Lé podcast (la côssée d’audgo) dé Mar ‘tait entouor la vie dé Florence Boot. J’pense qu’i’ chouaîsit chu topique viyant qué ch’tait la journée întèrnâtionnale des femmes en Mar.

Florence Boot eut eune vie tout à fait întérêssante et ou laîssit un împortant héthitage en Jèrri. Ou fut née à St Hélyi en 1863.  Ou ‘tait la fil’ye d’un vendeux d’livres. Ou rencontrit Jesse Boot, un janne apotitchi d’Nottingham. I’ lus mathyîtent en 1886.

Florence ‘tait întelligente et avait eune grand’ înmaginnâtion. Ch’est lyi tch’eut l’idée d’graie eune allée pouor la toilette des danmes dans l’apotiqu’sie et d’changi lus p’tit commèrce en eune grand’ boutique. L’idée fut un înmense succès et l’s apotiqu’sies “Boots” d’vîntent un phénomène.

Lé coupl’ye d’vînt hardi riche et Jesse Boot acatit la baie d’Bieau Port pour l’annivèrsaithe à sa bouonnefemme. I’ vendit s’n affaithe pouor pus d’deux millions d’louis auprès la grand’ dgèrre. Ch’tait un tas d’sou pouor l’êpoque.

Mais l’coupl’ye ‘tait génétheux et i’ fîtent un tas d’tchi pouor lus c’meunauté en Jèrri. Par exempl’ye, i’ bâtîtent les “Florence Boot cottages” à seule fîn d’offri des maîsons conv’nabl’yes ès pouôrres gens.

Florence Boot învitit l’artiste Français René Lalique en Jèrri. I’ transformit l’églyise dé St Matchi au Dou dé D’mi (Millbrook) en eune mangnifique églyise dé vèrre. Au jour d’aniet, ch’est un chef-d’oeuvre èrconnu.

Oulle offrit étout les mangnifiques gardîns dé sa d’meuthe Jèrriaise. Aniet ch’est l’par dé la Couronnâtion à la Preunmié Tou. Enfîn, à la fîn d’sa vie, oulle offrit ès Jèrriais la baie d’Bieau Port qué san bouonhomme avait acaté pouor lyi y’avait bein d’s années.

L’héthitage dé Florence et Jesse Boot en Jèrri est hardi împortant, jé n’lé savais pas. J’èrmèrcie Paul Darroch pouor mé l’aver fait dêcouvri. Et bein ch’est tout pouor aniet.

English Translation:

FLORENCE BOOT’S HERITAGE IN JERSEY

At the time I’m writing, we’re still disrupted by the virus and we still cannot travel off the Island or even have visitors to Jersey. Time is long for people who have family off the Island, like us, who have our family in Normandy and in the South of England. It’s difficult as well for people working in the tourist industry like hotels etc… They are probably impatient to return to a more normal situation.

But we have to stay optimistic, and we hope that the situation is going to improve with the vaccination and with the arrival of the summer. We need to wait and hope.

Still, they are good things about not being able to travel. First, it’s better for the environment as there are less carbon emissions. I don’t know if you have noticed but, during the first lockdown, the sky was much bluer and clearer than usual. It’s probably because there were less vehicles on the roads and less planes in the sky.

Another positive thing about not being able to travel is that it gives us the opportunity to discover our Island. There are wonderful places in Jersey that I’ve discovered only recently – for example, Faldouet dolmen. What a surprise!

When we start getting interested into the place where we live, we start getting interested into its history as well. It is what happened to me, and I discovered an interesting author who writes about Jersey history. His name is Paul Darroch.

From what I know, he published two books about Jersey, Jersey hidden histories and Jersey: secrets of the sea. Both are available at WH Smith in town and on the Kindle app. I bought the books on Amazon and downloaded them on my tablet. I really recommend these books. They are very well written and enjoyable to read. What I like very much is that Paul Darroch combines the big History with local legends and little stories about Jèrriais people’s life during their time.

He records a series of podcasts whose name is ‘History Islands”. You can receive them in your email box and listen to them on any electronic device. March’s podcast was about the life of Florence Boot. I think he chose this topic because in March was International Women’s day.

Florence Boot had a very interesting life, and she left an important heritage to Jersey. She was born in St Helier in 1863. She was the daughter of a book seller. She met Jess Boot, a young chemist and they got married in 1886.

Florence was intelligent and very imaginative. She had the idea of creating an alley for ladies’ toiletries in the pharmacy and changing the little shop into a big store. The idea was a great success, and the pharmacies “Boots” became a phenomenon.   

The couple became very rich, and Jess Boot bought Beauport Bay for his wife’s birthday. He sold his business for 2 million pounds after the big war, which was a very big amount of money for the time.

But the couple was generous, and they did a lot for their community in Jersey. For example, they built the “Florence Boot cottages” in order to offer decent homes to people.

Florence Boot invited the French artist René Lalique in Jersey. He transformed St Matthew’s church in Millbrook into a magnificent glass church. Today it is a renowned masterpiece.

She also offered the magnificent garden of her Jersey house. Today it is Coronation Park in First Tower. Finally, at the end of her life, she gave back Beauport Bay (that her husband had bought for her birthday many years before) to Jersey people.

Florence Boot’s heritage in Jersey is very important. I didn’t know it. And I thank Paul Darroch for making me discover it.

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