Rural – Jersey Country Life Magazine

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

We continue our series of articles 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 Pat Small

MA CÉLÉBRE BIKE

En 1970,  quand la prison ‘tait située à la Rue Newgate à côté d’ l’hôpita, et d’vant qu’ La Rue d’Drièthe fûsse eune rue pavée, j’soulais d’meuther à la sîl’ye dé la Rue d’la Tou à St Hélyi.

Dans l’ temps, man travas ‘tait en Ville et i’ ‘tait possibl’ye dé pédaler sus ma bike, hardi vite, d’pis siez-mé ava l’ Mont ès Pendus et pis lé long d’ la Rue d’Drièthe.  Man bouônhomme, tchi tchittait dé bouonne heuthe châque matîn, soulait prendre la bike hors lé garage et la laîssait contre la muthâle et près d’ la maîson.  Ch’tait un arrangement conv’nabl’ye pouor mé!

Un jour, comme d’habitude, jé tchittis la maîson pouor aller à man travas, mais – où’est qu’ ‘tait la bike?  Ou n’tait pon d’vant ou en d’dans du garage, ni à côté d’ la maîson. J’ la chèrchis partout, mais i’ n’y avait autchun sîngne dé man précieux boulant. Et man costeunme dé bain ‘tait acouo dans l’pangni, pa’ce qu’en Êté j’soulais aller nagi au Havre des Pas auprès man travas.  Tchi probliéme! À la fîn, j’ décidis qu’oulle avait ‘té volée, et qué jé d’vais téléphoner à la Stâtion d’ Police à Rouoge Bouoillon. 

Un sèrgent d’Police mé réponnit.  Ch’tait surprannant quand i’ m’dit – auve eune séthieuse vouaix et ch’t’ urgente înstruction – “Êt’-ous seule à la maîson?  I’ faut freunmer toutes les f’nêtres et touothoter les portes.  N’allez pon en d’houors!  J’arriv’thons siez-vous tout d’siette.”

En deux’-trais minnutes les policemainnes arrivîtent dans trais vouaituthes, auve un tchian d’ police étout.  I’ m’explyitchîtent qué, lé matîn, un dangereux prisonnyi êcappit par lé pliafond d’ san cachot et pis par lé lief d’la prison.  I’ couôrrit au Mont ès Pendus et pis à la Rue du Tou. I’ ‘tait hardi criabl’ye qu’il avait volé ma bike comme boulant pouor s’êcapper.

Les policemainnes et l’ tchian chèrchîtent partout la maîson, dans l’ gardîn et pis dans l’ clios entre la maîson et l’hôpita à Overdale, mais i’ n’ trouvîtent rein.  Enfîn, i’ dîtent qué lés pathages ‘taient saufs et qué j’pouvais aller à man travas – bein seux dans la vouaituthe dé Police!

Auprès plusieurs jours, tchitch’un trouvit la bike souos un fôssé à St Louothains et eune s’maine pus tard lé prisonnyi fut èrcaptuthé à Ouaisné.  Êventuellement man costeunme dé bain fut trouvé étout, ma bike mé fut r’touônnée et l’ prisonnyi fut r’blioutchi dans san cachot. 

Et touos les sièrs, i’ y’avait un rapport dé ches êvenéments dans la gâzette.  Ch’tait dramatique!

MY FAMOUS BIKE

In 1970, when the Prison was in Newgate Street next to the Hospital, and before King Street was a pedestrian precinct, I used to live at the top of Tower Road in St Helier.

In those days, when I worked in town, it was possible to pedal very speedily on my bike from my house, down Westmount and then along King Street.  My husband, who left for work early each morning, used to take the bike out of the garage and leave it propped against the wall near the house.  It was a very convenient arrangement for me.

One day, I left the house to go to work as usual, but – where was the bike?  It wasn’t in front of the garage or inside it, or next to the house.  I looked everywhere, but there was no sign of my precious vehicle.  Also, my bathing costume was in the basket, because I used to go to Havre des Pas after work to swim.  What a problem! Eventually I decided that it had been stolen and that I should phone the Police Station at Rouge Bouillon.

A Police Sergeant answered my call.  It was a surprise when he said – in a serious voice and with this urgent instruction -” Are you alone in the house?  Shut all the windows and lock all the doors.  Don’t go outside.  We’ll be with you immediately.”

In just two or three minutes the Police arrived in three cars, with a Police dog as well.  They explained that, that very morning, a dangerous prisoner had escaped through the ceiling of his cell and then through the prison roof.  He had run to Westmount and then to Tower Road.  It was highly likely that he had taken my bike as a getaway vehicle.

The police and the dog combed the house and garden and then the field between our house and Overdale Hospital, but they found nothing.  Eventually they said that the area was safe and I could go to work – in the Police car, of course!

After several days, someone found the bike under a hedge in St Lawrence and a week later the prisoner was recaptured at Ouaisné.  Eventually my bathing costume was also found, my bike was returned to me and the prisoner was locked up in his cell again.

And every evening these events were reported in the newspaper. That was dramatic!

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