Time in Jersey

Joseph S. Myers jsm at polyomino.org.uk
Mon Nov 3 23:45:38 UTC 2003

A while back, Geraint Jennings
<http://www.societe-jersiaise.org/geraint/jerriais> sent me some
additional information about time in Jersey, with a reference to
www.jerseylegalinfo.je for laws including the 1898 law adopting GMT.  
I've now got round to updating my site
<http://www.srcf.ucam.org/~jsm28/british-time/> accordingly. He also sent
the following newspaper article he wrote about the adoption of GMT in
Jersey (published at the end of October so I can now send it to this
list).  As I doubt many people on this list read Jèrriais at all, I'm only
including the English translation, "intended as a crib to enable
English-speakers to read the original so it's a bit clunky and literal".

Jersey Time

Do you like the change of time? Putting back the clocks in Autumn, we're 
used to that at least, but in 1862 there there were lots of townsfolk who 
were very angry with the putting forward of the time.

The thing is, in the month of May 1862 it was decided to put the new clock 
in the steeple of the Parish Church of St. Helier on Greenwich time, 
instead of Jersey time, seeing as the captains of the steamships which 
travelled according to the timetables of English companies had asked for 
that arrangement. But that's what didn't please Jersey pilots and seamen.

The fourth of June therefore, a hundred and sixteen Principals of the 
Parish called a Parish Assembly so as to put back the clock to Jersey time 
- why do such nonsense to please the English? And what's more, an election 
for Churchwarden had been annulled because the nominations had been posted 
in the official notice box at three minutes past eleven - by the Church 
clock - but at five to eleven by Jersey time.

The nominations should have been placed in the box after eleven o'clock - 
but the question was: which eleven o'clock?

The Assembly decided that one must ignore foreign time, and on the fifth of 
June therefore the clock began to show Jersey time.

It wasn't until 1898 that the States passed a law to adopt Greenwich mean 
time in Jersey, which became the official time at around 4pm on the 11th June.

What do you think? Would you like to go back to Jersey time, with a 
difference of eight minutes and twenty-seven seconds with the UK? Alas, 
it's no longer our Parishes which are in charge of the time!

                   Geraint Jennings
        Maître-pêtre des Pages Jèrriaises

Joseph S. Myers
jsm at polyomino.org.uk

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