November 29, 2011

0055 JERSEY (Island of Jersey) - La Corbière Lighthouse

Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey, is one of the British Crown dependencies (as also Guernsey and Isle of Man), and form, together with Bailiwick of Guernsey, the Channel Islands, an archipelago in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. It consists of the island of Jersey (the largest of the Channel Islands), along with the surrounding uninhabited islands and rocks, and isn't part of the United Kingdom, having an international identity separate. It was part of the Duchy of Normandy, whose dukes went on to become kings of England from 1066. After Normandy was lost by the kings of England in the 13th century, and the ducal title surrendered to France, Jersey and the other Channel Islands remained attached to the English crown.

Some inhabitants of Jersey refer to themselves as British (not English), others as Normanic and others even as French, but unlike the British from the UK, the people from Jersey are very pro-Europe and describe themselves as being more a part of Europe than the mainland UK. English and French are official, but it's also recognized Jèrriais (called "Jersey French" or "Jersey Norman French" by English-speakers and "normand de Jersey" by French-speakers), which was spoken in 1989 of only 5720 inhabitants (approximately 3% of the population). Probably the things will change if it reaches to independence, about which is discussed for many years.

La Corbière (meaning "the place where crows gather"), the extreme south-western point of Jersey, in parish  St. Brelade, was first recorded in the 1309 Assize Roll. Even it has been the scene of many shipwrecks, due to the rocks and the extreme tidal variation, only in 1873 the residents built a lighthouse, the first in the British Isles made of concrete. The lighthouse tower (situated on a tidal island) is 19m high and the lamp stands 36m above high water spring tides, the beam having a reach of 33km. It is now automatic, but it was previously manned on a rota basis by four keepers, who lived in cottages nearby and worked a two-day shift. They were also required to signal to Saint Helier when approaching ships came into view.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of the unusual and interesting set Shipwrecks, issued on July 12, 2011 and consists of 6 stamps:
• TSS Princess Ena c. 1935 (37p)
• SS Caledonia c. 1881 (49p)
• TSS Ibex c. 1897 (59p) - it’s on the postcard
• SS Schokland c. 1943 (64p)
• USS PT509 c. 1944 (79p)
• PS Superb c. 1850 (86p)

Jersey - Wikipedia
La Corbière - Wikipedia
La Corbière - Theislandwiki

Sender: Rebecca (direct swap)
Sent from Saint Helier (Jersey), on 21.11.2011
Photo: Mike Guy

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