Sarah Ferguson

Treasures in the Cellars!

In the cellars of Cyril le Marquand House there are some interesting artefacts.  I think they belong in the Museum and, in fact, I have told successive Treasury Ministers so.

The first item is the cheque paid by the UK for the services Jersey carried out during the first world war.  It is nicely framed but why is it secreted away where noone can see it?

The second group is the original proofs of the WW2 stamps designed by Edmund Blampied.

All these items are part of the Island’s history and should be available for all to see.  I can understand the Treasury wanting to retain ownership of objects which have a significant monetary value but they could be lent to the Museum on condition they are preserved carefully and insured appropriately.

And just near the Winston Churchill cheque are the boxes containing the £100 notes.  My Scrutiny Panel criticised the production of these.  If they were meant to be a souvenir of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, should it not have been more attractive for all Islanders?  We also raised the criticism that limited edition collectible notes would normally be limited to an issue of 60,000 notes but 100,000 was the minimum size of order .  Our other criticism was that most countries are reducing the number of high denomination notes because of the prevalence of ATM machines and because the high denomination notes are preferred by money launderers.

In the event only about £600,000 has been raised by the sale and there is a stock of about 94,000 notes at Cyril Le Marquand House – or a face value of £9.4 Million.  There may have been some sales since the figures were last disclosed but it hasn’t been the most successful project.