15 Jun 2023

Guernsey museums, Jersey Heritage and Societe jersiaise sign a cooperation agreement with La Fabrique de Patrimoines



On 15 June 2023 in Caen, the partnership agreement between Jersey Heritage, Guernsey Museums & Galleries and the Fabrique de Patrimoines was renewed for five years. The three structures have been joined by the Société Jersiaise, which is joining this partnership for the first time.

The cooperation was initially formalized in 2018 in Guernsey in order to facilitate communication and exchanges between the museums of the Normandy Museums Network and the Jersey and Guernsey museums. The Channel Islands being intimately linked to Normandy through their history, their archaeological, maritime and legal heritage – Norman customary law still being partly in force in the Channel Islands – formalized cultural cooperation was therefore obvious.

After several attempts of meetings aborted due to the pandemic, the representatives of the four structures were able to visit the Château de Caen, the Normandy Museum and the Bayeux Tapestry. This was followed by a visit to the Pegasus Memorial and the Pegasus Bridge, which after being damaged during the bombings of 1944, was temporarily replaced by a “Bailey” bridge, built by British soldiers, and in particular the famous Clive Kemp, a young Jersey soldier who had lied about his age to be able to go to fight and whose ashes now lie since 2019 at the foot of this bridge. They had landed in Sword Beach on the very morning of 6 June 1944 with the primary mission of building parallel temporary bridges to all the bridges that would be destroyed.

The delegation’s visit ended this Friday in Saint Vaast-La-Hougue, on the island of Tatihou.

The agreement was signed by the director of the Fabrique de Patrimoines, Carine Lavocat, the director of Guernsey Museums & Galleries, Helen Glencross as well as the director of Jersey Heritage, Jon Carter and the president of the Jersey Society, Rebecca Bailhache. It is the direct result of cooperation between the Normandy region, the Manche department, the Government of Jersey and the States of Guernsey.

Helen Glencross, Director of Guernsey Museums & Galleries said: “Guernsey Museums is delighted to be renewing our membership of the Normandy Museums Network. We welcome this exciting cultural collaboration and look forward to working with our partners in the future to celebrate our shared heritage”.

Jon Carter, director of Jersey Heritage, also rejoiced: “Heritage is sometimes about what is unique and distinctive about a place – more often it is about common ground, the stories we share and the identities that bring us together. The shared heritage of the Anglo-Norman Islands and the region of the Normano-Breton Gulf is exceptionally deep.  This cultural relationship goes back a very long way – but equally, it is vibrant and growing today. There are many opportunities to explore the shared cultural inheritance and we very much look forward to continuing to work with the Fabrique du Patrimoine network and Norman museum colleagues through this partnership.”

The president of the Jersey Society, Rebecca Bailhache was also delighted with the signing of the agreement: “The Société Jersiaise is delighted to sign this partnership agreement with La Fabrique, and we are keen to develop links with Normandy. We are fortunate to have links with France through our field archaeologist, librarian and photo archivist, so we see many opportunities for collaboration. We are also grateful to BIAN (Bureau of the Channel Islands) for organizing this alliance. »

For Carine Lavocat, temporary director of the Fabrique de patrimoines in Normandy: “We are enthusiastic about renewing this partnership with the heritage stakeholders of the Channel Islands. The Fabrique de Patrimoines is committed to facilitating cooperation between the museums of Normandy and the heritage actors of the Channel Islands, in line with the wishes of the network’s museum members. The signature of the convention and this first meeting between museums will allow, we hope, other actions of cultural cooperation between our territories.”

Guernsey's Bailiff and other island officials