The lectures are normally given during the winter months and are free to anyone to attend, they cover a variety of topics from personal recollections to academic research. If you take a look at the events section you will see forthcoming lectures and the newsletter will cover in brief some of the previous topics.
The summer months are usually when rambles take place and they tend to concentrate on a specific defensive positions exploring what remains today. Well organised and always completed with the assistance of private land owners they enable you to take a look at some location you would never otherwise be able to. The rambles due to insurance issues are however restricted to members only. Please see the events page for upcoming rambles.
Summer was certainly here for the August ramble led by Ian Brehaut and Richard Heaume. Around 40 members were led around the former site of the railway sidings at L'Islet, commonly referred to as "Clapham Junction". Although the railway lines are no longer visible it was still interesting to see where they went and how it all worked while transporting materials around the island. Festung Guernsey had even brought along the recently restored side tipping wagon that was recovered from the area in 2011. After a break for refreshments at the Houmet Tavern the ramble ended with a visit to the graves of John Ingrouille and Marie Ozanne in Vale church cemetery.
This was a really enjoyable afternoon exploring the area of Batterie Barbara which started at the former Mont Varouf School in St Saviour's. Here Maurice Sangan talked about his, and the school's evacuation, and concluded with the ringing of the newly restored school bell. The ramble continued with a rare opportunity to go into the tunnel below St Saviour's Church. The Society is extremely grateful to the Civil Protection Volunteers who gave up their Saturday to open up and illuminate the tunnel so spectacularly well. Thanks are due to Ian Brehaut and Richard Heaume who planned and led the ramble.
Halfway Casemate Visit
A beautiful evening welcomed the site visit to the Halfway 4.7cm Pak casemate. This worked well enabling people to stand outside and talk whilst awaiting their turn to go in. Everyone enjoyed looking through the periscope and it was interesting to see how little the St Peter Port skyline had changed from the range board above the embrasure. Thanks to Festung Guernsey for hosting the evening, Richard Heaume for providing Pimms and Elizabeth Gardner Wheeler for the delicious cakes.
It was a lovely sunny afternoon for the June ramble around La Fosse in St Martin's led by Ian Brehaut and Richard Heaume. There was a good turnout for a really interesting tour of the area which included a visit to Angus Bodman's garden to guess the purpose of the pits that he had uncovered there, suggested answers varied from vehicle inspection pits to latrines. Members were also given access to several other gardens in the area to see various constructions made by the Reichsarbeitsdienst which were noticeably less well made than those constructed by the Organisation Todt.
Batterie Lux consists of four casemates which emplaced 10cm Le FH14/19 (t) guns. Although all of the structures still exist, the area has now been developed and access to the network of casemates linked by well preserved covered trenches lie on private land. one unique feature of this Batterie is the concrete doors to the casemates which allowed the guns to be wheeled outside if required, these can still be seen today.
During July Ian Brehaut and Richard Heaume led a group of members around the Batterie.