In 2019 Jersey Heritage commissioned local artist Danny Booth to create a community art project to mark the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Jersey Archive in 2020 and the completion of a new strongroom block. The mosaic that Danny created tells the story of the development of Clarence Road from the orchards of the 18th century to the building of the Jersey Archive in 2000. Danny worked with local residents, students and archive users in a series of workshops and the finished mosaic includes the ceramic tiles made by members of the community.
The mosaic begins by recalling Jersey’s rural heritage with an image of an apple tree, reflecting the fact that the area was surrounded by orchards on the 1795 Duke of Richmond Map.
During the first half of the 19th century the town of St Helier expanded significantly and the site of the archive became a quarry, established by Clement de Quetteville on land he purchased from Jean and Nancy Chevalier in 1824 and 1826. Archive records show that, as well as establishing the quarry, Clement de Quetteville owned stables in the Clarence Road area and the stables are reflected in the horses depicted on the mosaic and ceramic tiles.
The next section of the mosaic looks at Jersey’s maritime heritage and includes the name of Thomas Simon a Master Mariner who lived in Clarence Road.
Sophia Pigeon owned Sussex House in Clarence Road and her father Philip and brother Philip junior were both Master Mariners. The uncertain nature of the maritime profession was highlighted when Philip junior lost his life in the schooner Phyllis Gray which went ashore during a fierce gale.
Following the sunshine and storms of the maritime section of the mosaic, it goes on to show some of the professions of those living in Clarence Road during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Arthur Barreau studied art at the Royal Academy and there are a number of examples of his work in the Jersey Heritage collections.
In 1881 Frances Trump lived at 14, Clarence Road and records her profession as a dressmaker. Further back into the 19th century Charles Perchard, a retired carpenter lived at the same property. In 1851 Doctor Philip Harding and his family lived at Sussex House. Philip and his wife Mary had 7 daughters aged between 4 and 20 living with them in Clarence Road.
The Occupation period is reflected by a red cross parcel in the mosaic and one of the residents of Clarence Road, Ralph Mollet, had a significant role at this time. Ralph, who lived at 9, Clarence Road, was the Bailiff’s Secretary and his diary is a wonderful first-hand account of the relationship between the local authorities and the occupying forces.
In the post war period the quarry in Clarence Road was initially sold to Rediffusion, a broadcast service and then to the States of Jersey who used the site for housing. Clarence Court housing estate was built in the 1950s and was home to a number of families until it was closed in the early 1990s. In 2000 Jersey Archive was opened to the public and the new building is shown in the last image of the mosaic.