Syvret House at Hamptonne Country Life Museum has recently undergone a major refurbishment and, thanks to the involvement of many members of the community, will now provide a unique window into rural life in Jersey in the late 1940s.
The newly decorated and furnished farmhouse will offer insights into subjects including agricultural traditions and the farming community, day-to-day family life, language and religion, whilst also recalling the experience of the German Occupation. All of this will be brought to life through audio conversations between members of the family and visitors in each of the rooms, and the wealth of carefully selected objects on display.
2018 also marks the 25th anniversary of the opening of Hamptonne to the public, after it was purchased by the National Trust for Jersey with the assistance of the States of Jersey. The farm was meticulously restored with the help of the Société Jersiaise and Jersey Heritage. However, works on Syvret House were not completed at this time and as part of the recent renovations the plasterboards lining many of the walls have been removed and replaced with traditional lath and lime mortar. A Victorian range cooker and timber surround have been reinstated in the kitchen, with cupboards of a local design replaced on either side. Modern electrical wiring, switches and light fixtures have been replaced with their period equivalents, all to give a tangible sense of the 1940s.
Chris Addy, Sites Curator for Jersey Heritage said, ‘The appearance of the house and the audio conversation in the rooms has been based largely upon the oral testimony kindly provided by many members of the community. Their recollections have been woven into an audio script peppered with rich details that will connect listeners to a time where tradition, a clear sense of community and local identity were evident. Islanders have also donated objects and furniture to enhance the displays, and antiques experts have offered crucial advice and sourced numerous items which add to the authenticity of the rooms. It has been a great collective effort bringing this project to fruition, with a view to captivating the imagination of our visitors.’