Thursday, 29 September 2011

La Colomberie - a Nigthingale sings - End of Empire?

“Fourteen cabaret shows; now there are none!”

Yesterday I took a walk up to La Colomberie to investigate the relative economic decline of the area. What can be done to reverse this trend?

It is not the first time I have been there. I did a little impromptu speech on my soap box last week. It attracted one of shopkeepers who heard that I was a solicitor by profession. I was able to give a little directional advice about employment law.

Here I interview Tony who has run a shop in the area for many years. He laments the decline of tourism. We live the contradictions of hosting the offshore financial centre and its domination of the economy. Tourism and agriculture struggle.

I caught Tony as he cleared his shop and surrendered the lease. He will continue to work from home with a loyal, but reduced, clientele.

No one likes to be pessimistic, but one has to be realistic and speak the truth. This is the reality of Jersey today and it will probably get worse in the short term.


  1. Well done.

    The small stretch of precinct there is a waste of time. Like he says at 5.30, reinstate the road and breathe some life back into the area!

  2. Colomberie has been in decline for years. Even during the boom time of the 1980s it was the fag-end of St Helier's shopping area.

    What should have been done - then - was to carry on the paved precinct from Queen Street up to the junction at Howard Davis Park.

    The "natural" end to the precinct has always been the junction where Queen Street meets La Motte Street, because it turns into roadway.

    Psychologically that sharp corner and road facing the junction of Queen Street and La Motte Street sends a message to pedestrians saying "nothing more to see here"

    By carrying on the paving to the park the natural drift of those strolling through town would have increased up into Colomberie. The park at the end would have added an extra destination to make it worthwhile, especially for holidaymakers.

    Because Colomberie has perpetually been physically seperated from the Queen Street end of the precinct it's perpetually overlooked by casual footfall despite vague efforts to regenerate it.

    Without that road being completely paved Colomberie will always be the grubby overlooked cousin of the "real" town.

  3. Great interview you guys, and well done Tony, and for our telephone convo earlier :)

    Thought you might like a look at this Nick, espacially in a lawyers capacity.


  4. Yes, it was a mistake to put the seating area at Snow Hill in its present form. They should have curved the patterns/stripes in the paving up towards Colomberie to direct shoppers up there like it was a continuation of Queen Street. At the moment it silently shouts out a sublimal message "Stop here, nothing more to see!"

    I don't think shutting the road is necessary though, the pavements are wide enough and a bit of hustle and bustle from traffic keeps a street scene alive.

  5. Dear Nick,

    After reading this post of mine on Planet Jersey, you can't say I haven't done anything to help your election campaign:,3413.msg52297.html#new

    P.S. - Regarding this interview with Tony, I tried to submit a very long post yesterday, without success. I am guessing it was just too long. I still have a copy of what I said so I might try editing it down a bit and maybe try re-submitting it at a later date.


  6. Some people have complained that they could not add comments. I am not sure why this should be as my experiments seem to show it is possible.

    Jerry, do submit your comments in parts.



  7. Isn't it odd, and just at election time, that the anti Oligarchy blogs are faultering in this way?

    Doesn't take much working out does it!

    A complaint to my service provider is in order me thinks....

  8. As an English tourist on the island at the beginning of September I read about the "Jersey General Election" in the Evening Paper.

    UK Government isn't too democratic that's for sure, nor local council stuff either. But --- how on earth does Jersey get (and keep hold of) an electorial system where out of the 12 Parish Constables 9 of them do not have to account to anyone for their place in the Island's Parliament because not one person was prepared to stand against?