There’s a car park at the bottom of a steep and winding hill, where there be sex litter. Or could this be the detritus of a business frisson? The boundaries are so blurred these days. When is it a picnic or a business meal? Does crisps with sandwiches make it a meal? Does Special Brew make business meetings finish on time? I wonder what Sue Gray would make of Guernsey’s ‘Gatland-Gate?’ The Private Eye was not impressed:
To be fair, there hasn’t been much sex litter in these chilly months before and after Christmess and New Year. Raspberry wrappers are the harbinger of dogging season?
A few yards away from the dogging littered car park at the bottom of Petit Bot hill you’ll find St Clair Battery. These buildings are dotted around the island. St Clair Battery, previously known as Boufresse Battery, has an associated magazine. In 1816 this battery mounted two 24 pounder guns and would have been associated to Tower No. 13.
At one time, there were over 60 gun batteries in operation around the island.
They were constructed in strategic positions to protect the coastline from possible landings by the French. Typically they consist of a sloping paved stone platform to carry the ordnance, together with a brick or stone lined barrier as defence against oncoming fire. A number of batteries have been cleared of overgrowth in recent years and restored as historic sites.
A magazine building would originally have stood nearby to store powder and shot. In some cases the magazines still survive though the battery has been lost. In dark times like this, monuments to the past become like bright lighthouse beams on the hazy dream horizons. They take us back to a time when a gun battery was simply that, and nothing else. Certainly, back in time, nobody could have accused the St Clair battery masquerading as a floating gin palace or a finger buffet that thinks its a Board meeting. I think that we will lean on history even harder, to give us gravity in these post-Trumpian times of fake news and trumping science with a meme. We have lost so much, let’s hope that truth does not fall any further or sink any lower.