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Exploring the geological history of St. Aubins.

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Introduction

St. Aubins Firstly we will explore the importance of the site of the town. Because St. Aubins has a town on the sea, it grew up on sites close to a natural harbour, which afforded shelter to the vessels that carried the seaborne trade, upon which the existence of the town depended. St. Aubin is a town of this last class; a glance at a map of Jersey will show that it and Gorey are the only accessible natural harbours which are completely sheltered from the strong westerly winds. St. Aubins is sheltered from the sea on all sides except from the South-East to South. It is widely believed that St. Aubins was once the capital of Jersey; but this can not be true because from the earliest times the Royal Court and the States have met in St. Helier. Also St. Aubin had no church until the 18th Century, and it would be very weird if the capital was left churchless. ...read more.

Middle

Aubins became the chief privateering port in the kingdom. The privateers were fast vessels, heavily armed with guns, and manned with large crews, needed both to work the ships and guns. The captains each carried a Royal Commission called a "letter of marque" authorising the capture of the ships and goods of the French. The letter of marque was an important document, as it was all that stood between the whole crew hanged as pirates if taken by an enemy man-of-war. No wages were paid to any of the hands but each received his share of the prizes taken. In the early years of the last century, St. Aubins reached its high point of importance, but then began to fall off owing to the competition of the new port of St. Helier, which was rapidly increasing its harbour accommodation. Of the two largest St. Aubins merchants, the house of Robin moved to St. Helier, while the Janvrins ceased business. This was a serious blow to St. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thousands of foreign workers, mostly Spanish, French, Polish and Russian were being poured into the Island to assist in the building of bunkers, gun emplacements, tunnels and sea walls. They needed sand, granite chippings, cement, water and, of course, reinforcing metal. Transport of the first two presented a considerable problem and was largely responsible for the building of the railways. The metre gauge line from St. Helier to St. Aubin and Corbiere can be said to have started opposite commercial buildings, within a stone's throw of the former J.R. & T Weighbridge terminus. From West Park to St. Aubins tunnel, the roadbed of the former J.R. & T was more or less followed. The line was single throughout except for an occasional crossing loop. A blast wall had already been built at the eastern end of the old J.R. & T tunnel at St. Aubin as a protection from the extensive galleries which were being excavated. The bore of the tunnel itself had been greatly increased and the galleries driven through solid rock, the area being second only to that of the much better known underground hospital, to which rather surprisingly no connecting railway was laid. ...read more.

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