In this photograph of John William Cripps and his wife Mary Jane Woodward, they can be seen together outside their home, the ‘Fairy Queen’, on the island of Jersey, which is where the couple spent many years of their retirement.
This photo has always fascinated me. Could it be because they both look so happy? It’s not often in old photographs that you see people with anything other than the typical stern look as they stay as still as possible waiting for the camera lens to do its magic. Maybe it’s the two very large pine cones outside their house that give the photograph that added charm!
So I decided to find out where their home was, but the only information I had which could help me find the location was the name ‘Fairy Queen’, that it was in the area of St. Aubin and that they apparently had a view of the marina.
Finding the Fairy Queen was relatively easy. Thanks to the census data, ‘Fairy Queen’ was placed right next to ‘Court House’ which is now called The Old Court House Inn, a hotel and restaurant. Now I knew that if the building was still standing, it would probably a neighbouring property on a road named the Bulwarks, which is right on the marina. It would also be pretty easy to spot, if the two pine cones have managed to survive a hundred years of wear and tear.
A kind gentleman on the Rootschat forums who lives on the island offered to go down to the area for me, to find out if the building still stood and take some shots of it. Within a couple of weeks, I had an e-mail from him with the pictures!
I’m glad to be able to confirm that the building still stands today, despite losing one of the pine cones and looking rather neglected. It is now a part of The Old Court House Inn, which is connected to it from behind.
Stuart, the person who kindly carried this out for me, said it was a little difficult to take a photo becuase of the cars parked around the building. He also commented on the magnificent view that Mary and John would have had over the harbour.