Rocketman to sell house as fight for compensation ends

ROCKETMAN Terry McDonald is facing a £125,000 bill and the loss of his home after giving up his fight for compensation for his aborted rocket launch.

Mr McDonald says he will lose his home
Mr McDonald says he will lose his home

ROCKETMAN Terry McDonald is facing a £125,000 bill and the loss of his home after giving up his fight for compensation for his aborted rocket launch.

After years of pressing for compensation to recoup the money he lost when he pulled the plug on his 2007 world record attempt to launch 100,000 rockets at the Battle of Flowers, he is throwing in the towel.

Mr McDonald - a former policeman - was told by Chief Minister Ian Gorst in November that he would not reopen the case, and now says that he will have to sell his home to meet the mounting costs.

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Comments for: "Rocketman to sell house as fight for compensation ends"


Rocket man seems to have been very misguided.

I am glad the tax payer is not paying for his mess

melton john ROCKETMAN

And I think it's gonna be a long long time

Till touch down brings me round again to find

I'm not the man they think I am at home

Oh no, no, no, I'm a rocket man

Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone

Jelton Ohn

He's still standing after all this time,

picking up the pieces of his life

with rockets on his mind

he's still standing,

yeah, yeah, yeah... (etc)


actually sitting down if you care to look.

Norma Jean

And it seems to me you lived your life

Like a rocket in the wind

Never knowing who to cling to

When the rain set in

And I would have liked to have known you

But I was just a kid

Your rocket burned out long before

Your legend ever did


Bloody disgusting when the money wasted in recent times by Government here for someone that deserves more support than these other expensive c.. k ups.

Roll on next election Asst Minister Gorst (you are not the Chief one anymore) will NOT be voting for you next time as did the last.

the thin wallet

the saga of the rockets is a sorry tale.

caused by the you cant do that there mate brigade.

yet toxic waste is down at la collette and the incinerator its self is a bit questionable, to how green it is .

one of the last times i bumped into terry .

i did say should have a bonfife party and everyone chip in to let them off.

mind you the could be in a unsafe condition due to age nowadays.

the treatment of some by a few is rotten.


What's been done to this poor man is a disgrace - they wanted the display, he tried to deliver then they got cold feet and dumped him with the costs. Disgusting!

Johnny Rogers

Here here Plagne

He went out and bought all the rockets without approval to set them all off, then moans when he is not allowed to and expects us all to pickup the tab!

How was he going to pay for them anyway if he had been allowed to set them off?

Gorst is right

Simple Sid

You need to get your facts right before making statements like that!


What are the facts, then, Sid?


Not too proud of the Sates on that one, but why did he not try to sale his rockets just after the refusal.

If the States said no at the last minute for environmental reasons, he should have known that the rockets would never launch the following years.

C Le Verdic

Terry McDonald's plight doesn't matter, he's just a local who got it wrong, but we must make sure that poor Mr Hemmings doesn't lose out on his 'investment'.


Unfortunately so true, a local man seems to get no where any more, but the States are quite happy to support non-local millionaires and truck loads of people that haven't paid a penny into our system.

A very sad State of affairs, another local not getting any help :(


Is a shame. I'm sure the money allotted for the pay rise they don't deserve would go a long way in helping to cover the costs.

Bill De Nowse

After seeing the fireworks go off in Australia and London on New Years Eve I cant help but wonder why he wasn't allowed to let fireworks off here. I know it was down to environment issues but wouldn't there be environment issues there to?


Terry is a fair and decent guy who would help anyone at the drop of a hat. Just how much damage did the environment agency think this man could do? Some wooden sticks and plastic caps on the beach that he pledged to pick up afterwards anyway. The states are a disgrace. He should of gone ahead with it anyway as any incurred fine would of been less than the £125k he is facing now.

Chyrsotile blowin' in the wind

Compare and contrast that with the environmental damge which the derelict Plemont site is doing.

the thin wallet


you forgot the queens jubilee as well.


This was typical behaviour of the States to pull the plug on something last minute and cause massive problems.

Surely the States are there to support and guide someone to get things to the level they require, not pull things at the last minute !


Nothwithstanding the fact that there was a record fireworks display on Plymouth Hoe on the very same day as Mr McDonald intended to do his.

No issues there, so why the great problem here? We have ghastly green slimey seaweed all over St. Aubins Bay, toxic waste etc., and this man has been well and truly shafted by the authorities.

Where is the justice in that?


Should have paid him instead of the three years salary Ian Christmas the jailed magistrate was paid !


Disgusting state of affairs this should never have been allowed to happen. Terry is a top guy who is always there to help any one with no questions asked - The states should pay up as they caused this mess.

When you think of the millions the states have spent on steam clocks, toads on pedestales, bronze trees etc and as for the states and their pay rise ! dont get me started DISGUSTING !

pay the man and let him have some peace and quiet its about time he deserves it.

Justice ha jersey does not have any !


I feel terrible for this man, my heart goes out to him. I don't think it had anything to do with the environment, i think this was just an excuse.

Warren J

I had contact with Terry 25 years ago when I was involved in retail and he arranged storage of fireworks in a German bunker at St Ouens for us.

I am at pains to see how this has all gone wrong. He was simply warned that his attempt 'may' result in prosecution. Had he gone ahead with the attempt, any action by the authorities to take action afterwards would have resulted in him receiving enormous public support.

We all face 'potential' prosecution every time we go out in our cars, but you generally do not get nabbed for doing 32 in a 30 zone.

For a long time, Terry was guarding these rockets for insurance purposes, though they were subsequently destroyed at no recompense to him.

Clearly Terry had good intentions, and went ahead on this matter. At one point, he reported in the paper that he had no assets, and was renting a property - This clearly is not the case it now appears. The matter has really got out of hand due to a clear lack of foresight and planning, and while I feel sorry for him, he should have known when to quit.

damp squib

I admit I do not know the full story but from a personal point of view it would have been foolish to spend any money on the display unless there was full written permission from all authorities concerned. If Mr McDonald did not have this more fool him and no taxpayers money should spent bailing him out.


This man has been treated abominably, he would have made sure any mess to the environment was cleaned up, I really hope that a wealthy benefactor comes along and bails him out.

It seems to me that this situation originated by some jealous, spiteful, mean-spirited person who has a personal agenda against Terry.

God's Mentor

And the moral of this story is : if you play with fire expect to get burnt.


Oh how the states and tourism would have blown there trumpets for getting jersey in the record books. Instead due to a possible pollution fear on a polluted beach they have made this gentleman suffer for several years. I have had the pleasure to meet terry on several occasions and have the up most respect for him. He has been an asset for the island and islanders alike during his career


I recall that a few years ago, a few senior citizens made a poor choice in investors, got ripped off, and got government handouts. The island has paid out for less deserving cases in the past, I guess Mr McDonald just isn't well connected. All three Chief Ministers we've had so far have been spineless, let's hope we get a decent one next time around.

Middle ground

What a shame poor Terry may lose his home! What a joke for this man who just wanted to give a firework display to a much needed island... So many years have gone by with no fireworks for children and adults to enjoy... Let's hope he states members who caused this never have to sell heir home.

Captain Fantastic

Considering the increasing amount of fireworks that are being let off all through the year, I can not understand why they were never used up. Or as was said at the time the fireworks contained some harmful chemicals and were no use to anyone in the first place hence a large amount was up for sale.

Do all firework displays now have environmental impact assessments?


Pity nearly everyone posting on here have got their facts wrong. Sure, the department gave him some hassle, but they didn't stop him. The environment minister actually gave his support. It was Terry who decided to pull the plug.

Whoosh, bang, wooooo

Could anyone above who is slating Gorst and the States put their hand on their heart and say they'd have committed that kind of cash from their own pocket without first having the necessary permissions in place?? Yes, Terry is a gent and all that but come on, stop blaming others for what is an unfortunate error of judgement.

Ive organised charity events for thirteen years and have in the past let my enthusiasm run away with me to my own financial detriment and although I've been let down by others on those few occasions, I've never groaned about being owed anything by anyone else!

If I remember rightly (it's all so long ago now) it was Terry who wanted the world record, nobody else....


Terry was stitched up.

He knows it.

We know it.

I am disgusted at the way he's been treated.

I'm also disgusted by the first 3 comments on this forum.

Whoever you are - you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Terry is a good, kind-hearted gentleman and deserved better treatment than this!


This should be included in the referendum.

States pay £5 for each vote cast in favour of doing so (or pro-rata the voter turn-out so 100% = £125,000 or 10% = £12,500 or 0% = you get the idea).

Personally, I think this chap has been treated harshly.

Blue Knight

Terry was a well respected police officer – Sergeant 52 – well thought of by his men and women.

He was a little unpopular with his bosses as he was often outspoken.I imagine over the years he made some enemies in a number of quarters, possibly including some States members and senior officials in States Departments.

With regards to the cancellation of the proposed firework display owing to possible pollution issues, one has to wonder why these objections aren’t raised every year for the Battle of Flowers firework display. Come to that what about the amount of litter strewn over the arena, when aircraft have dropped paper flower petals?

What about the asbestos stored in freight containers in the harbour area and the high potential for pollution there? What about the fly ash from the incinerator at Bellozanne, being deposited on the reclamation site?

I might be wrong, as I don’t know the full circumstances of the decision, not to go ahead with the attempt record breaking firework display, but I imagine many believe some of those involved made decisions based on spite and not logic.


Another conspiracy?, what a propousterous theory, the guy took a gamble and bottled it under the threat of prosecution. His choice, his responsibility, his risk.

Double Standards

Compare and contrast the refusal to offer any compensation to Mr McDonald (who has done untold good works for the island) with today's announcement that Senator McClean, without any apparent debate or popular agreement, is going to hand over £200,00 of our money to a private, commercial profit making film company.