Refurbished Syvret House offers glimpse of 1940s life
JERSEY Heritage have recreated a 1940s farmhouse at Hamptonne Country Life Museum that has been designed to show what farming life was like immediately after Liberation.
The newly refurbished Syvret House will offer insights into the Island’s agricultural traditions, the farming community and day-to-day family life, language and religion, as well as the experience of the German Occupation.
The restoration of Syvret House into a post-war farmhouse includes the installation of a Victorian range cooker and timber surround which have been reinstated in the kitchen along with cupboards of a local design on either side. Modern electrical wiring, switches and light fixtures have been replaced with their period equivalents which should give visitors a real sense of the 1940s.
Chris Addy, sites curator for Jersey Heritage, said: ‘The appearance of the house and the audio conversation in the rooms has been based largely upon the oral testimony kindly provided by many members of the community.
‘Their recollections have been woven into an audio script peppered with rich details that will connect listeners to a time where tradition, a clear sense of community and local identity were evident.’
As there are hardly any records from that period about what life was like on a farm, Jersey Heritage made an appeal to Islanders last year to contact them with their memories.
Mr Addy added that: ‘Islanders have also donated objects and furniture to enhance the displays, and antiques experts have offered crucial advice and sourced numerous items which add to the authenticity of the rooms.
‘It has been a great collective effort bringing this project to fruition, with a view to captivating the imagination of our visitors.’
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the opening of the museum in St Lawrence. It was bought in 1987 by the National Trust for Jersey with the assistance of the States and turned into a country life museum by the Société Jersiaise to be managed by Jersey Heritage.
Visitors to Hamptonne will be able to explore the Syvret House when Hamptonne opens to the public for the summer on Saturday.