Sark, Car Free Island
Speaker: Gerald Ponting
Date: 29th April
Gerald gave us a fascinating slide show of many beautiful places of interest on car free Sark and conjoined Little Sark. Horse drawn vehicles are the main mode of transport but tractors are allowed, one pulls the Sark ambulance, and all the bicycles are registered!
He went there in 2012 to celebrate his wedding anniversary and to start off he treated his wife with horse drawn transport from the harbour to their hotel. Other ferry passengers walked through the tunnel overlooked by an old Nazi look out post but now home to a couple of keen gardeners, and took the Sark “bus” up Harbour Hill.
With a population of only 600 Sark was still feudal up to 2008 with a Parliament called Chief Pleas and Feudal Lord call the Seigneur who has powers to own a bitch and keep doves. The subtropical Seigneurie Gardens are particularly beautiful.
We were treated to many pictures of the Island flora and fauna and places of interest; including the gold painted post box which was blue until one of their athletes won a gold medal at the last Olympics.
The frighteningly vertiginous land bridge between Sark and Little Sark also featured it is called the La Coupée above La Grande Grêve Bay. It was renovated in 1945 by German Prisoners of War and is now fenced but carts loaded with people are still not allowed across. It is possible to climb down to the bay if you have the stamina!
The Barclay Brothers own the nearby island of Brecqhou where they have built a medieval looking castle. They have a strained relationship with the Sark Islanders, succeeding in closing down several of the Island’s hotels.
Following his Sark presentation, which brought back happy memories to many of us, the supporting feature was 50 of Gerald’s favourite photos. This was divided into sections with headings, People; Skies; Flora and Fauna; Buildings and Odds and Ends etc, making a colourful end to our evening.