April has been a busy month at Jersey Airport. A stewardess was the only survivor of a crash that tore her plane in half and killed 26 passengers and crew; Jersey Airways disappeared when the government forcibly nationalised every airline under the British European brand; the States voted to buy the land on which the airport would eventually be built; and a plane flying from Jersey to the mainland swooped low over a stranded yacht to help its passengers.
On the seas, a steamer was sunk at Noir Montaise, bad weather marooned a group of Jersey fishermen on Minquiers, the light at Corbiere was lit for the first time, and Condor had two firsts: its first crossing from the mainland to the Channel Islands, and bringing its first hydrofoil into service, which dramatically cut journey times.
It was also the month in which The Durrells, telling the story of the Jersey Zoo founder’s childhood in Corfu first aired on ITV, the National Trust for Jersey was founded, and the Royal Amphitheatre opened in Gloucester Street. The Amphitheatre was just one of several incarnations of a Jersey entertainment venue that was lost to fire over the years.
Although Jersey voted to retain the death penalty, it did take a tentative step towards a more equitable future when it debated giving women the vote, and Channel Islanders in Germany’s wartime prisons were liberated by advancing troops.