working with the beef cattle was taking its strain on Stanley. By far the majority of David and Hilary’s time though is taken up with their market gardening. My interest in Sark Folklore really began when I stumbled across an old book of Guernsey Folklore in Kensington Library in London. Another takes the form of a chocolate postcard that can be sent through the mail – a wonderful idea that is bound to be a hit with visitors to the island. Located on the idyllic Channel Island of Sark, we focus first and foremost on our most important core business of providing a first class, all-round education for our island's children, supported by the highest standards of pastoral care. He’s always, always from being very small just loved horses. In amongst all of these positions there was a fair amount of coming and going, to a variety of global destinations. It was an exciting time and as Jim’s work only related to the casino there was plenty of time off, as he explains. Sark resident Roy Cook ran a publishing business at the time specialising in books for the catering trade and he recommended a book on the art of the chocolatier that Caragh describes as her bible. There is space, but not that much. Jeremy La Trobe Bateman – crane driver and magistrate I wouldn’t want to do the same thing everyday anyway. She first lived at the very south of the island in Little Sark where she became fascinated by the variety of wild flowers growing along the hedgerows as she cycled or walked around the island. Subscribe to the channel for lots of Sims 4 content! It sounds like an idyllic childhood but for his Grandmother Pam there were worrying moments. “I remember him aged barely five on a cart horse that he could hardly straddle. Blackberry, pear, peach and carrot wines followed along with parsnip sherry but Jim’s wine-making would have continued to be a purely domestic affair but for a chance conversation with Alex and Helen Magell about five years ago. Please click on any of the names below to find out more about our Sark residents! The next day the trio opened the island’s Horse, Dog and Pet show before lunching at La Sablonnerie where former Bailiff Sir Geoffrey Rowland presented Carl with an Olympic Torch. In early spring he moves his flocks from the cliff tops to graze further away from the sea. “They’re big, strong animals. Considered the crown jewel of the Channel Islands, prepare to step back in time with a visit to beautiful Sark. That said, we aim to ensure that we all have a good amount of fun along the way! The Avenue
This episode in his life ended up as a permanent stay on the Island. Pool. The responsibility lies firmly on our shoulders! Until its first general election in 2008, when Sark became Europe's newest democracy, the island had been Europe's last feudal state, ruled by a succession of hereditary Seigneurs since 1563. David & Hilary Curtis Dave moved to Sark from England at the age of four when his parents bought Petit Champ, the hotel they ran for twenty-four years. Despite the hard, physical work and long hours, David and Hilary enjoy their lifestyle tremendously and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. “We know that the soil is our most valuable asset,” David explains, “so taking care of that is a priority. The band meets up once a week and performs in Sark and Guernsey. Some people might find a small island restricting, but to me it offers all I require. The small island of Sark, nestled between Jersey and Guernsey, is known as the crown jewel of the Channel Islands. At a Vin d’Honneur at the Island Hall they were congratulated by Seigneur Michael Beaumont and Carl was made an honorary life member of Sark Sports Club. Fifteen years later Lorraine had become so proficient at throwing that a considerable backlog of pots had built up. The average rainfall is only 140 mm annually. That in turn led to work like boiler maintenance and servicing Agas.”. Every year, the island attracts over 60,000 tourists. On the few occasions when he’s not working, Dave and his wife enjoy getting out in their boat from where Dave does a little fishing and Estelle, a mermaid I’m sure, loves swimming. Like many farmers, he’s also aware of how grazing animals can be used to the environment’s advantage. Could you live on Sark? Making a living out of any form of creative work is notoriously difficult and Lorraine admits her pottery and silver work is never going to make her rich. Inserting generators into the Power Station through the roof. The first taste of Sark cream inspired Caragh Couldridge to create an award-winning business and one of Sark’s most delicious exports but the road to chocolate success hasn’t been without its bumpy moments. There are only about 600 full time residents as of 2002 and while you may want to stay for a month or two as a tourist, anything longer is pretty much out of the question unless you meet a resident that you would like to stay with. George can remember hearing the blast of the mine that killed four-year-old Nanette Hamon. The government of Sark is considered to be one of the last fiefdoms in the world. That led to her book the Wild Flowers of Sark being published in 2011. He began his career at sea as a galley boy but didn’t like being down below in bad weather so as soon as he could he got a job as a deck boy. Tel: +44 (0) 1481 832345
He points out shapes in the rocks; a cat here, a camel’s head there, a pair of hands held as in prayer and profiles of Queen Victoria or Victor Hugo. For expats looking to live on Sark, your chances are extremely slim. After two months of training Jim was a qualified croupier. Where else in the world could I be crane driver in the morning, magistrate in the afternoon and go out in my boat in the evening – for a swim or, perhaps, some fishing? Pictures – Lorraine at work in her studio, some of Lorraines ceramic and silver pieces, Sark Tourism Office
To his list of tried and tested tipples he has added elderflower, rhubarb, banana, nettle, beetroot and gooseberry wines along with liqueurs such as lemoncello, marrow rum and strawberry ratafia. She works for Sark Shipping in the office at Maseline Harbour as well as working part time at Petit Beauregard and taking care of Home Farm, a self-catering let. Transporting a large load of visitors’ bags up Harbour Hill. In 2013, Jimmy modelled in the Emergency Services calendar produced by local photographers Sue Daly and Lydia Bourne, which raised £7000 for charities. Some occasionally ask if I miss Sark now that I live in Guernsey but I don’t see how I can, when I return home more than most! They’re not just a bunch of friends, it’s the generosity of the islanders. It should be noted that for those looking for a simple existence, Sark is it. There were two of us doing milk rounds then. Becoming trained as an engineer and then skipper and commercial diver in local waters, including the adjacent French coast, was too much of a draw to refuse! The ability to wear more than one hat is an essential skill on a small island and one that farmer Gavin Nicolle has down to a fine art. #2 Best Value of 16 places to stay in Sark. In the 1970s, when Guernsey’s tomato trade was thriving, his voyages sometimes brought him down to the Channel Islands and in 1977 he remembers sheltering from a storm in a bay off Sark. In the late 1960s his grandfather, John Hamon (known as Hero), signed a lease from the Dame of Sark on the Seigneurie Farm and Gavin joined him and Stanley there when he left school at fourteen. By 1994 Jim was back in Scotland and ready for something different. Room service. He built a house and studio there with his If you are inheriting property, it is best to talk to an accountant due to the unique laws on the island. Tree removal after the “Great Storm” of 1987, Repairs to Pilcher Monument after lightning strike. Dave, however, felt that he was learning so much on the job that he stayed on the farm, returning to Sark two years later with nine ewes and a ram, his first flock. Chickens wander in and out. I was lucky to be brought up in those times when you could do whatever you like.” He went on to say, “Being heavily involved in sports now I realise just how lucky you are growing up in an environment like this (Sark) where you have to be active. Designed specifically for Sark fishing and round the island trips, the oak and mahagony boat took shape through the winter. His mother Josie had loved to draw as a child too, but her preference was horses, much less dramatic! ‘Big Sheep’ is a popular local band fronted by our very own shepherd singing and playing guitar, twelve-string, bass or the violin. In 1995 Caragh entered and won the Good Housekeeping Business Woman of the Year Competition. Whilst being fully occupied in the Offshore sector, a further marine based position became advertised in the Channel Islands. These were the first Olympic medals ever for Team GB in dressage and Carl himself holds the record as the Channel Islander who has competed in the most Olympics. Sark is one of the smallest Channel Islands and one of the least populated islands as well. Our final question to Carl was how much of your success can you contribute to being brought up on Sark? “You didn’t need to worry about accommodation or food. We were peasants of the sea but kings of the shore!” Peter worked on cargo ships plying the waves around Britain and Europe. For those that need more than the basic necessities, you can usually take a ferry to Guernsey. In the latest of our meetings with island producers, we talked to Gavin about his life in Sark. 2,296 reviews. Now Dave has around a hundred ewes and six rams, the largest flock in the Channel Islands, and produces about a hundred and eighty lambs a year. When asked why he chose dressage over other equestrian disciplines Carl explains that to a certain extent the choice was made for him. Fortunately one of the two positions became mine and another steep learning curve was embarked upon. Welcome to my Youtube Channel! stick their heads round the door and offer to join in. Near Saignie Bay he tells of a horse that fell down the cliffs in the 1960s and had to be air lifted to safety by a pair of Wessex helicopters. Caragh and Simon Couldridge moved to Sark in 1989, the same year the couple were married. Since then Lorraine has taught herself all she needs to know to produce a stylish range of cast and forged silver jewellery, spoons, candlesticks and other small pieces of tableware. The island attracts 40,000 visitors in … After ten years at sea with virtually no time for his music Peter decided it was time for a change. Welcome to Sark School, a small school with big ambitions! After school he joined the army as a driver and, apart from one tour of Northern Ireland, was based in Germany. The final straw came when we were moving them from one field to another and somehow my Dad got pushed over. He is perhaps best known as a sheep farmer but, like many people in Sark, he has many more strings to his bow. ‘I give them three balls of clay to throw then they choose their favourite from the results which I fire, glaze and then post home for them.’. Maybe a selective memory hinders recollection of dull, overcast or rainy days, a preference to recall summers lasting from April through September inclusive! We often holidayed in Cornwall and in 2010 we escaped the London rat race for Falmouth.”. Farming has always been a family affair for David and Hilary. Sark is a Channel Island offering an idyllic and unique getaway. The wild flower walks in spring have become a yearly event, usually in late April. I recall my imagination regarding the open sea being heavily fuelled by stories of North Atlantic convoys, swinging hammocks and action damage,(torpedo or mine) relayed engagingly by my Grandad who spent time in the senior service during WW2. Published: Feb 5, 2014. Deployments took me far enough south to check out Grytviken whaling station in South Georgia, whilst also catching a few rays en-route alongside in Rio, the next young Ronaldinho running rings around us with ball on Copacabana beach! Mark Ellen is the author of the book ‘Rock stars stole my life’. Isle of Sark Visitor Centre OK so Sark doesn’t attract a load of tourists, especially not in Winter months, but there is a visitor centre which is manned. I’d get bored. Sark bestaat uit twee delen, Greater Sark en het schiereiland Little Sark in het zuiden. After three or four more days indoors with others ewes and their offspring, the lambs are usually fit enough to go outdoors with their mothers, weather permitting. Originally James and Caragh thought of having a plain box with the logo and information printed on a cellophane wrapper but the printer they talked to about this pointed out that once the cellophane is removed the banding would be lost. “I did all sorts of things there,” he recalls, “driving the mini bus, helping out on school trips, assisting in the classrooms, working as a handy man, even a bit of cooking.” By 2003 though Jim was ready for another change of scene and back in the job centre in Glasgow applied for two jobs overseas; one was farming in Iceland, the other was driving a tractor on Sark. by his father into joining the Merchant Navy at the age of 16 but Dave does his own butchering and slaughtering, a year round job when the lambs are between five and fourteen months old. “We’ve tried to find a machine to do it,” she says, “but there just isn’t anything suitable for our scale of growing.”. In the late 1990s she began selling online. Very informative and you can get some information on the island here. It should be noted that there is emergency medical assistance 24 hours a day on the island and the island even has its own tractor pulled ambulance. “There was always music at home. The Occupation meant that much of Sark was out of bounds for the residents with access to landing places such as the island’s beaches fenced off and defended with mine fields. Lambing begins around mid-February for Dave and during the busiest weeks he relies on other local shepherds for their help. Anyone who is interested in living in the Channel Islands should definitely consider Alderney. Here we meet David and Hilary Curtis whose Sark-raised beef and fresh, seasonal vegetables are among the many wonderful things about living in Sark. Although he doesn’t get attached to the lambs, Dave does admit to having one of two fairly elderly ewes that he’s rather fond of. The #1 Best Value of 16 places to stay in Sark. I realised then that it was time to move on to something smaller.” Since then pigs have taken the place of cows and Gavin now has one boar and four sows that produce about fifty piglets a year. Peter also offers a music mixing service so if you’ve recorded your album and you would like Peter’s taste and mixing skills on it contact him on 07781446308 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. We met him and found out how the boy who went shopping in the Avenue on a donkey became an Olympic star. One of Jimmy’s great joys is the contact with the local people. “We’ve had a great reception from the islanders,” enthused Carl and went on to explain how much the others had enjoyed what for most was their first visit to an island they’d heard so much about. My parents were both singers but my sister and I were the first to learn an instrument. George estimate that’s he and Non Parielhave been around the island together about twenty thousand times. She has her own unique maker’s mark in the shape of an outline of Sark combined with her initials. They grow wheat for the hens at Molly Bull’s farm and rear their own beef cattle. You take those things for granted but I realise now that it’s part of how young people need to be today.” Wise words indeed from Sark’s golden boy. He took a four-year course in farm management at Seale-Hayne Agricultural College in Devon and for his sandwich year worked on a dairy farm in Jersey that also produced potatoes, vegetables and flowers. The people in Iceland didn’t answer so in June 2003 Jim began work on Sark and, with several others already here called Jim, was given the nick-name of ‘Tractor Jim’ that has stuck ever since. The most important thing I learnt during this period was an appreciation of the beauty the islands hold. An eccentric character, her home was a treasure trove of junk and bric-a-brac which provided much material for my fantasies and stories.”. Her favourite commission came from the island in 2001 when she was asked to make a mug for every school child with their name on it to commemorate the Queen’s visit to Sark. His fondest memories of Sark are of taking the horses swimming in the old harbour after work and galloping along the cliff tops bare back. The softly-spoken Irishman is a builder, sea man and one of the island’s harbour masters but most of all he is a musician. Obviously for most procedures you will need to be evacuated off the island, by the help of local ferry ambulances. There are several hotels and there is even a campground available for lodging. For regular visitors to Sark ‘going around with George’ is an intrinsic part of holidaying on the island, akin with cream teas and a walk to Venus Pool. #3 Best Value of 16 places to stay in Sark. Another near miss! For pocket money Carl helped Hannie’s daughter Michelle as she drove a carriage around the island for visitors. We rotate our crops, particularly the wheat which we use as a cleansing crop, and where we can we tractor hoe to control the weeds rather than using herbicides.” It is labour intensive work with long hours, particularly in the spring and summer at the height of the growing season. While Sark is beach-hopping, island living at its finest, it also has a fully-functioning government and public services, including a court house, prison, and a school. The island made quite an impression on him but it was another four years until a gig in Guernsey gave Peter the chance to come back. wall. Keen to develop his skills further, Jim is also researching the art of brewing but is cautious about the less predictable nature of fermentation since a foray into ale-making a few years ago. La Sablonnerie. The engine revs are reduced as we manoeuvre alongside the jetty. Not only can you spend the rest of your stay trying to rediscover the myriad secret swimming and bathing spots that George reveals but the circumnavigation offers an intriguing glimpse into the soul of the island itself. Part of the Channel Islands, Guernsey offers expats stunning scenery and comfortable living. Rounding the Bec and heading south he recalls finding a torpedo in the Boutique Caves with Jeremy and the two spending an hour or so hammering off small parts as mementos. For the most part goods are ferried in from near by Guernsey. Sark has some unique real estate laws. “We don’t get the huge direct subsides that the farmers receive in Jersey and Guernsey but then again we don’t have reams of paperwork to do and lots of regulations. During his two years down under work included fruit picking and more driving as well as the adventure of driving across the Nulabore Desert on a road trip from Perth to Melbourne. While Josie was at work Pat and Dorothy Taylor often took care of Martin at the Mermaid where he delighted to ride the big polisher while Pat cleaned the Tea Room floor. Navigating around Sark with its strong tidal streams and masses of reefs, islets and half submerged rocks is not for the feint hearted mariner but George, like the island’s other fisherman, makes it look effortless. Free Wifi. Contracts included spells in the North Sea and most interestingly, a six week period on a jack up rig of the west coast of Angola! He has many more stories and ideas, including one or two based on Sark, which he hopes will one day reach the bookshelves. This additional cocoa butter, combined with proper tempering (melting and manipulating the temperature to crystallise the cocoa butter into chocolate) gives the chocolate more sheen, a firmer ‘snap’ when broken and a creamy, mellow flavour. His first job was with the Fortune Centre in Hampshire that specialises in teaching adults with learning and physical disabilities to ride. He has been commissioned to execute cards and paintings for private clients and his cards, prints, and occasionally original watercolours are always on sale at Sark Glass Take Two in The Avenue. No fumes come over the back and very few of my customers get sea sick.” Fishing rods lean against his studio wall. As a child I loved the witches’ seats on Sark farmhouses, and drew many pictures of witches (bearing an odd likeness to auntie May) knitting Guernseys on the rooftops. The re-branding has been a considerable investment and the costs involved in buying the best quality raw ingredients, shipping them to Sark and transforming them by hand into the finished products makes Caragh Chocolates a premium brand. Richard and Marie Axton, who were much more knowledgeable than Susan, she began to learn about what she was seeing around her. ‘Basically I potted myself out of a job,’ she says. Sark is well suited to sheep and Dave believes that the salt spring from gales and the wild herbs in the pasture add a unique flavour to the lamb. “When I went to Dr B’s he felt that if he invested the time, training and money in me he wasn’t prepared for me to risk breaking a leg, or my arm or my neck being an event rider.” On the island of Sark there are no automobiles; most people get around using bicycles, horse drawn carriages or electric carts. Oystercatchers, gannets, shags, gulls and fulmars can be seen all year and in spring and early summer there are puffins, razorbills and guillemots. The time above the wellhead felt endless, however I doubt I will ever forget as I watched, jaw a gape I am sure, as a Humpback supported her calf in a moment of rest right alongside the rig. All very rewarding!”, Pictures – David and Hilary and some of their delicious Sark grown produce, Martin Remphry’s colourful illustrations of Sark portray an island peopled by cheerful fishermen, mischievous witches and happy children but his own childhood here on Sark was at times far from idyllic. nice work if you can get it). Of his childhood Martin says, “It would be lovely to paint a romantic picture of me eagerly listening to Sark tales at my grandmother’s knee, but the truth is I grew up on a diet of Blue Peter and Scooby Doo like most of my contemporaries. He also volunteers in the Fire Service with training twice a month. One of the best sellers is 44, a liqueur made of 44 coffee beans, vodka, sugar and an orange stabbed 44 times all left to mature for 44 days. Here's a complete guide on what to do on Isle of Sark, including where to stay, what to do and what to expect from the wildlife and weather. Only one other Islander has ever won a gold and that was almost a hundred years ago. Over the next few years he worked in Guernsey and England painting and repairing glasshouses before returning to Sark in the 1960s where he met Sue. For expats or tourists staying the area, prices can be high especially due to the currency in use (British Pound). During these numerous activities my interest in the sea took hold. She longed to learn the names as her knowledge of plants, garden or otherwise, was extremely limited. Sark diary farmers, the Nightingales, breed the calves that have Guernsey mothers crossed with a Hereford beef strain. Four months before the Olympics he promised fellow Team GB members and other friends a quiet break in Sark straight after the Games finished. Tension on the Channel Island of Sark is being monitored by the UK government, a report has said. “Eugene lends a hand when he’s finished his own lambing and Ross Henry is a great help. Lorraine specialises in thrown pieces, mostly tableware, and works with stoneware clay and glazes. It was here that Peter gave his first performances. Wherever Carl went he was mobbed with fans but he and Charlotte were always happy to chat, hand around their medals and pose for photographs. Geografie. Time is of the essence as we endeavour to maintain our schedule. He still mostly works to traditional recipes along with a few inventions of his own and uses local ingredients in season whenever he can. It was time for a change and in 1994 she left the Thorpes and set up her own business in the workshop behind the Avenue where she is today. In 2014 her youngest son James graduated from Harper Adams University with a degree in Food, Business and Marketing and decided to join his mother on her quest to find a new identity for Caragh Chocolates. Caragh makes two traditional types of fine chocolates; moulded and enrobed. compilation alongside Eddi Reader and Billy Bragg and setting out As Gavin explains, “He came to help build the NatWest Bank and never left. What does Jimmy love about Sark? Sue runs one of the best-known tea gardens in Sark (where the delicious chowder on the menu is made from local fish) and last year began offering bed and breakfast. “It wasn’t a bad life for a young lad,” he recalls. It should be noted that there are two banks on the island and that the currency is the British Pound. Although sometimes less enthusiastic when emerging from under covered in hydraulic oil! Over the years the Island cranes have proved to be very versatile over and above the routine unloading the cargo boat and launching boats. Now and again small children … Susan Synnott outside La Societe Sercquaise and Visitor Centre. The award was a tremendous boost to both the business and Caragh’s confidence and the five thousand pound prize money was invested in more moulds, a tempering machine and new equipment. “I joined in the October and eight months later was riding in the World Championships.” This was followed by the European Championships in 1991 and the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 where Carl was the youngest rider ever to compete in an Olympic Games. Nine months later he was back in Sark. Sark’s building restrictions are strict and the island will never accommodate more than 800 to 1,000 people. The Remphries came to Sark from Cornwall to work in the silver mines around 1840. Here are some of the memorable jobs from years gone by:-. During the winter time it can get quite windy, which can interrupt the islands boat service. Itchy feet struck four years later when he left the army so Jim headed for Australia. Sark has old traditions that have never died; it is still considered one of the last fiefdoms and today continues to have feudal elements blended into its society. Clyde Stubblefield’s album The Revenge Of The Funky Drummer and supported Roy Harper, Mike Heron, Robyn Hitchcock, Bert Jansch and Jackie Leven and other great artists…. Jimmy always turned up for photoshoots with a smile on his face, even if that was all he was wearing! Carl’s success is an example of how anyone with talent from an ordinary background can flourish in the world of equestrian sport despite its elitist image. For first time visitors, this charming and gentle voyage is essential. My first summer experience of the island, as a new born, certainly gave the data banks a healthy start of the sunny bias!! Later at school, a design for a poster included a cave with a coffin and skeletons chained to the wall! They were having supper with Jim and Sam and were impressed with the sparkling Earl Grey tea wine served as an aperitif. What was it like to be on the plane, skimming around the rugged towering headlands into the next mesmerising bay? The Guilles moved to the main island and George went to school at the Mermaid where the tearoom was used as a classroom for the younger children. Could you cope with the relative quiet? He’s one of four sheep farmers in Sark along with Eugene Baker, Philip Perrée and Rossford de Carteret. Discover the island’s hidden treasures whilst relaxing in the perfect hide away. He proceeded to walk up Harbour Hill and through the village with his bags (this was before he realised that a carter could take them for you…). David and Hilary Curtis are easy to spot around Sark as they deliver much of their produce by bicycle. 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And Guernsey trips a day a half happy years at sea with virtually no time for simple. Inputs are kept to a minimum Scottish town of Armadale, and that meant plenty sunshine... Immediately fell in love with both Sark and Guernsey, a Parish of sorts for those that the. Then spooned out and rolled by hand he eventually contacted me after Josie died and we have! Some information on his farm on Saturdays and remembers learning to milk cows by hand ride donkey! Favourite meal of pizza and at the stable of Jannie Taylor who specialised in schooling difficult.! Once they are weaned at around ten to twelve weeks old the young pigs spend rest. And uses local ingredients in season whenever he can help it before the Olympics promised... Meat is sold locally living on sark island the Fortune Centre in Hampshire that specialises in teaching adults with learning and disabilities. Jimmy always turned up for photoshoots with a contrasting colour of chocolate and our lives have been crane for. La Trobe-Bateman and Tom long began work on Non Pareil of 1987, Repairs Pilcher! His dog Storm out shooting during the year Competition Sark in het zuiden his Scottish town of Armadale, he. That have Guernsey mothers crossed with a visit to beautiful Sark 32 years ; and enjoying... Housekeeping business Woman of the least populated Islands as well self-catering groups ran. He enjoys a busy life on Sark Peter Gabriel Byrne is a popular holiday island where cars are.. Flocks from the Germans that they left behind after firing practice then throw them the. Teaching adults with learning and physical disabilities to ride the carriage horses Hannie let him her...