Allix shipbuilding yard at Havre des Pas

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A photograph taken by E Ogier in 1870 of the area at Havre des Pas where ships were built. The promenade and seawall had not been constructed by then

The Havre des Pas shipbuilding yard was acquired from Mrs M M Le Feuvre, née Allix, by La Vingtaine de la Ville in 1979, for preservation as an open space.

The shipbuilding was begun by the Allix family in 1830, when there was a demand for Jersey boats, which could be built more cheaply here than in the UK. By September 1876 44 men, an apprentice and an improver were employed here, all starting work at 6 am. When the States constructed the Havre des Pas promenade they allowed Allix a gap in the new sea wall through which his ships could be launched. This can still be seen though now blocked in by stones. The first boat built here was the Jupiter in 1832, the last, a dory, for use by the Waterworks Company on its reservoirs. The plaque reads:

"The Allix shipbuilding yard was on this site until 1904"

Henry served at Trafalgar, according to family tradition. He was the captain of at least one merchant ship, the Britannia, and last went to sea in 1844. He spent the last years of his life in Georgetown, living with his younger son Elias, also a Captain. The 1861 census shows that he had been blind for four years.

Henry's neighbour in Georgetown was the widow of Captain Francis Anley, who had been poisoned with arsenic placed in his pea soup by one of the sailors on board the Isabella in 1851. Henry's son Charles John had been the captain of the very same ship, a 59-ton schooner owned by Edward Jean and Co.

Statistics

The definitive work, Jersey Sailing Ships by John Jean, records that the Allix shipyard was in operation from 1842 to 1877, and that 18 boats were built there during that time. However, as indicated above, the yard had a much longer life and another entry in the book notes that Francis Allix was in business as a 'boatbuilder' at Havre des Pas in 1879.

There were 11 other shipyards at Havre des Pas at one time or another in the 19th century, the earliest having been established at Fort d'Auvergne in 1815 by Aaron de Ste Croix. The most productive yard is shown in the book to be that owned by Matthew Philip Valpy, who built 22 vessels between 1840 and 1868.

The following vessels built at the Allix yard are listed by John Jean:

  • Oriental, 1842 (type of vessel unknown but may have been built for the Royal Navy
  • Volunteer, 60-ton schooner, 1847
  • Richard Cobden, 53-ton schoner, 1848
  • Asia, 97-ton schooner, 1850
  • Zephyr, 44-ton cutter, 1850
  • Souvenir, 153-ton schooner, 1851
  • Deessé, 95-ton schooner, 1856
  • Idas, 105-ton schooner, 1859
  • Francis and Richard, 117-ton schooner, 1862
  • Azur, 44-ton ketch, 1871
  • Uberty, 53-ton schooner, 1873
  • Amelia and Jane, 62-ton schooner, 1874
  • Mabel, 76-ton schooner, 1875
  • Florida, 50-ton schooner, 1877

With the exception of the first in the list, all these vessels were built for Jersey owners. It is likely that the yard also made ships for UK owners, but none are listed by Jean

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