The building of St Aubin's Bay Seawall
The States gave permission for the construction of a railway to run between St Helier and St Aubin on 22 October 1869.
On 16 December 1869 an offer by a Mr Pickering of the Jersey Railway Company to construct a seawall from West Park to St Aubin for the sum of £30,000 was duly considered, and later agreed, by the States of Jersey. The company’s intention was to backfill the area behind the new wall for a distance of 90 feet, 30 feet of which would be used by the proposed railway and the remaining 60 feet for the construction of a new carriageway and promenade. The construction of the seawall was important to the railway as the tracks would run very close to the high tide and would be in danger of being washed away in a storm.
Unfortunately the company decided four years later, in 1873, that it could not afford the £30,000 cost of the wall and decided to abandon the seawall project as it would cause them a heavy loss.
The matter was left until 1879, when the States Committee of Defence commenced the construction work themselves, having decided that the project was of great overall benefit to the public.
Jersey Archive has an Act of the Roads Committee, dated 6 May 1898, regarding the cession to the States of land between Millbrook and St Aubin for the purpose of building a further protective seawall.
Crown cession of coastline
On 19 November 1898 The Crown ceded to the Public of the Island, without guarantee of title, a stretch of coastline running from Millbrook to St Aubin's Harbour. The purpose of this transfer was to facilitate the construction of further coastal protection measures, to create a boulevard and to facilitate the construction of a section of railway track running from Millbrook to St Aubin's Station. In this deed, the Public were charged to transfer to the railway company all and such land that it may require in order to facilitate the construction of this section of the railway track.
Some years later the railway company ran into financial difficulties, resulting in its assets being sold off to the States of Jersey by the Royal Court on 23 December 1937.
Another Albert Smith photograph, apparently taken from the recently opened Grand Hotel, shows the newly built Victoria Avenue with the railway track beyond it running close to the seawall
A rather fuzzy picture taken from Westmount also shows that the railway track has been moved next to the seawall