La Vallette Challenge Sponsorship

La Vallette Challenge Sponsorship

Islands partner with Floral Guernsey and Guernsey Prison for La Vallette Challenge

New cast iron and timber benches for the bathing pools and historic promenade have been installed at La Vallette following the completion of a community project between Guernsey Prison, Floral Guernsey and sponsors Islands Insurance.

The eleven benches, whose artwork was designed by metalsmith Elaine Green, were assembled, painted and finished by a small team of prisoners at Les Nicolles prior to installation as part of an ongoing initiative, supported by Islands, to improve facilities in the area.

Floral Guernsey chairman Pat Johnson, who is also chair of the Legacy Team Committee charged with restoring the area at La Vallette, explained that the project had developed following a radio interview he’d given back in September 2015, after which Stuart Wilson of Islands had immediately rung him to offer their support.

 “Islands were already sponsors of Floral Guernsey and with their support we’ve not only been able to bring one aspect of the planned refurbishment to fruition, but we’ve been able to use the highest quality materials and finishes in doing so. Every aspect of the project has been first class, from the fantastic designs by Elaine Green, which received enthusiastic approval from Planning, through to the great care and skill demonstrated by the guys at Guernsey Prison,” said Mr Johnson.

Islands director Stuart Wilson explained that they had supported the project because it would improve a community resource that all islanders could benefit from.

"Each bench will also feature specially commissioned plaques bearing appropriate sayings in Guernsey patois as well as quotes from the celebrated French poet and author Victor Hugo, a frequent visitor to the pools during his time as a Guernsey resident," he added.

"So, we're not only keen to improve people's enjoyment of the existing facilities, but also to promote a bit of the island's history and heritage as well."

Over 55 different gloss paints and their respective undercoats were used for the project and these were then applied, according to the individual designs for each bench, by a small team of prisoners including Adrian Osbourne, Thomas Waterman, and Marcus King.

Community projects officer Anthony Gray of Guernsey Prison said those involved had demonstrated great patience and understanding, and attention to detail, in completing what had been a complex project.

“We are always looking for interesting and purposeful activity for the men to get involved in and, although this has been quite a challenge for us, everyone involved can, quite rightly, take great pride in the quality of the work.”