My summer holiday this year was spent, again, in our Northern Isle soaking up the sun and enjoying the wonderful atmosphere of the 70th anniversary of Alderney Week. Having taken a 10 minute flight from Guernsey, the fun began with a walk with our suitcases from the airport through St Anne’s to our hotel. It is so close and the weather was so lovely that it seemed silly to get a cab for a two minute trip down the hill.
That evening we wandered around the town and ended up on the Butes to listen to two excellent bands. This was followed by a Sunday spent cycling around the Island using electric bikes, rather than the push bikes that we used last year, due to my whiplash injury. When we were getting them from the shop, I was asked why the recent 25% price reduction was not available in Alderney – something I will follow up.
The Cavalcade on Monday afternoon was a great occasion with many Myths and Legends celebrated including the lovely Mrs Gollop who was seated in the Connaught’s float. My personal favourite was “How to Train Your Dragon” which had so much detail and clearly took a lot of hard work. But then again that could be said about all of the entries both vehicular and on two and four legs!
As is my want, many a conversation was had during the four days – about the Island and its relationship with Guernsey. As has been the case for several years, the main concern was the cost of the poor air links although praise was given to the new ferry service subsidised by the Alderney States. With quasi-open skies and the ability to offer a Public Service Obligation for the Alderney – Guernsey route, there is hope there will be opportunities for Alderney.
We also enjoyed the hospitality of James Dent, the Chairman of the Policy and Finance Committee in Alderney, and his wife at their house where we had a long discussion over the relationship between the Islands and how to improve in the lines of communication. Wednesday saw both James and Graham McKinley, one of the States of Alderney Representatives to the Guernsey States, joined me for a video conference at the Mignot hospital with my colleagues on the Health & Social Care Committee, who were in Guernsey, to talk about common issues.
Due to his recent major operation, I was advised that I should not visit the other States of Alderney Representative, Louis Jean, but I was able to pass on my regards and best wishes to him through his daughter and the many other friends of Louis that I met.
Tuesday evening was a black tie event with the wonderful Blowers accompanied by excellent singers at a James Bond themed Casino Night. It was very different from the Rock the Rock event we attended last year and sitting down and enjoying the music was a great way to end the few days we were able to spend on the wonderful island of Alderney. Roll on next year!