In October the little island of Sark which is situated just off the coast of Guernsey brought an end to it’s claim of being the last feudal state in Europe. The island has always had the hereditary title of seigneur who has effectively been in charge of decision making on the island. However, despite the island people voting for an elected, democratic government, the title of seigneur will remain, although whether it is in a name-only capactity I am unsure.
There is a dinky little island next door to Sark called Brechou which is privately owned by the billionaire Barclay Brothers who, since moving there have pretty much campaigned and pushed for an end to the feudal nature of the Sark administration. Now it would seem they have got the hump about the way the election went and are pulling their businesses out of the island economy. Smacks of children throwing their toys out of their prams to me. This little photo on the right shows the fortress castle that the Barclay Brothers build on Brechou.
I really hope that with these changes the island will not lose it’s charm. No cars are allowed on the island, most people get around by horse and cart or walking, and it really is the most beautiful, unspoilt island. As I have said before, My Gran Nora lived in Sark for a couple of years during the German occupation of the Channel Islands, and her relationship with Dame Hathaway, the Dame of Sark, who was the seigneur at the time is well known to readers of this blog after I published some of her letters to Gran. It would be a terrible shame if the island lost it’s identity after all this time. It’s a wonderful place, and if anyone wants a place to stay for a weekend where there is nothing to do other than walking, relaxing and eating, then Sark is the place to be!