FeaturesThe Secret History of Jersey Vice

The Secret History of Jersey Vice


30,000 BC: early man discovers alcohol via the fermentation of blackberries. Spends the next morning discovering both the concept of the hangover and what it feels to be devoured by sabretooth tigers in Gorey village.

200 BC: Jersey evolves a pagan fertility cult centred around the hallucinogenic visions experienced by Ethelred Notley, turnip farmer from St Peter and self-styled “Lord of The Purple Seagulls”. For years it was assumed that Notley experienced his visions via the consumption of magic mushrooms, until scientists arrive at the consensus that “he was a bit of a wrong un who liked shagging and making things up”. His DNA is shared by 80% of people born in the north of the island.

800 AD: Middle Ages. Decadence for most people extends to not dying of the plague and occasionally lighting a candle to go to the toilet at night.

1175 : Pioneering house of ill repute constructed in St Helier, offering 2 for 1 flagons of mead and free entry for saucy wenches b4 11. Resulting syphilis outbreak decimates island population and leads to a permanent ban for minstrels who play lewd ballads.

1465: Jersey’s first underground gambling den is established, at the Scabby Pigge Taverne. Sailors gather to drink rum, lose their meagre earnings and exchange naughty etchings of their favourite cabin boys.

1700s: As Jersey has no foxes, and our aristocrats are too lazy to travel to the continent for big game hunts, the lords of Jersey hunt peasants under cover of moonlight.  This tradition only dies out in the 1930s when Viscount Squiffington-Choames of St Clement shoots and eats a family of 3 on holiday from the Wirral. He is fined eight guineas.

1785: Breda first synthesised from ox urine.

1809: Alphonse Florian D’Ullecourt, dubbed “Maufant’s own Marquis De Sade”,  is arrested after attempting to marry a cart horse.  He is charged with failing to pay the correct tax on the animal’s shoes, and is later electrocuted whilst experimenting with a steam-powered bottom vibrator.

1815: Leading romantic poet and scandalous aristocrat Lord Byron arrives in Jersey following a drunken wager that he will expose his John Thomas to every vicar in Christendom. He writes three poems and seduces the Bailiff’s grandmother before being smuggled to Algiers in a crate of tomatoes.

1838: Following the recent invention of photography, history is made when a family out on a medicinal hike discover an obscene daguerrotype in the bushes at Grouville common. It depicts a lady with her bodice partially unlaced; polite society is scandalised.

1853: Newly returned from a tour of South America, local doctor Horatio Smythe is believed to be Jersey’s first cocaine addict. The dangers of the drug are not yet known, and it is years before Smythe’s habit of prescribing Bolivian marching powder to local children is understood to be a poor remedy for nervous disorders and gout.  Smythe himself was socially excommunicated for becoming overbearing at dinner parties and greatly exaggerating his skill at the harpsichord.

1876: Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone, which is immediately followed by the first telephone box adverts for the services of ladies of the night.  For eight years, Jersey’s sole telephone box is visited only by prostitutes as there is nobody for anybody else to call.

1921: The Jazz Age reaches St Helier.  The streets echo to the music of Duke Ellington, and all work ceases for an hour at lunch times for people to dance the Charleston, smoke ‘reefer’ and drink gin martinis. This lasts approximately three months, before a mob of enraged squares smashes all the Art Deco windows, burns a pile of spats and drives all jazz musicians to swinging Alderney, daddy-o.

1936: Zeppelin mooring station established at Sorel point.

1944: “Sexy Gestapo officer” voted the most popular halloween party costume for the fourth year running.

1986: In a doomed attempt to reverse the ailing fortunes of the Island’s tourism industry, part of Fort Regent is converted to an adults-only venue that boasts “blue” comedians, live darts and overweight strippers from Hull.  The site is currently mothballed, but as the kegs of Mary Ann Bitter have an expiry date of 2046 it has been proposed for redevelopment if a packet of Rothmans ever goes back below four pounds.

1988: Police intelligence records an inexplicable rise in house parties, bunker parties and people found dancing around the cassette aisle of Woolworths at 9am on Saturday morning.  Recommendation is to not investigate further, as undercover officers report that “everybody here is well sound” and “The Shamen are buzzing”. King size blue Rizla is offered at countryside garages for the first time.

1989: Wall Street-style banking excess reaches St Helier, leading to much shouting and a dramatic inflation of the value of loud ties, hair gel and dwarf butlers with cocaine mirrors on their heads.  Huey Lewis and The News briefly consider relocating to Aquila Road.

2009:  A burlesque fetish Club opens in St John’s Village, but closes months later when it is realised that there are too few art students willing either to do a tassle dance onstage or sit in the audience trying to look like a stage magician from 1930s Paris.  All concerned go back to improvised comedy and watching pornography on the internet for free.

2011: A vicious bare knuckle boxing society is discovered operating out of Trinity Parish Hall. Farm labourers are paid in pound notes to strip naked and beat each other unconscious before a howling crowd rejoicing in brute animal bloodlust. Local pensioners stage a protest when concerned officials attempt to replace the illicit gladiators with indoor bowls and cribbage.

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