7th May 2017

Songs of Praise comes from Guernsey

The BBC’s weekly religious music programme, Songs of Praise, came from Guernsey on 7 May 2017. It was broadcast on BBC One at 4.15pm and made explicit reference to the fact Liberation Day was approaching.

Presented by Sally Magnusson, who visited Guernsey, it looked back at the occupation and visited the Caritas community cafe in St Peter Port. She also headed to the prison and the Little Chapel to see how it looked following restoration.

She met the farmer Tony Falla, whose father was a German soldier stationed in Guernsey during the occupation. His cousin, Janet, was also born to a German soldier which, he said, wasn’t uncommon.

Following the war, his father was sent to Wales, where he was held in a Prisoner of War camp before being returned to Germany. It was 20 years before they would meet again, briefly, in a Guernsey hotel.

Memories of occupation

She also spoke to Molly Bihet who, being older than Falla, remembered the occupation herself. She was eight years old when the Germans invaded.

Like other children on the island, she had to learn German but, she said, if you kept yourself out of trouble, the occupying forces would leave you alone. She remembered the privations towards the end of the war, though, with a bad harvest in 1942, and the declining quality of the food thereafter. Flour, she said, was bolstered with sawdust. When a sailor gave her an orange on Liberation Day, she hadn’t known what it was.

Songs of Praise

Songs of Praise is the longest running religious music programme in the world. It was first broadcast in October 1961 and is now also shown in Australia and The Netherlands.

Originally, it was transmitted at exactly the same time as ITV’s religious programmes. This clash came to an end in the early 1990s.

 

FREE Guernsey history newsletter

Don't miss our weekly update on Guernsey's fascinating history. We promise never to sell your data to anyone else, and there's a super-easy unsubscribe link on the bottom of each email so you can leave whenever you want.

 

 

Other events that occured in May



  • Guernsey’s first paid constables were hired
  • Guernsey has had “constables” since the 13th century. Yet, it wasn’t until 1853 that it started paying them. Four men were appointed to the position in St Peter Port and the posts have been maintained ever since. It could even be said that this, technically, marked the official start of the Guernsey Police force. Police […]
  • Read more…