24th July 1935

Val des Terres was first opened for traffic

The Val des Terres in St Peter Port probably isn’t as old as you think. Work started on cutting it in 1931, and it was opened for traffic four years later, on 24 July 1935.

The Prince of Wales (who later became Edward VIII for less than a year before his abdication) did the honours. He travelled to Guernsey for the first time to snip the ribbon using golden scissors and welcome the traffic onto the road that he named Le Val des Terres. He then walked down the road, which until then had been known simply as “new road”, watched by 6,000 cheering school children.

Mainland interest

Several mainland papers reported on the prince’s visit and quoted his speech. It was, he said, a great pleasure to see the beautiful and fertile island that has been associated with British royalty for so long while acting as a link with our friendly neighbours in France.

The Scotsman described his visit in full, including his carriage journey to the site of the opening:

At St Martin’s the Prince rode under an arch on which hundreds of whirring propellers formed in giant letters the word ‘Welcome’ and on the outskirts of St Peter Port he passed through a shaded tunnel of trees in which hundreds of electric fairy lights twinkled.

As reported by the Northern Daily Mail, “The prince… said that it gave him great pleasure to open the new road ‘constructed by those whom the last tying years have deprived of their normal employment’.”

A five-ton stone at the top of the road commemorates the opening.

The price had arrived at Guernsey on the destroyer, Faulknor, having spent the previous day visiting Jersey. The ship had left Jersey at 1am, and the prince had remained onboard until 11am on the 24th. His journey home was more convoluted. He flew from Guernsey to Calshot in an RAF flying boat, then took a second aircraft from Hamble aerodrome to Sunningdale in Windsor.


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Other events that occured in July

Guernseyman Edward Tupper killed by cannibals 1st
Alderney is occupied by German forces 2nd
Seigneur of Sark, Michael Beaumont, dies aged 88 3rd
Guernsey hosted the Island Games 2003 closing ceremony 4th
New coins are minted for Guernsey 5th
Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Museum opens 6th
Victor Hugo statue is unveiled in Candie Gardens 7th
First Commando raid of the Second World War 8th
Birth of Sark-based writer Mervyn Peake 9th
Guernsey nurses go on hunger strike 10th
ITV broadcasts first episode of Island at War 11th
A Guernsey man posted himself to Sark 12th
Murderer Peter Robin sentenced to death 13th
Victor Hugo plants his United States of Europe oak 14th
Point Law runs aground off Alderney 15th
Racing yacht Westward is blown up off Guernsey
BBC made its first ever Channel Islands broadcast 16th
The Star received some “grave” news 17th
The Guernsey Martyrs were burned at the stake 18th
Prince Charles and Camilla visit Guernsey 19th
President Garcia is re-floated in Saints Bay 20th
Typhoid suspect holidaymaker flies home 21st
Guernsey Controlling Committee’s Sir John Leale died 22nd
Alderney to Guernsey radio connection established 23rd
Val des Terres was first opened for traffic 24th
The BBC broadcasts from Sark for the first time 25th
Guernsey court escapee was caught again 26th
Braye du Valle was gifted by the crown 27th
Murderer sentenced to death in three hours 28th
Guernsey bought Herm from the mainland 29th
Albert Lamy appointed Guernsey Police Chief Officer 30th
Guernsey to Jersey plane crashed into the sea 31st