Fort Regent overlooking the town of St Helier is a 19th century military base, which was converted into a leisure and entertainment centre in the 1970’s. It occupies a unique place in the maritime history of not just Jersey but the in the UK because it still has visual Signal Station.
The first signal station probably dates back to 1708 and was used to warn Islanders of the threat of invasion. Over the years a number of signals have been flown from the mast above St Helier, including such useful information as the fact that the mail had arrived in the Island etc.
Sadly financial cuts and changes in technology meant that in December 2004 the Fort Regent Signal Station, which was the last manned station in the British Isles closed down.
Fortunately in January 2007 it proved possible to hoist flags again, in a limited fashion including the T-flag, which signifies high tides over 38 feet (11.6 metres) and the strong wind and gale warnings. It was also possible to re-introduce hoisting a few other flags when appropriate such as Trafalgar Day.
Today’s high tides and very strong winds meant that this morning the Signal Station was flying the flag and the cone indicating potentially difficult conditions for those at sea and for people living along the coast.
The signal station above Fort Regent at approximately 09.00 today. The T Flag is flying on the left hand side whilst the inverted cone indicates gales from the south.
The T Flag