Tag Archives: Riduna

Diana Mary Jackson (1958) ~ Alderney

How the island of Alderney Stole my Heart

This is my final post on our family history, showing how Alderney has been indelibly imprinted upon my soul.

Since I have no children I am the end of the line on this part of our family tree, which is one reason why, even though married, I chose to write under my maiden name Jackson.

Born in 1958, my memories of family holidays growing up are delightful, either going west to Devon or Cornwall or over to the Channel Islands, first to Guernsey (once too early in my life to remember) then to Sark when I was ten and then three wonderful breaks on Alderney, three weeks at a time over Alderney Week when I was in my teens.

And so, here’s my life in photos, focussing mainly, but not exclusively, on trips to Alderney:

Diana and Mum (Patricia Jackson) 1958
Diana (10yrs), Dad (Arthur Jackson) and sister Christine 1968
Family rock-pooling on Alderney, Diana aged 13
Mum, Diana (aged 15 yrs) Christine and Grandma Green on Braye Beach Alderney
Diana (16yrs) and Christine
Diana celebrating her 50th at the Braye Beach Hotel Alderney (2008)
Diana with husband Roger celebrating the launch of her debut novel Riduna at the Braye Beach 2009

Corblets Bay, Alderney 2009
Mum and Dad at Arch Bay in 2010 when they joined us on their final trip to Alderney
Diana Jackson 2013 with the launch of MURDER, Now and Then
First holiday of freedom from Covid lock-down in the Greek island of Tinos in May 2022

We did return to Alderney in the autumn of 2022, hopefully one of many visits to come. I feel emotionally drawn to the island; I have a connection through time and family for nearly 200 years and the Alderney will always remain in my heart.

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Filed under Alderney, Author Diana Jackson, Channel Islands, Family History, Riduna

Arthur John William Jackson (b:1927) and Patricia Jackson (b:1932 ne Green)

Married 29th August 1953

Isn’t it heart warming looking at photos of parents when they were young or when they were married!

Following on with my series of blog posts on my family history and how it has influenced my writing, we have reached Mum and Dad.

They were both brought up in the Southampton area and were married at Weston Road Church, Woolston. As a family we made regular visits to see Grandma Green there while growing up, and so the whole area was extremely familiar to me. Being a family of walkers, you get to know a place far better that way. Thus, it wasn’t difficult to make it the main setting for my second novel Ancasta ~ Guide me Swiftly Home.

Over the years my parents have shared many memories of their childhood and adolescent days and I’m sure all of this has coloured my writing too.

Arthur Jackson (my dad) didn’t work at Supermarine, like his father (Arthur Walter Jackson) and sister. He joined the RAF right at the end of WW2, but he did remember seeing the prototype Spitfire fly overhead, before he was evacuated to Bournemouth.

Mum and Dad also shared my Great Grandmother Harriet’s love of dancing and, legend has it, that she could turn on a sixpence.

On this trip here, we shared my parents’ last voyage on their favourite P&O ship the Oriana, chosen because it had a good dance floor; our last port of call was (fittingly) Guernsey.

Here are Mum and Dad on deck waving their flags, just as we passed Sark and Herm, two of the smaller Channel Islands.

…and so The Channel Islands, particularly Guernsey and Alderney are in my blood and my family heritage and childhood memories are also of holidays in Wooston, Southampton.

As it happens, when I began writing the first draft of Riduna, my parents decided that they would have a go at writing too. There’s was a sort of prequel to Riduna, set at the time of Elizabeth Quesnel and John Taylor.

I started working on their little book with Dad when they were both showing signs of dementia. He had been frustrated that he couldn’t write conversation. In the end he did not have the patience anymore to focus on it and so, since they passed away, I have spent some time working on their story. It is now at proof readers, but then I hope to work with someone from Alderney Museum to check it for historical authenticity. I won’t say accuracy because, although inspired by our family history, it remains fiction. I’ll keep you posted.

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Filed under Ancasta, Channel Islands, Family History, Inspiration, Southampton, Supermarine, Woolston

The True Story of Harriet Hopkins (1871) daughter of Jane Hopkins (Renier)

Harriet is the protagonist of RIDUNA.

Here’s her true story as far as we know it but in a nutshell:

Originally published by Pegasus Elliot McKenzie in 2009
Then Published in 2012 by Eventispress

Harriet Hopkins (known as Jane in Guernsey and subsequently) was my great grandmother. She lived on Alderney but moved to Guernsey between 1881 and 1890 and subsequently married my grandfather Thomas Jackson in 1890 on Guernsey. They moved to Woolston Southampton early in the new century.

Here’s where we first see Harriet in the 1871 census at 7 months:

NAME:Harriet Hopkins
AGE:7 Months
COUNTRY:Channel Islands
NEIGHBORS:View others on page
HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS:Name Age Elizabeth Taylor 60 John Taylor 52 Nicholas Renin 48 John Smith 29 Harriet Frost 27 Rachel Hopkins 22 Ann E Smith 22 Nicholas Renin 14 Harriet Hopkins 7 Months

John Taylor was Harriet’s step father and Elizabeth Taylor was her grandmother as in the previous post.

They lived in Braye Road, Alderney (1881 census) in a place called The Reading Rooms.

Harriet’s father was John Hopkins, but though my Dad was sure that Jane, the daughter of Elizabeth Taylor was Harriet’s mother, but from the census above it looks as if Rachel was her mother.

Although this 1881 census tells a different story. Maybe Dad was right.

After 1870 Jane (or Rachel) Hopkins mother married Mr (Capt) John Hopkins. (no record was found)

We do know that Harriet became an orphan when both of her parents were lost at sea, but

I will tell the story of John Hopkins in a subsequent post.

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Filed under Alderney, Channel Islands, Family History, Inspiration, Planning a novel