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Christina Orchard, Composer: Five things I would change about Jersey

Christina Orchard, Composer: Five things I would change about Jersey

Friday 20 September 2019

Christina Orchard, Composer: Five things I would change about Jersey

Her days are spent arranging notes, but how would this composer bring harmony to the island? Well, she'd start with choo-choo-choosing to bring back a railway track and making museums free.

Originally from Jersey, Christina Orchard now lives in London where she creates orchestral scores for theatre, art, dance and media.

She was recently selected as a composer for the BFI Network x BAFTA Crew, a year-round talent development programme.

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A post shared by Christina Orchard (@christina_orchard_music) onJun 12, 2019 at 8:17am PDT

Despite her busy schedule, Christina found the time to put the music sheets to one side, and tell Express about five ways she would 'tune' the island...

1. Make museums free

I have been living in London for three years now and one of my favourite things to do here is visit one of London’s many museums across the city. Often on a rainy Sunday it’s nice to unplug and spend a few hours learning new things and taking a dive into the culture, and one of the best things about it is that it’s actually free! 

elizabeth castle

Pictured: Museums and Jersey Heritage sites should be free to give islanders another thing to do on a rainy day.

Now, one of my favourite things about Jersey is how rich our heritage is. The island holds so much unique history and it’s absolutely fascinating. However, going to the museums and stunning heritage spots around Jersey actually costs rather a lot! Sadly, this means that personally I often don’t go to them more than once every few years.

I think that we should push for all of our museums and heritage sites to be free access with the exception of particular installations or events. This would give lots of islanders another thing to do on a rainy day without breaking the bank and create more accessibility for people to learn about our incredible history.

 2. Better mental health facilities

Having just marked National Suicide Prevention Week 2019, I feel that it’s important to talk about the particularly high rates of suicide and mental health issues in the island and how we should be continuously working towards better help for those struggling, especially since one in four of us in the UK will experience issues with our mental health every year.


Pictured: "We can’t ever be doing too much to aid the help of those with mental health issues."

Jersey is abundant with wealth and much more funding should be put towards facilitating help for the many islanders who are struggling. If we could put more funding into creating a new, much more advanced facility for people to access anything from therapy services through to admission, we would hopefully see a decline in the losses that Jersey faces to its community each year.

We can’t ever be doing too much to aid the help of those with mental health issues but this in particular is a basic and immediate need for the island.

3. Encourage children to be bold and creative

One of my biggest 'bêtes noires' with the educational system in Jersey is this idea that (at a basic level) you must go into law or finance to be successful. In one careers lesson at school, we had to make a presentation on a job that we’d like to do when we leave school.

disneyland castle

Pictured: Who says you can't be a princess?

I vividly remember one girl wanting to do her presentation on becoming a princess at the Disney parks (which, in my opinion, is an epic career choice), to which she was met with, “No, that isn’t a real career. Pick something different,” from our teacher.

For some reason, that has really stuck with me because it is a real career and we should be encouraging our children to be bold, different, creative and to push the boundaries beyond what is achievable career-wise on the island.

4. Do the Loco... Motive!

I personally think that one of the hidden gems of Jersey is the running steam train at Pallot Steam, Motor and General Museum. On Thursdays or special occasions like Liberation day you can go and ride in one of the Victorian carriages behind the steam train around the outside of the museum and it’s utterly amazing. However, I actually think it’s a bit of a waste that it’s so underused and many people probably don’t even know that it’s there!

Pictured: The Pallot Stream Museum is in Trinity.

It would be amazing for islanders and for tourism if we could bring back a working railway track that is island-wide and stops at particular hot-spots and heritage sites. It would be a great addition to the tourism sector and a fun way for islanders to get around.

5. Skiing on an island?

We should build an indoor ski-slope at a location such as Fort Regent or Tamba Park. Lots of islanders go off-island each winter to do snow-sports, so it would be great for those who want to keep up their skills between seasons.


Pictured: A ski slope in Jersey? It's a "win-win", according to Christina.

It would provide another activity for islanders to do on a rainy day and could also act as another string to the bow of our tourism industry. It’s a win-win, really! 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not Bailiwick Express.

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