Lyndon Charles Pallot

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Lyndon Charles Pallot


This biography was written by Lyndon Pallot's son Clive

I have written this short biography as a tribute to my father. Over many years he shared with me many details of his fascinating Jersey life - details I felt should not be lost in the passage of time.

The early years

Lyndon Charles Pallot was born on 26 July 1934, the first of what would become a very large family of 11 surviving children. His father was also Lyndon Charles Pallot (1910-1996), affectionately known as Don, and his mother was Dorothy May Pallot, née Mourant (1913-1999).

Lyndon was born at home, in a rented house called The Little Shop, adjacent to Mauger’s Garage at Sion, Trinity. A while later they moved to La Ville à L’Évêque, Trinity, firstly to Les Vaux, a cottage near the abrevoir (a spring or stream-fed, cattle watering place), and then to a farmstead cottage, Meadow Court, behind the Catholic Church.

Large families were not unfamiliar in previous Pallot generations. Lyndon’s grandfather, Samuel Alexander Pallot (1881-1953) - known as Père Sam - and his identical twin brother Timothée Alexander Pallot (1881-1953) - known as Père Tim - were two of 11 children. They lived at Mont Pellier, in Trinity. By the early 1930s, Lyndon’s father had established the beginnings of his Central Motor Works business at Sion, Trinity, which would become the epicentre of his ingenious engineering projects - inventions that mechanised many aspects of previously inefficient and manual agricultural processes. On the same land at Sion he also had a house built, and it was into this house the family moved in 1942, in the early part of the German Occupation.

The German Occupation years

The German Occupation of the Channel Islands began on 30 June 1940 - when Lyndon was almost six years old - and continued until 9 May 1945, when he was approaching 11. His siblings - Norman, Lester, Dorothy, Kathleen, Mervyn and Sylvia - were all born before the end of the Occupation, and Rita, Dudley, Liz and Sam followed afterwards. Anybody might wonder how his mother coped with the day-to-day realities of such a large family, but Lyndon confirmed there was some degree of domestic help, by Mrs Kelland and Mrs Ferron.

The Pallot family benefitted from close connections with many farmer friends - and perhaps there was a certain amount of bartering of Lyndon’s father’s engineering skills - because while food shortages became a horrible reality for everybody, various of the friendly farmers would provide milk, and even the luxury of meat for very special occasions, like Christmas. There was home-grown produce, too, and Lyndon’s father would periodically divert a couple of his men from the workshop to tend the vegetable garden at their Sion house.

Lyndon’s father did not want to risk being forced to work on mechanical or engineering projects for the occupying forces, so he started a farm contracting business. This primarily took the form of threshing. He owned a threshing machine and he had the means to propel it. He would either go to the larger farms with this huge equipment, and thresh the wheat and oats, occasionally barley, or, for the smaller farms, the farmers would bring their harvest to his newly created threshing depot, a short distance up the road from Sion, at Rue du Bechet, Trinity.

Lyndon’s father’s ingenuity during those Occupation years was incredible. He bought a redundant Ruston Hornsby single-cylinder horizontal stationary engine from St Saviour’s Hospital, mounted it on a chassis, created a steering and braking system and the unit became a self-propelled vehicle which could then be driven from farm to farm to run the threshing machine. Lyndon said that this low-compression engine would run on “just about anything” and filtered waste oil was used regularly. On one threshing occasion, at the farm of Mr Gibaut at Bel Royal, the eminent Jersey artist Edmund Blampied arrived to sketch and subsequently paint the threshing scene, with Lyndon’s father’s ingenious contraption in full operation.

During the threshing season Lyndon said that he would often run home from school - about three miles - change out of his school clothes and run onwards to whichever farm’s harvest was being threshed, a process that could sometimes take two or three days. He knew precisely where this was happening because he listened out for a very particular, deep humming noise that he knew was created by the machinery. The significant bonus for assisting with the labouring at these events was the splendid feast provided by the host farmer afterwards - for all the workers - which would have been a fantastic treat during the latter part of the Occupation when severe food shortages were a horrible reality.

The Germans kept a close watch on the harvest in their attempts to control everything. Some officers were friendly, understanding and lenient and some could be plied with cider - which would allow the farmers to keep some sacks of grain away from the official records - but others were strict, with very little escaping their rigorous record keeping. The German Officers were also watching for stolen fuel, and they took the precaution of adding a dye to their own fuel so that it could be easily identified. To be caught in possession of stolen German fuel was a significant crime that would incur severe punishment.

While threshing at one farm, Lyndon was aware that various canisters held stolen fuel, while others held scarce, but legally obtained fuel. A German Officer arrived and asked for a specific canister to be opened - thankfully he chose the right one and everyone involved would have quietly breathed an enormous sigh of relief.

Another illegal activity was to possess a radio and listen to BBC broadcasts. Lyndon’s father had a radio and secretly listened every evening. On one evening a German soldier knocked on the door at the Sion house - perhaps if only to inform them that a glimmer of light was escaping a gap in the curtains during the strict black-out, curfew time - and the radio had to be hidden very rapidly. Lyndon saw his father hiding the radio under the tiles of the fireplace hearth - and his father saw him watching - and from that point onwards Lyndon was permitted to join his father each evening when they would listen to broadcasts from London, locked in the bathroom, with the radio hidden beneath a wicker laundry basket.

After the Occupation ended, in the sales of German equipment, Lyndon’s father bought and subsequently used two of the Kommandant’s cars - both Citroën Traction Avants - and most probably requisitioned during the German occupation of France. These cars were finished in camouflage paint and Lyndon recalls his father applying his engineering expertise to convert one of the cars from left-hand-drive to right-hand-drive.

Lyndon remembered the arrival of Red Cross food parcels - from late 1944 and early 1945 - when food shortages were horrific and everybody was starving. He remembers that some came from New Zealand and some from Canada, and recalled a dried milk called Klim (milk backwards), chocolate, sweets and dried fruit, but could not remember what else the parcels contained; however, he emphasised they were unbelievably welcome and nutritious. The ship that delivered the Red Cross consignments - the SS Vega - was unloaded by German soldiers who Lyndon acknowledged were in a worse state of malnutrition than the locals. They did not intercept the foodstuffs intended for the local population - an act he felt demonstrated “a huge sense of self-discipline.”

School years

Lyndon attended the parish school at Trinity, about three miles from home at Sion, a journey mostly done on foot. English was the preferred language at school and fortuitously Lyndon’s parents chose to speak English at home. They would also speak Jersey French - Jèrriais - the Jersey form of Norman French - but this was not an accepted language at school - in fact it was discouraged. Lyndon recalled many of the more rural children were unable to speak any English, simply because it was never spoken in their homes. French was widely spoken too, at home and elsewhere, and was especially important in the farming community, because the seasonal farm workers of that era came from Brittany and Normandy.

Lyndon was clearly very studious because he was one of just two boys selected at age 11 to sit for the States Scholarship to attend Victoria College. He sat one entrance exam but was unable to sit the second part due to malnutrition-related illness. This missed opportunity meant he did not go to Victoria College but remained at Trinity School until he left in 1949, at the age of 15.

L C Pallot and Sons

Lyndon’s father’s business continued to flourish and Lyndon recalled there were “lots of people employed”. His father did not ask him to take up a post working for him, and Lyndon did not ask his father for a position either - he adopted a place at a workbench - aged 15 - and helped with tasks that needed doing. This act very simply evolved into his career, following in his father’s footsteps, but with a focus on the more precise engineering processes, with everything measured in tolerances of thousandths of an inch.

Later on, as Lyndon’s father began to step back from his various enterprises, the Sion business was passed to Lyndon and his brother Lester to run, while the Rue du Bechet business - which by then had evolved into earthmoving equipment and tower crane hire business, and much later a tarmac laying business - was passed to three other brothers. One, Norman, remained independent of the family businesses and focussed on his own career in property development.

Car racing

In 1947, two years after the end of the German Occupation, the Jersey International Road Race began. Car racing in the UK had been interrupted by the war, and Brooklands - the pre-war venue for the British Grand Prix - was bomb damaged. Jersey became the host to professional road racing. Lyndon remembered his father taking him to watch these races, which were held in 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950 and 1952, with eminent drivers and their cars coming from far and wide to finally have an opportunity to compete again.

The Jersey International Road Race did not survive for very long, because the course - from West Park, along Victoria Avenue to Bel Royal, and back via St Aubin’s Road - was not sufficiently challenging or suitable for the cars as they became more powerful, and Jersey was not especially convenient, geographically, when the more compelling British racing venues were coming back into use.

Lyndon was inevitably inspired by these fantastic races during his teenage years, and subsequently developed a great passion for fast cars. For some this will be hard to believe, when in his latter years he had another great passion - ancient tractors whose top speed was probably 5 mph, maybe less.

Lyndon competed in the Jersey Motorcycle and Light Car Club’s hill climb at Bouley Bay in Trinity, and set a new record of 67.7 seconds in 1957 in his 1290cc MG TC, in the 1000-1500cc sports car category - a record which was not surpassed for five years. In 1958 he competed in the 2000-2500cc class with his extremely rare (only 276 built) 1954 Swallow Doretti, with a 1991cc engine that he had increased to 2135cc, and set a new record - 62.4 seconds - again not surpassed for another five years. He also competed in one road sprint race on Victoria Avenue, and equalled the time of a significantly bigger-engined, eight-cylinder Skinner Special racing car, but generously suggested his competitor was slightly handicapped because it was only firing on seven cylinders.

The days of exotic, sporty, two-seaters came to an end when children started to appear, although the next car was no slouch because it was an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint, with the acceptable compromise of two occasional seats for the children.

Married life

In 1954, Dinah Mary Garrett (1934- ), and two friends from her workplace decided to holiday together - one had no preference for the destination, Dinah particularly wanted to go to Italy and the third wanted to visit Jersey. The tossing of a coin ensued, Dinah lost, and for that reason Jersey became the destination for their holiday, and what followed was Lyndon meeting Dinah, his English-wife-to-be, at West Park Pavilion. Lyndon and Dinah were married at St Saviour’s Church on 24 August 1957. Their honeymoon was spent touring through France, Switzerland and Italy, and while in Italy they visited Monza for the 1957 Grand Prix. On arrival the day before the race it was impossible to find any accommodation, and they had to sleep in the car. This was the aforementioned record-setting, very compact, two-seater, MG TC. They attended the practise session during the evening prior to the Grand Prix, and Lyndon recalled coming within a few feet of Juan Manuel Fangio - the world’s most celebrated racing driver of that period. The Grand Prix the next day was won by Stirling Moss of Great Britain, with Fangio coming second.

Soon there were children - firstly Vivien Mary (1959- ), then Clive Lyndon Garrett (1961- ), and a while later, Melanie Jane (1970- ).


In 1958 Lyndon and Dinah bought - for £300 - what was an uncultivated field on high ground on the north coast of the island, at Egypt, Trinity, from Lyndon’s Uncle Wilson’s mother-in-law, Mrs Vasselin. They built a bungalow on this land, a home that enjoyed panoramic sea views to the French coastline to the east, and towards Guernsey and Sark to the north-west. Dinah developed the superb gardens on very poor soil and the vegetable garden became especially prolific - helped along in the Jersey tradition by organically fertilising the soil with vraic, seaweed harvested from the shoreline at low-tide. The seaweed harvest for Springhill was sometimes collected in an old Renault 4, driven all the way down through Egypt woods to the small beach at Petit Port.

Lyndon’s gardening task was limited to lawn mowing and there were shouts of great upset whenever he accidentally trod on - which was not infrequent - a special plant near the lawn’s edge. They eventually sold Springhill to Lyndon’s youngest brother Sam, in 1990.

Public service

Lyndon was a member of the Honorary Police as a Constable’s Officer in the Parish of Trinity for many years. At their regular meetings at Trinity Parish Hall - whatever the season - he would throw open all the windows because he particularly loathed smoking, and these were the times when smoking, even in enclosed public spaces, was commonplace. On returning home after these meetings he would hang his jacket outside, overnight, to rid it of the stale smoke smell that he found so repulsive. He was also a Church Warden at Trinity Church, for many years.


During the early 1960s Lyndon played at various times the cornet, cymbals and drums in The Band of the Island of Jersey. He also loved accordion music, and much later in his life he enjoyed participating in Maurice Thomas’s accordion group. He also spoke very enthusiastically of Walter Buchinger, the Austrian accordionist whom he met by chance when Walter was staying in Jersey, and with whom a great friendship ensued.

Sous les Bois

In 1984 Lyndon and Dinah bought Sous les Bois in St Brelade, from Major Vatcher. The original name of the house was Les Pissots - a reference to the numerous small springs that pop-up in the valley garden. It was subsequently named Valeran by the Vatchers, but Dinah was not keen on either of the earlier names and so it was renamed Sous les Bois. Between 1984 and 1989 they completed an enormous amount of renovation work before they moved-in, from Springhill.

The Lyndon Pallot Collection

The main subjects of Lyndon’s carefully and stealthily amassed collection are tractors and stationary engines, all with a significant connection to the island. He tracked-down these historically relevant pieces with extraordinary patience and determination, and rescued them from the grasp of often quite reluctant sellers. His two favourite stationary engines were the Gardner Merryweather gas engine from 1900 and the Crossley gas engine from 1912. Another field of interest was lathes - both metal and woodworking versions - and four interesting examples feature in his collection - most notably the very early Hotzapffel and Deyerlien screw mandrel lathe from 1810. Lorries also feature - one local, a 1933 Dodge, and one brought to the island from Hampshire, a 1925 Morris Commercial Type L.

Steam is also represented - but unlike his father’s passion for full-scale steam trains, traction engines and rollers, Lyndon’s steam collection embraces delightful, miniature, beautifully engineered working models, some of which were made by his engineering pals.

Lyndon also had a soft-spot for Citroën 2CVs, and was especially thrilled to be able to find and acquire the fourth-from-last right-hand-drive car, manufactured in 1990, which he used on high-days and holidays for gentle outings around the island.

Lyndon’s collection of historic tractors, stationary engines, cars, lorries, lathes and other items can all be seen at the Pallot Steam, Motor and General Museum, Rue du Bechet, Trinity - where they reside with his father’s incredible steam collection, his youngest brother Sam’s collection of cars, tractors, and other fascinating vehicles, and various other smaller collections of historic objects.



Samuel Alexander Pallot: 20 November 1881 - 15 May 1953 Florence Jane Pallot, née Benest: 21 October 1879 - 25 March 1962


Lyndon Charles Pallot: 23 November 1910 - 23 July 1996 Dorothy May Pallot, née Mourant: 6 October 1913 - 5 May 1999


  • Lyndon Charles Pallot: 26 July 1934 - 10 April 2022
  • Norman Philip Pallot: 30 April 1936 - 12 August2000
  • Lester Arthur Pallot: 24 August 1938 - 29 December 2020
  • Dorothy Ann Slous, née Pallot: 18 December 1939
  • Kathleen Mary Le Jéhan, née Pallot: 22 March 1941 - 28 January 2006
  • Mervyn Henry Pallot: 26 September 1943 - 10 October 1996
  • Sylvia Frances Pallot: 27 October 1944 - 5 September 2009
  • Rita Florence Crump, née Pallot: 4 March 1947
  • Dudley William Pallot: 9 April 1949
  • Elizabeth Marion Vivian, née Pallot: 17 February 1952
  • Trevor Samuel Pallot: 16 September 1954
  • Margaret May Pallot: 1937 - stillborn
  • Martyn James Pallot: 22 October 1945 - 14 March 1946
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