“ Address: St. James Concert & Assembly Hall / College Street / St. Peter Port / Guernsey / GY1 2NZ „
St James was first built in 1818 after James De Saumerez came up with the idea of building a church which held English meetings, as others in the island were in French. It was also used as a chapel for Elizabeth College which is located on the opposite side of the road.
From 1970 the building was not being used and it started to decay partially. Eleven years later the building was restored and made into an assembly and concert hall, as it is now.
The building looks lovely from the outside and is located very near town. It regularly holds concerts and shows, most of which are local. I have been to a few shows here including a charity evening showing Mamma Mia and the London Community Gospel Choir.
From the outside it doesn't look very big but it it is bigger than it looks. There are two floors, ground and balcony. I usually choose to sit on the balcony but it doesn't have the best views. I found the seats very uncomfortable and the balcony railing blocked my view, as did it for the others I went with. I think this was probably due to it having benches like it would have had in the church. Downstairs it has comfortable chairs but they always pick people to go to the stage from the audience. I'd rather be uncomfortable!
The inside looks very much like a church with stained glass windows allowing light to stream through and a large piano behind the stage. The stage is a good size but not that big. Often they have the Concert Band performing so it is a perfect setting. Not the best for pantomimes and those types of shows though.
Tickets for St James concerts can be bought from the office in the side door of St James. They may also be available from guernseytickets.gg. I always get one of my family to get tickets from the office for me as they are only open working hours.
Jimmy's Cafe is in St James and has stunning views over town and castle cornet. I went their a few months ago and wasn't that impressed by their choice of food or drinks so next time I'll go into town instead. It is up loads of stairs and open 10am to 4pm, not worth the effort in my opinion.
St James also has the The Guernsey Tapestry Gallery which I have never seen. I don't know much about it but you do have to pay an entrance fee, I don't think that is really necessary to see a tapestry.
St James has no parking nearby so you have to park at Elizabeth College or in town which is a good ten minute walk away. This is annoying as you'd think it would have its own parking.
St James shows many different shows and concerts so there is something for everyone.