St Ives
Cambridgeshire




Click Oliver Cromwell (who once lived here) to go to contents list.


A personal view
by Philip Grosset




More oddities

Photo of basket-maker's shopMr E. Venditti came from Italy in 1951. He worked at Harrison's basket-making factory until it closed down in the 1970s. He was 81 in 2005, when he was still making and selling his own baskets alongside his house in Ramsey Road. The oddity about all this is that any basket-maker managed to survive so long in the face of all the cheap imports! But, as he pointed out, his handles don't fall off ....
Golden Lion hotel with funfairMarket Hill (as well as The Broadway and The Waits) are closed to ordinary traffic once a year during the three day St Ives Michaelmas Fair held every October. Seen in the background is the Golden Lion Hotel. This was once an old coaching inn. It used to have a restaurant called Bart's, named after the comedian Eric Morecombe (whose real name was Eric Bartholomew) who once owned it. There's a very unlikely story that the place is haunted by the ghost of Oliver Cromwell's mistress....
Illuminated houseThese are two adjoining houses in Harris Crescent, Needingworth, which used to be decorated like this every Christmas. People came from miles around to see them, and contributed thousands of pounds to charity. This photo was taken in December 2001. This particular display has since been discontinued.
Photo of trees in water

These submerged trees in Marsh Lane, just outside St Ives, make a strange and eerie sight. To see them, take the road from St Ives towards the A14. Marsh Lane is on the right, past the Total filling station and the motel, and signposted The Hemingfords. The lakes are just a little way along it, through the undergrowth on the left.



A local technical term? Spotted in May 2002 during renovation work at The Anglers Rest, a one time boarding house for anglers by the river near the parish church. The words have now disappeared!

Flood

"NOBLES FIELD For the Recreation of the Townspeople of St Ives" is what it says. Water skiing perhaps?
These were the floods in November 2000. Usually it is a large field with the river flowing just beyond the tree in the left background.


An unusually decorated shop on The Waits. The tiled bull on the front, and the name H Anderson down the right edge, date back to when it was a butcher's shop, originally founded in the 1880s. The more modern shop shown here has since been replaced by an architect's office.



This large signboard advertises a shop in Foundry Walk, the little alley leading from Market Hill to Bridge Street.

Old police stationThis was part of the old police station in Priory Road, just past Nuts Bistro (that once housed part of the National School). It is now used as offices. It was built in 1845 and was in use until 1973 when a new police station was opened in Pig Lane.
Police station
The address of Pig Lane for the new police station caused a lot of ribaldry so this part of the road was hurriedly renamed Broad Leas.
Free gin
Feel like walking the plank? This isn't normally one of the exhibits at the Norris Museum, but made an unexpected appearance at the annual Friends of the Norris Museum barbecue, held in the museum grounds in June 2006.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill
Edinburgh Woollen Mill
Notice anything odd about the Edinburgh Woollen Mill building on the right of the photo on the left? It looks three storeys high, but in fact the upper two storeys consist of just a wall with nothing behind it! Originally there was an old-fashioned grocer's shop here, but when it was demolished it was replaced by this one storey building.
Quite often original frontages have survived above ground level so it is always worth looking up at them.
There is a shop in Free Church Passage that boasts 3 display windows and 2 doors, although there is nothing but a brick wall (as seen here) behind 3 of them.
This used to be a challenge to traffic approaching town down Ramsey Road. Who had time to read this lot? Two of the signs were eventually removed in 2013.
Fire at The Crown The Crown used to be the biggest and most important inn in St Ives, but it was damaged by fire and then demolished in 1975. The name Crown Street still remains, and so does a copy of the black painted cross that can still be seen. The odd thing about it is that no-one really knows why it was first put there.
Helpful notice on The Waits. October 2012.



The people of St Ives always had minds of their own. In 1745, the town raised a volunteer force to join one raised in Huntingdon to fight Bonnie Prince Charlie. They moved north but only got as far as Abbots Ripton, then the two groups fought each other - and returned home!




Go on to ODDITIES: UNUSUAL PHOTOS


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OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
ST IVES IN THE SUMMER
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ODDITIES OF ST IVES
UNUSUAL PHOTOS
EATING PLACES
FURTHER AFIELD
NEWS FROM ST IVES
CHRISTMAS MARKET
FLOODS
SNOW:JAN 2003
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WHAT YOU SAY
MEMORIES OF ST IVES
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