St Ives

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

A personal view
by Philip Grosset

What you say about this site (11)

(from January 2012 onwards. Latest messages at top of page

"I was born in Godmanchester but 24 hours later was back in St ives. Our house was in West Street number 4a if I remember correctly. I wonder if anyone remembers the Chalfonts which was where my grandfather lived. It was the wooden bungalow on the chicory factory land off Somersham Road. My dad was a carpenter and joiner (Fred White) and had a workshop near to West Street." (Steve White)

"Very interesting and informative. Enjoyed the Oddities and Off the Beaten Track."(Peter Scott)

"I enjoyed the history and the pictures. I live in Clifton Park, NY, USA. Clifton Park is approx, 12 Miles north of Albany, NY, the Capital of New York State. The name Clifton Park comes from a land patent that Queen Ann granted in the 1700's." (James Denison)

"Love this site looking back at old pictures and things about st Ives my parents owned newsagents in the pavement top hams I now live in Southampton." (gill brown nee macintosh)

"I was a born and bred st ivian my mother was born in alberts terrace in 1918 and my granma had 21 children who also were st ivian but unfortunately only fourteen lived my grandad had a farm on peels hole what now was Anderson's farm my grandad was,killed by being gored by a bull when the war was on they moved to little farthing close there names were Mr and Mrs Bundy." (Dawn Wright)

"Researched as picked up old photo of town. Is there a museum?" (Nigel Pearce)
There is an excellent if rather small museum. See here. Unfortunately, it is currently closed for refurbishment and will not open again until spring 2017. (PG)

"Interesting - now live in Arkansas, U.S.A." (Patricia Tomkins)

Loved looking back at old memories of st Ives, when feeling home sick Went to school there many years ago. Think I know more ab
out St Ives after going to this site, than I did when I lived there. Living in USA since 1977." (Schamrene Quintanilla, Yuma, Arizona.)

"Greetings from Australia! My partner came across a small hand written menu, dating from 1893, with 'Westwood St Ives' at the bottom. I assume it must have been a large house in the area at that time. For your interest, here is what you would have been offered that day. MENU Roast Fowl, Sausages, Tongue, Tomatoes, Sausage Rolls. SWEETS Blackberry pies, Lemon Jelly, Lemon Pudding, Lemon Cream, Lemon Cheesecake, Raspberry Cream, Blackberry Charlotte, Custard. Cheese, Grapes Westwood St Ives. Oct 25 1893.
Well, I'm guessing they must have had a good lemon tree! How this little hand made item ended up 'Down Under' is a mystery. I will visit St Ives sometime in the future. Thank you for an interesting site." (Kathy Bruce)

"Very good information before visiting St Ives. A pleasure to read. Thank You very much." (Ake Thunstrom)

"I am an old girl of Slepe Hall school and was there for two years from Autumn term 1961 - Summer term 1963 and would love to hear stories from those days and wonder if there is an Old Girls' Union. Can you help?" (Mary Vianello, nee Todd)
I'm afraid I can't, but can anyone else? If so, please reply using my guestbook. (PG)

"I live in St Ives and found this a very informative site. I would be interested to see the original photo of the sheep pens on Market Hill (1869). Is it in a public collection?" (Brian Barnes)
The best place to try is the Norris Museum. (PG)

`'This is a very interesting and helpful site. I am hoping to visit St. Ives in September (2014) to find some traces of my great-great grandfather, John Lambert Geeson, who according to the 1841 census was a cordwainer living on "Knightlys Lane." I live in Merrickville, Ontario, Canada (about 40 miles southwest of Ottawa). Thanks for the interesting site!" (Cheryl Geeson)

"Fantastic. I was an evacuee 1939 and billetted at Fairfield Bury when the Newtons owned it. I often wondered what happened to the house and knew Fairfield Estates was built on the site. Thanks I really enjoyed the read." (Doreen Braconnier)

'Your site is nice, cheerful and interesting. I would like to point out that The Old Riverport banner put up on the 29th March 2014 on The Quay was a temporary one. There is a proper sign, of the same design, being fixed to the wall once the appropriate advertising permission comes from HDC. This should look better and give a stronger image than the plastic banner." (John Souter)

"Interesting facts about Slepe Hall school before and after demolishing and being rebuilt to now becoming a hotel. I live in west Berkshire in a little village called Headley, situated between Newbury and Basingstoke." (David Vasey)

"My family, the Townsends still live in St Ives. My Grandmother is buried there. My favourite place in the world. I now live in Romford Essex." (Shirley Mitchell)

"I live in London and am looking forward to visiting St Ives. I found this site interesting and inviting. It was helpful to have information about the town and nice to have photos." (Nathalie Webb)

"Can anyone tell me if they know of a large house in St Ives called The How owned by the Ausley family? Many thanks" (Claire Taylor)
There is a large 7 bedroom house of this name off the
Houghton Road, St Ives. (PG)

"This is the best site for St.Ives that I have discovered. Very informative. I'm producing a tourist-type brochure for patients who aren't local to the area and wondered if I could include your picture of St.Ives Bridge please - again it is the best photo of the bridge I have come across on my google travels!"
(Jo Mackintosh, Mulberry Private Healthcare)

I'm always happy for photos to be used elsewhere as long as I'm asked and due acknowledgment is made. (PG)

"It's a wonderful site, packed with memories for me. Well done to all who manage and contribute to it. I was born in Hemingford Grey in 1949 and still visit St Ives regularly. It's a lovely town. I'm so pleased the guided bus is now in operation as it traces my daily journey to school and work in Cambridge between 1961 and 1970. Does anyone remember The River Club? Terry Reid used to play there regularly. He came over from Los Angeles last year and did a gig at St Ives Corn Exchange. Happy memories. Please keep up the good work, you are creating an amazing historical archive. I now live in Stamford, Lincs." (Deirdre Pawsey)

"Lived in St Ives 1970-1976. Great site, loved the pictures brought back lots of memories did not see the old abandoned victoriaian manson that had great conker trees out front of the house." (Mark Whitehead)

"Very good site! There is a B&B in St Ives: Forty Winks 3 Laburnum Way St Ives, Cambridgeshire PE27 3YW, United Kingdom +44 1480 465117. I live in B.C. Canada." (Katie Di Luorio)

"I have acquired a painting (probably pre-war) of Republic Cottage. Searching for this took me to your site. Does the cottage exist still?" (Paul Whitfield)

It was demolished in 1965. Its site was where the roundabout between Needingworth and Somersham Roads now stands. It was originally built as a toll-house on the road to Somersham. (PG)

"Good site. I lived in St. Ives from 1956 till 1971 when I got married and moved to Billericay. A great friend of mine was Spud Norman His father ran The Robin Hood pub. Good times, now 71 and living in West Wales and married for 41 years to my wife Thea." (Arthur Lloyd)

"I wanted some idea what St Ives is like as I've never been before, but checking out this site seems like a great place to visit for the day. I'm travelling from Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire." (John Gregory)
I'd be very interested to hear how you get on! (PG)

"Good and informative although Bible-Dicing info could do with updating.
Since 2011 Bible Dicing has been re-instated on the 'official' date being the Tuesday after Pentecost (Whitsun) although this may change if it coincides with half term. Today it involves children from year 6 in our local schools who are all given the opportunity to come and experience a variety of activities such as history, and church artifact and textile workshops. (In 2013 we had 90 children from Westfield and Thorndown schools). Every child is given the opportunity to roll the dice with the top 12 scorers going forward into the final which is then played on a credence table in front of the Nave Altar for the chance to win one of six Youth Bibles which is normally presented by the Town Mayor.
Today the event is funded by St Ives United Charities which is administered by the Town Council and we gratfeully acknowledge their support as well as that of the Norris Museum is helping with the workshops." (Mark)

Many thanks to Father Mark Amey for this helpful information. (PG)

"This is a brilliant site. Well done to all who manage and contribute to it. I was born in Hemingford Grey in 1949 and still visit St Ives regularly. It's a lovely town. I'm so pleased the guided bus is now in operation as it traces my daily journey to school and work in Cambridge between 1961 and 1970. Does anyone remember The River Club? Terry Reid used to play there regularly. He came over from Los Angeles last year and did a gig at St Ives Corn Exchange. It's a wonderful site, packed with memories for me. Please keep up the good work, you are creating an amazing historical archive. Happy memories." (Deirdre Pawsey)

"Love it. I lived in the town from 1999-2004 and its good to be reminded of the lovely time I had." (Chris Jones)

"Looking over Addenbrooks hospital site and saw references to Busway, and went on to your immensely interesting site, thanks for this information. Absolutely brilliant, not seen a better one, some jumbling of printing on some pages, with the pictures obscuring the print, but even so still the best I've seen. We live in Burwell." (Stanley and Joan Baker)
If you have any problem viewing pages, please let me know which are the pages, and which Windows or Mac system you are using. (PG)

"Fascinating - my dad, Fr David Moore, is quoted on the first page about Oliver Cromwell's book. He was Vicar of St Ives until 2002 I think, before retirement. Plenty more stories where that one came from! The area around the church is truly beautiful. We lived in the modern vicarage, which was built on the site of the old Vicarage's vegetable garden. A huge original wall was all that remained. You should check out the ghosts of the church - seen by many!" (Greg Moore, Brighton, UK)

"I was very interested to read the comment by Steve Whaley on regarding the watch he has by C Moore. C Moore was Clement Charles Moore, my great grandfather. Originally from Halifax, son of a pawnbroker, he was a watchmaker and jeweler in St Ives. He therefore could in fact have made your watch. And yes, his shop was in Carlisle Terrace. He had the shop there until he died of a heart attack in 1955. This was way before I was born, but I remember visiting my great grandma who lived next door. I'd love to see a photo of the watch. Unfortunately I do not have any of his handiwork left as I had all my jewelry from his shop stolen in a burglary a few years ago. Please get in touch ( (Sian Arulanatham)

"The site is excellent. I used to holiday at st ives originally with Arley Miners by the two pools the other side of the weir. We stayed for 3 years on the trot in the 50s and then for another 2 years at the Oliver Cromwell pub which at that time did b&b. Played cricket in the home meadow as we called it the one leading to the weir. Had fishing matches either side of the bridge, opposite the yacht club etc. I thing it was the Bull pub we used to visit when we fancied a change from the Oliver Cromwell, you can see it across the river from the home/weir meadow. I am 66 now but still have fond memories of St Ives." (Roger Etheridge)

"Delighted to make contact as we've visited St.Ives many times since the war. My mother lived in Woodhurst and an aunt in Warboys. My great aunt Rebecca Reynolds was a student teacher in St. Ives. I would love to discover more about her before she left for Australia. Are there any records? Thanks." (Rev Stephen Taylor)
The best place to try for all information about St Ives is our Norris Museum: or tel. 01480-497314. Bob Burn-Murdoch, the long serving curator, retired in December 2012 so there is now a (second) new curator. (PG)

"Brilliant site. I was evacuated to St.Ives in 1939 - ended up billeted at Fairfield Bury -owner Mr.Newton - former World War One army Captain married a French woman while in France. Am writing a feature about life at Fairfield Bury which was disgusting -as Londoners we were not treated very well. your site is very interesting." (Doreen Braconnier)

"I lived in hemingford grey went to st ivo school until 1972. my father Ray worked at parkers garage in station road until they moved to what is now whippets on the a14. I now live in Taunton Somerset but did visit the town in July 2012." (Diane Leader)

"This site is a fantastic mine of information. I lived here in a couple of different houses back in the 80's and 90's, I now reside near Ipswich. Something I am interested in is the exact location of the smallpox isolation hospital when it existed." (Paul Huggins)

"Very Interesting to hear people's accounts. My family moved to St Ives in about 1954 -57. My father was manager of the Woolworth store. Before we found a house to buy we lived temporarly at 4 The Quadrant. Our next door neighbours were The Lauries. They had a daughter named Susan. I'll always remember the Monday cattle market and George Mitchell the butcher who made the best pork pies I've ever tasted to this day. I remember the sweet shop, Mrs Storeys, where I could buy 4 blackjacks for a penny. So many fond memories." (Paul Williams)

"Hello. What a great site, found by accident looking for information on Slepe Hall school. I wandered when 'Caroline' lived in Westwood on Westwood road? My Grandmother lived there from around 1958 to the late 80's. My Mother grew up there, my Sister, Brother, 8 cousins and I had great fun telling ghost stories in the attic room, playing on the 'ship' in the garden (it was like a giant rockery, playing hide and seek in the big old house). I see some of the iconic trees have gone from the garden and I swear that wall was a good few feet taller!" (Sarah Hambleton)

"I googled Slepe Hall School and was delighted to read the information on your site. My mother was a boarder there between 1923 and 1929 and I have been going through her photos (about 30) from that time. I would be very pleased to provide scans of these to anyone who is interested. She has named her friends and given dates. There are pictures of two of the teachers mentioned in your reports: Miss Owen (Maths) and Miss Maclean (PE). One of her strongest memories was of breaking the ice on the water before they washed in the morning! Sounds pretty spartan.
I think my mother appears in the 1926 School Photo - back row, second from the left (not certain!!). I live near Chester. My mother died in 1995 aged 82." (Christopher Wells)

"Nice site and I hope it continues. It's interesting to read the comments of those who have visited the site and St. Ives. I was an occasional visitor in the late 1950s when my father was stationed at Alconbury AFB and we rented the Quarterdeck in Holywell. I went to school somewhere, though I was only 5, but I haven't been able to identify where yet. I live in Texas now, but I visited again in 1989 and 1999. I am overdue for an ale at the Ferryboat and dipping my toes in the Ouse." (Melissa Broadway)

"Interesting, and pretty. I am particularly interested in the history of the people and buildings of Holywell-cum-Needingworth, but am also involved with the new St Ives U3A Local History group (see" (Peter Cooper)

"An impressive site that encourages me to visit in the near future. During a holiday in South Africa in April my wife and i "discovered" a restaurant and estate called St Ives; apparently named after a chap from St Ives, Hunts. I took some photos and wondered if you would be interested in them. Regards." (Les Mitchell)

"Nicely done ... brings back very many childhood memories. Must go back there soon. I grew up on Hartford Road in Huntingdon, close to the small village of Hartford. I am now in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA where I have lived since 1962. After church (All Saints, Huntingdon) my sister plus one or two friends & a dog or two, would walk to Houghton, in nice weather. As a child I used to be fascinated by the animal pens in St Ives market square & intently horrified by the man with the ear-punch, who leaned over the railings & put holes in the pigs ears. The noise made by the piggies was a squealing from Hell! When I was a teenager I had a dear friend in St Ives whose father worked at Lloyds Bank I think. That must have been in the late 1950's. Gosh how time has flown.." (Susan Learnard - nee Douglas-Willan)

"Came to this town 23 years ago. (not quite a local yet another 2 to go) Not intending to stay for more than a couple of years but this town has a special something about it. It may well be in my case as a Patriotic Scot, that I discovered that the RamsAys (Known down these parts as RamsEy) originated in Huntingdonshire long before we made our way up to Scotland. So who knows?? I may well have a great ancestor twice removed born in these parts!!!!" (Carol Ramsay)

"Great, brings back lots of memories of St Ives." (Phil Wyatt, Adelaide, Australia)

"Very informative." (D.Clark)

"As I'm going to visit St Ives this summer, I'm happy to see nice photos and interesting information here. I'm an English teacher in Romania. Thank you!" (Mihaela Lixandru)

"Very nice. I visited St. Ives in 2002, on a business trip. I believe this is one of the most charming towns I've seen. The people are fantastic, and generally forgive my "Yankee" mistakes, I'm from Virginia, USA. In case you did not know, Virginia is named after Elizabeth I, the virgin queen. Cheers." (Pul Akers)

"This is a brilliant site. Well done to all who manage and contribute to it. I was born in Hemingford Grey in 1949 and still visit St Ives regularly. It's a lovely town. I'm so pleased the guided bus is now in operation as it traces my daily journey to school and work in Cambridge between 1961 and 1970. Does anyone remember The River Club? Terry Reid used to play there regularly. He came over from Los Angeles last year and did a gig at St Ives Corn Exchange. Happy memories." (Deirdre Pawsey)

"St.Ives born and bred now at age 22, was just after some more information randomly on St.Ives closing shops on Thursday afternoons etc , but found some very interesting stuff! Admitantly the site is straight forward and a bit too simple with a cheap appearance , But doesnt simple just summerise St.Ives ? Sorry, Slepe." (Graham Childs)

"I have enjoyed the insight.
Thomas Lloyd was my Gt Gt Grandfather. I have been living in Nairobi Kenya for the past 11 years with frequent visits home. Last visited St. Ives about 10 years ago." (Robert Warren)