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 (3)

(from April 2000 onwards)

"It's awesome. One of the best I've seen. I'll be coming from the States to attend a conference there in May." (Mark Tschirhart)

"I was wondering if you could give me the name of a florist in St. Ives, that I could contact to send flowers to a friend in Earith. Also if you have any suggestions on where I could stay if I came for a visit. St.Ives seems to be the closest, big place around to where I want to be. Thanks, Fred." (Fred A. Sullivan)

Two places to try: for a florist, Forget-me-Not, 33 The Broadway, St Ives. Tel 01480-462315 (or 494786). For a hotel : The Dolphin Hotel, London Road, St Ives. Tel 01480-466966 (or 497497). Of course, if you're buying flowers in person, by far the cheapest source is the Monday market! (PG)

I'm mailing you from Durban, South Africa. I would like to send postal mail to my brother and sister-in-law who live in St. Ives, and I do not have a postal code for your area. Could you please advise? Many thanks." (Tracey Walsh)
There's a Royal Mail site that gives postal codes for the whole UK - as long as you know the exact address you want. It's at: (PG)

It is breath taking, like actually being there. I thought that places as beautiful as this only existed in story books." (Lisa Odo)

St Ives isn't perfect! There are vandals and litter louts even here! This picnic table was erected on the side of the Thicket Path by the Civic Society...

... and not everyone in St Ives has quite got the hang of litter boxes, as shown on the left! (PG)

"It's wonderful! We are moving to the area in Jan. 2001 and I'm trying to find out more about it on the internet. I wish all the local towns around there had sites like this" (Cathy)

"Great. Had the pleasure of visiting your town about 4 years ago while training at GST." (Kenneth J. Gauw)

"Very informative." (Heather M Hyde))

"Very nice,informative. Hope to visit/tour one day in near future, Could use tourist info. Thanks." (Fred Sullivan

"The pictures brought back many memories and a little homesickness for an adopted city. i lived in st. ives from sept 83-may 84 with my sister(who was stationed at the base). i will be visiting within the next month and your site has gotten me excited about "coming home" again." (Laurie Davis)

"Fantastic! I love St. Ives. Yes another yank stationed at RAF Alconbury, lived in Somersham but loved St. Ives and the local people, I plan to visit soon, and your site had Loads of info! Thanks." (Nancy Quick)

"Very interesting. Good photos. A lot of work has obviously gone into presenting our town so well on the web." ((Rob and Claire Ellinor)

"Excellent site. My wife and I are going to Cambridge over the Bank Holiday and will definitely visit St.Ives on the strength of your website." (Peter Sandt)

"Great." (Mandy Scott)

"Reopen the railway station in St.Ives! There is a public meeting on Saturday 17th June, 2000 at 2pm in Cambridge at Parkside College (near the police/fire stations) about the reopening of the Cambridge to St.Ives Railway Line. If you want a railway line (or if you have views on the attempt to rip up the track and replace it with a guided busway) please attend. (Martin Moore)

"Nice Pic. I live in one of the Marina Houses." (Max Enterkin)

"Thank you, my family and I are moving to St Ives from Surrey and found your site very informative. A job well done." (S. Jefferies)

"Very good." (Colin Plane)

"Hey! What a great site. we are coming to st. ives in a about a week or so and are very much looking forward to our trip. your site has wonderful pictures and i love your sense of humor! some of the other sites are not as interesting and quite boring. thanks for the much needed information. i will recommend that my husband look this up.........." (Tara Strong, usa)

"You've created a great website here! For those of us who grew up in St.Ives and have since left, we can catch up with all the news and events in an instant. I love browsing through all the segments periodically. I grew up in Cromwell Place, was married in the Free Church and worked in the old mill when it was "Sinclair Radionics". Have since moved to the U.S. and periodically enjoy coming back to this website to see what's new. I now know I'm not the only one whose heart is still there." (Libby, Washington DC)

"I live in st ives so i found your web site very informative & funny, thank you." (Richard Dockerill)

"It is a very nice historic and picturesque town with a lot of character. I found the people very helpful and friendly and would reccommend anyone to visit. Could you please e-mail me the name and hopefully phone number of the small record shop opposite the snazzy bar/restaurant for over 18's." (Daniel Nesbitt)
The record shop opposite The Lounge on The Broadway is called Nemesis (tel. 01480-469885). (PG)

"Wonderful bit of nostalgia, reminds me of all that I miss now I am in Florida. I lived with my four children in Bull Lodge, Bull Lane many moons ago, and spent most of my time on the quay. My daughter was christened at a lovely old Church at Holywell-cum- Needingworth. Now she is a Mum herself we wondered if you would have information about this very old Church or a picture for her memories book. Its a beautiful page, thank-you." (Diana)

St John the Baptist Church is a 13th century building, but with a tower dating from 1547 that was made from stone taken from Ramsay Abbey after the abbey had been dissolved by Henry VIII. A Well Dressing ceremony is held near the end of June each year. It is from the old spring in the churchyard that the village gets its name of Holywell.

The spring is down behind the black railings in the picture below left. The special well dressing pictures are made of flower petals and leaves pressed into plasticene. This was probably a pre-Christian holy place that became associated with St Ivo, and was thought to possess healing qualities. Nowadays, only external application (if any) is advised! (PG)

"Thank-you so much for the picture which I have sent on to my daughter, she will be delighted. Somehow I always remembered it as being much smaller. I remember also that birds flew over head as the baby was passed to each member of the congregation, it was a very moving ceremony. My childrens first school was at Hemingford Grey, and we would walk to Hemingford Abbots, sometimes when it rained the fields were like water meadows and we would throw ourselves down and roll and wallow and get so wet it was delerious! Midnight Mass at the big Church walking through the snow and trying not to fall down the steps is another memory I treasure. Now we are two in America, one in Germany and one in England, with seven children between them. Through the site we have been able to show them where they grew up. Thank-you so much." (Diana, Pensacola, Florida)

Hi Philip, We were in St. Ives in May and went there from Cambridge because of your web site. We enjoyed it immensely, but why do you not have information on our site about All Saints Church? It is so interesting that it is still Roman Catholic. The church was closed so we could not readily get information as to why. I will try to search the net for that. Also, we had a car, but it would have been nice to have information about bus service from Cambridge for those who do not. Anyway, we took some great pictures and sent a wonderful afternoon there. Glad you have the web site. I learned the St. Ives nursery rhyme when I was a small child (over 50 years ago) and always wondered where that place was. It was a treat!" (Martha and Joe Boudreaux)
Glad you liked the place! There is info on
All Saints Church on my Off the Beaten Track page. It is not Roman Catholic - just High Anglican! It is one of those unfortunate churches that is kept locked to avoid vandalism. It also has its own website as shown on the Other Local Websites page. You'll find I've got other references to it too if you use the site search engine at the foot of my contents page. (PG)

It was very informative and one day hopefully I will visit!" (Matt Lamers)

"I was impressed with the photos. I would like very much to visit in England one day. It is very unlikely, but I can hope. I live in Alabama in the United States. This is the first time for me to visit any sites in the UK. I had just watched "The Vicar of Dibley" which I enjoy on our Public Broadcasting Station. I entered "vicars" in the "" view bar and one thing led to another. Thank you for the new experience. Keep up the good work." (Judy Mays)

"Excellent. But then, coming from St Ives, I'm rather biased!" (Roger Taylor)

"It brought back fond memories of my two visits there ....thank you ." (Sue Dekoter)

"Excellent mine of information. Now a favour.... An old friend of mine still lives in St Ives, she was known at one time as Justine Rogers, but expect that she has reverted to her maiden name (Gowers) or indeed got a new one altogether! Anyway, as far as I'm aware she drinks in the Manchester, so if you bump into her or could leave her a message with my email, please ask her to drop me a line. Cheers, Gareth." (Gareth Rogers,
Can anyone help? (PG)

"I have fallen in love with your villiage. A friend lives there and introduced me to your site. I think you have gone a great job creating this site. I tour it often, dreaming of the day I may be able to visit St. Ives and the rest of England. Thank you." (Susan Petersen)

"I have been looking through your web site and find it fascinating. I shopped in St Ives a lot when I lived in Needingworth during the early 1980s. Since then I have been back to England twice and have made it a point to spend some time in that part of Cambridgeshire. A link from your site to CAMRA led me to find that the Chestnuts in Needingworth had closed in 1997. From a personal viewpoint that is equivalent to the loss of a close friend. That was my local for two years and I met a lot of wonderful people there. I think the people that had the Ferryboat in Holywell took over the Chestnuts when Mike Popple moved on. Do you have any idea what that building is used for now? Again, you have an interesting and VERY informative web site." (Kerry Murphy)
I think it twice became a restaurant and has now closed down entirely. Anyone know better? (PG)

"Very well done - congratulations! I was born in Needingworth and moved away at the age of 18 - 7 years ago - I still have family living there so I am back on a regular basis but its nice to have a look at your site now and again when I get home sick and also I direct people to it when they ask me where I'm from. Thank you for your hard work to make a very comprehensive and interesting site! Regards." (Rachael Hare)

"It brought back lots of memories. I used to cycle over that bridge as I cycled from R.A.F. Wyton to Fenstanton to work. I worked for Parker & son and then for Normans (east anglia) before coming to Australia in 1969." (Peter Foster)

It has been very informative. We are in South Africa but could soon be in St Ives on contract. We are just doing some homework on the area and the schools etc. So far looks very good. Thanks." (Grant Coetzee )

"I searched for information on St. Ives because my brother was sent there by the U.S. Army for the summer. My parents just left the U.S. for a brief visit with him. I spent some time in England back in the late 1980s, but I was up in the Leeds area so I don't know much about St. Ives. This site is a great resource with good info on the history and various attractions. And the photos are just splendid. So now when my parents and my brother talk about the area I'll have a good mental picture from which to draw. Thank you so much." ("Melanie Winters)

"very good but an unfair comment made regarding the
AXE AND COMPASS' food, as i have been there several times in the last year and the food has been top notch." (jeanette)
There's been a change of landlord since I wrote my original piece, so I've now updated it! (PG)

"Superb site for a little gem of a town!" (David Mercer)

"Excellent. Good mix of text and pictures. Just moved to the area from Manchester to start work with the St Ives Christian Fellowship (...we have a market stall but no website yet!). Like to get to know the local history of wherever I live ... this site has just about everything I need to know. I'll undoubtedly be visiting it again. Any idea where I can get more factual demographic/population data etc? Thanks and well done." (Peter Shields)
The most likely sources of information are probably the public library, the Norris Museum and the Town Hall. (PG)

"Since I last visited this site, several months ago, it has improved a good deal. It's great to see a site dedicated to the town in which I live. The photographs are very interesting, and if I ever need to tell someone about St Ives, all I need do is recommend your site. Keep up the good work." (Ruth.Sunderland)

"As I have just moved here I found your site an asset for guidance. The layout and professionalism of the site are of high quality. Regards." (Jan Robert Taylor"

"I am moving to St. Ives in 4 weeks time and have not had the opportunity to visit (I am currently trying to organising some temporary accommodation). Therefore your website has gave a fantastic overview of historical St. Ives." (Lee Finlayson)

"Hi. I love your updated site. I was wondering if you could include this request (the list below) for information on where these folks are. I lived in St. Ives from 1969-1979 on Ramsey Road. Attended Eastfield, Westfield and St. Ivo schools. Still have my St. Ivo patch. We moved to America since my father, Robert Wagoner, was in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Alconbury. It would be a terrific idea if a Web site could be created with photos of folks - before (when they were kids) and now, as adults and info on what everyone is doing now. The list of folks I'm trying to contact is: Lisa Brand (maiden: Dickinson); Sandra Coles, Andrew Banks, Richard Ballard (father was a preacher/minister in the Free Church in the town center); Mark Anderson, Anne-Marie Griffin, Julie Maycock, Tracy Durber, Ian Seddon, Adrian Seddon; Christopher Morris, Peter Fleming, Robert & Richard Wilkinson, Zoe Wilson, Mandy Howcroft and Jill Little. Many others, but their names escape me. Also, any info on teachers from Westfield school, where are they now type of info, such as John Adams (?). My maiden name was Astrid Wagoner. My email address is: if anyone wants to reminisce about those old school days, or has info on where these folks are now, etc."
(Astrid Terlep}

"Great! To be back home at a click of a button." (Melanie Cormier)

"Really wonderful, I will be attending a party at St Ives Town Football Club & wanted to find
out more, but unfortunately you have no information." (Janice Brown)

"Excellent, just a reply to Janice Brown. I had my birthday party at St Ives FC at the lovely place great venue reasonably priced phone number for bookings 01480 469201." (Matt Clarke)

"Very good - loved the photos. Visited some years ago to do a little family history research and found the place very welcoming and friendly. Perhaps an "interested in" or "help wanted" section might prove of use - genealogy is a growing hobby and sites like this with all the photographs etc are prime targests for people like me, with more than just a "passing" interest in certain places. Keep up the excellent work!" (Maxine Phillips)

"This is so beautiful...we are going to be stationed at RAF Molesworth in January. So if you would have any helpful information, it would be appreciated. Thank you." (Angela Potter)

"Quite fantastic. I lived in St Ives from 1963 to 74. I still have very fond memories of the place. It is quite incredable to be sitting at my computer in Perth, Western Australia and see live pictures of my old home town. Will vist regularly from now on. Keep up the good work." (Jim Sattin)

"Very pleasant and ejoyable,but i would say that because i live there." (Domenico Antonio Pingerna)

"This web site is great. I was born in and lived in St Ives from 1961 to 1997 when I moved to the USA. Most of my family still live in the town including many aunt , uncles, and cousins. The messages I was able to read are really good and it's wonderful to pull up images of the town and thereabouts. I recognised some names on the message board from schooldays and from work as I was a teacher at Westfield Junior for 8 or so years.Please keep doing what you're doing as the information is much appreciated. If you have Tony Bell's e-mail from Vancouver I'd be greatfull. I went to school with him and live just down the road in Washington State. It was also good to read Simon Crowells comments as I used to teach him before he went to Australia (a great football player). Do you have any photos or contacts of the rowing club? Best wishes," (Rob Flack)
Sorry, I don't have Tony Bell's email address, but the rowing club has its own website. (PG)

"I think It Is a good site depicting a very pleasent town. My father was an R.A.F. service-man stationed at R.A.F. Wyton in the late sixties. I attended St. Ivo between 1967-1969, It would be nice to hear from any one who was there the same time." (Tony Usher)

"Wonderful. Very informative. I grew up in St.Ives and enjoyed seeing and reading all the info. I'd like info on the local christian churches." (Gdog Gdog Gdog Gdog Gdo, nee barnett)

"The best one yet. Useful information. Now when I talk to my boyfriend I'll know what hes talking about." (Tara Pereira)

"Your website was such a wonderful surprise!! I was stationed at RAF Alconbury twenty years ago
and also lived in St. Ives for a year. As my husband and I met there, we have some great memories and your photos brought them all back!! After all this time we still miss your beautiful countryside and the GREAT beer, the best in the world!! It's sad that the base is not operating anymore but it sure must be a lot quieter around there for you, I hope it stays that way!! Thanks again!" (Debra Brown)

"Beautiful and so informative. I lived in Swavesey in 1960 but my best friend resided in St. Ives. We had some great times. We were only 11 years old at the time but had so much fun." (Frances Lawson)

"I am from the St. Ives area. I am now living in Canada and have lived here for 8 years. I think this web site is wonderfull!! Whenever I get homesick I just log on! Thanks for the great site!" (Angela)

"Very nice :c)" (Alyson, Australia)

"Not bad at all - from family history I'd have liked a picture of Hemingford Grey workhouse - it covered St Ives in the 19C. I've only passed through St Ives but intend to come again and 'look around'."(Janice Chance)
There's a a photo of Limes Park and info about the workhouse on my What You Say (2) page. Scroll down the page and you'll find it towards the bottom. If you'd looked up "workhouse" with the search engine (which is at the foot of the contents page) it would have taken you there (I hope!)

"Very good. I am going to be spending 8 weeks in the place, so this is useful." (Martin Conn)

Go on to WHAT YOU SAY (4)

Please add your own comments to my GUEST BOOK.