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 (5)

(from August 2002 onwards)

"Very nice, I can learn more about the town after I left it." (Emma)

Excellent, very interesting particularly to an ex St.Ivian. I learned a few things that I had forgotten over the years!! Born in St.Ives 1929 departed in 1947 to join the RAF. Returned last in June 02 - was appalled at the scale of the development that has taken place.That's progress. The original town centre remains much the same fortunately!! Thanks." (Arthur Jeffs)

"It was very nice to look at my home town as living in the hebrides i only get down once or twice a year . i am trying to find as much about my family tree as possible for my children as i only have an uncle and two cousins on my fathers side so it is good to know about your site many thanks" (nina patricia thompson (nee white))

"Some interesting parts to the website. A shame about Bryants closing-probably the only decent shop in the town (apart from Waitrose!).
I would like to correct you on something you wrote about All Saints Church-you said the church is now open between 2 and 3 p.m. for visitors which makes a change from the old days when it was more or less permanently shut... This was not the case when my father was the previous incumbent! It was open for worship 2/3 times each day (morning prayer/Mass/Evening prayer etc.) apart from weddings/baptisms and other times etc. Also the key could be obtained from the Vicarage and many visitors walked the short distance down Church Street to get it!!! It was not safe to leave the church open and unattended. The Church and churchyard were regularly vandalised (gravestones broken/stained glass windows destroyed/pews urinated in) and thieves broke in and stole various things. Of course nobody saw anything...Perhaps your readers will be shocked by that but that's life for most churches... It was not always possible to have volunteers to keep the church open...perhaps more people have retired and have free time since October 2000!
I visited St. Ives at Easter and thought it was rather a sad place-very run-down...Bridge Street looked terrible! I hope things improve!" (Mary Moore)

Bridge StreetYes, Bridge Street was a mess during the road building works, but, as the photo shows, looked much better by July 2002. As for the church, thanks for the correction. I've now amended my description - but I'm afraid I never saw a notice explaining where you could go for the key! (PG)

"Please consider using Huntingdonshire, rather than Cambridgeshire, as the town's county. Many thanks." (Chris Little)
St Ives has been in Cambridgeshire since 1974 when Huntingdonshire was united with Cambridgeshire to form the current county. There is still a strong pressure group trying to restore the old name, but I, for one, would really rather be in Cambridgeshire! (PG)

"A really great site. I lived in St. Ives for several years during the eighties. I loved the old photo of the flooded waits. I use to live at #15 right on the corner. Your web site brought back some great memories." (Wendy Jackson)

"I am an American woman who was born in St. Ives in February 1955 to an American Air Force officer and a Canadian mother. My father told me the hospital was on the estate of Rudyard Kipling's sister and that we lived in a house on The Drive. I will be coming around New Year's this year. Do you have any suggestions on how I might find these places? I do not believe anyone who knew my parents is still living. Thank you." (Candace Clark Langford)
The Drive is off Westwood Road, near the parish church of All Saints. It is shown as "The Dr" on the left of the map on this site. This is a very short cul de sac with just a few big detached houses- but it's the only "The Drive" I could find! (The Waits and Market Hill, both shown to the south on the map, are at the centre of the town.)
You were probably born at the 7510 USAF hospital that was then at Wimpole Park. Wimpole Park used to belong to Kipling's daughter (thanks to Bob Burn-Murdoch of the Norris Museum, St Ives, for reminding me about her). This is a half hour drive from St Ives. All the hospital buildings were pulled down when the hospital closed in 1959/60. See here for a photo and more information. Wimpole Hall is an interesting National Trust property that could be worth a visit (see my Further Afield page). Hope you enjoy your visit to St Ives. (PG)
"Thank you so very much for your help. I know this will make my visit so much more special. Both of my parents have passed away but my four older brothers are old enough to remember St. Ives and my only memories were from faded, spotted slides that my parents saved." (Candace Langford)

"I can tell a lot of thought and research has been put into this website. Thank you for the info on St Ives. Much appreciated." (Wendy Lawrence)

"Pretty good. I would like to see more detail such as walking in the area. Short walks and the Ouse valley Walk." (Peter D Cripps)

"very good - very interesting and like pictures - keep up good work." (Andrew Hearne)

"Very good site. I used to live in Bluntisham 12 years ago and wanted to show my New Zealand husband the area. Excellent photos and lots of them. Thanks." (Laura Harris)

"I think that you have done a great service to St.Ives by publishing this website. Thank you very much indeed. I was born in Needingworth coming to live in St.Ives in 1973 and remember it when it had a thriving livestock market. Happy memories but we must of necessity move on." (Peter Rose)

"Very Interesting. I along with my mum, dad and sister use to live in Bluntisham from 1982 to 1984 due to fathers job. We moved down from Manchester then subsequently moved back after the 2 years. I liked the area very much and recently visited the area again this year after an absence of 16 years. A lot of things have changed but also a lot of things have not. Thanks." (Dave Kershaw)

"Nice, brings back the memories of the time we spent in St Ives (1996-98) when I was working for Nokia in Huntingdon and Peterborough, the kids went to St Ivo's and Mrs CastrÈn was learning to cope with the English ingredients. A wonderful time was had by all!" (Juhana CastrÈn)

"Great. My ex-husband was in the Air Force and we were stationed at Alconbury from 1970 until 1974. We lived in St. Ives and fell in love with the countryside. I was curious to see what was available in the Internet for this area. You have done a great job. The photo's bring back some good memories. Keep up the good work." (Faye Turnbaugh)

"Very interesting. My family have a along connection with the town. My grandfather came down from Manchester at the end of the 19th century and joined his Uncle in the family Wine and Spirits buisness based at the Manor House. I think it was Kings at the time and later became Wadsworths. He was Landlord of the Royal Oak for many years up until his retirenment in the early 50s. He was well known in St Ives as both a business man and a Sportsman playing soccer at County level and for Cambridge Town ( as it was known then). He was captain of St ives Golf club as well as being very good at Billiards apparently. My mother spent most of her childhood there, and used to tell me of her years spent at the Manor house. I was brought up in Earith/Bluntisham in the 60s and St.Ives was the centre for all the night life. I remember having to make the decision as to whether to catch the last bus home and miss the end of the film at the Regal or see the end and walk home. I am very pleased I have discovered this site and will visit again. Many Thanks" ( Martin Halton)

"Very nice." (Bob Towne)

"I was born in St. Ives and lived in Westwood House on Westwood Road - It's interesting to see the changes since i was last there!!" (Caroline)

"I stumbled on the site by chance whilst looking up my brother's name. I visited an Uncle of mine in St Ives a few months ago, and do so at least once a year. I, like my brother, really enjoyed the trip down memory lane, especially Monday market day with my Grandparents. I note several photo's showed the statue of Oliver Cromwell and in the background a shop that sits directly behind it. The road runs either side of it. From memory, I am sure at one time, there was a shoe shop on the right hand corner. That was about 30 years ago. A very interesting site, one that I shall visit again. Thank you for the memories." (Margaret Wand)

"As I origionaly come from St Ives. I fact I am at least the thirs generation to come from the town, father and gradfather before me. You neglected to add that Holt island is the home for St Ives Sea Scouts and has been for many a year. In my fathers youth this was also the local swimming pool. In fact my grand father appears in some photo's in the Norris Museam.
Odd fact if you look at the staue of Cromwell he is pointing up the bum of the golden lion.
The site sums up my old home town and is a good site. I have since linked it to a freinds site in the USA where he lists the home towns of the people he knows.
I still visit now and again to see my parents and Grandmother. Sadley i am the last generation of my familly born in the town as my son was born in Kettering." (Andy Peters)
I already mentioned the Sea Scout base on Holt Island, but have now added a bit about the old swimming pool too. As to where Cromwell is pointing, it all depends on where you choose to stand! (PG)

"a great fishing spot is on the steps near the bridge it is at the quay but when i go fishing i always go there i always get at least 9 fish in a days ffishing hope you will go there and do a spot of great fishing but watch out for the pike that lurks around in the summer it is big and white hope to see you fishing" (martin.w.johnson)
More fishing info always welcome! (PG)

"It was beautiful loved the pictures." (Frances Gathergood)

"Very good. I think a mention of the shop, Wadsworth's, should be included. It is behind the Oliver Cromwell statue, on the right, much further down the "High Street". It is a family business of several generations, and is a "Library" and "Supermarket" of every alcoholic drink imaginable, THE place to stock up for Christmas, and in itself a good reason to visit St.Ives. The whisky miniatures alone will absorb an enthusiast for at least ten minutes or more! We always find the town very pleasant and relaxing, and have stayed at the Old Ferry Boat Inn at Holywell, and the Moat House Hotel at Bar Hill. Contrary to what your site said about the Old Ferry Boat Inn, we found the food there of very good quality, very good value, and a good range of prices. We never had to wait long." (Richard Wallner)
Wadsworths is certainly impressive, although it's actually on The Broadway, not far from The Waits. There's more about it on my Photos of the Month page (look under November 2005). Mr Wadsworth is also the owner of the Dolphin Hotel as well as the Pike & Eel at Needingworth. Thank you for your comments about the Old Ferry Boat at Holywell. It has had several changes of owners, but I agree with you that the food is now much improved, so have amended the reference to it on my Recommended Eating Places page. (PG)

"Excellent will try to visit some time, a list of hotel offers may be useful" (Anthony Schipper)

"Great, I've been looking for a St Ives site for ages. Good pics of one of my favorite towns." (mike moore)

"it was great to see all your memories, i also went to St. Ivo school and have a lot of fond memories from it also. Was the science block desroyed by man with a surname dighton?" (Holly)

"As someone who has visited St.Ives many times since the 1930s, I enjoyed the site immensely. Let me know if you are interested in my reminiscence about St.Ives." (William Hawksford
I'd be very interested in reading anything you send me about the old St Ives. I've got a section called Memories of St Ives to which I always welcome contributions. If you've any old photos, even better! (PG)

"i thought that this site was very good because it had my dad in it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (Cat)
my More Oddities page? (PG)

"Very easy to use and imformative. I have just moved into the "Manor House " to set up a restaurant and have been searching for local info. and this site has proved enlightening." (Richard Fraser)

"An excellent site, very informative. I have just returned from a visit to St Ives, so was very pleased to find this site before my visit. My friends and I all thought that St Ives was a delightful market town - what a refreshing change from the shopping malls and the 'lack of character' out of town shopping centres every city has to have. Long may small towns like this be preserved for all to enjoy." (Sandra Warren)

"We lived in St. Ives from 1966 through april of 1967 when we were stationed at Alconbury RAF station with the USAF. What a treat to see so many pictures again. We loved it there and lived next to a grocers and an undertaker. Cannot remember the name of the street we lived on, but we certainly would like to know its name. We lived not far from a fish and chips shop -- 3 shillings and sixpence for two pieces of plaice and chips. We loved it." (Russell Cornelius)

"I think the site is great! We lived in St. Ives from 1996 - 1999 and your site brought back a lot of very fond memories. Thank You." (Tim and Cyndi Thompson)

"Excellent. It shows our town as a wonderful example of an English Historic Market Town." (Alan Lamprell)

"Any idea whe
re I could find an up to date list of estate agents in St Ives?" (Betty Buckley)
Yes, here. I've just added one! (PG)

"I came back to this site and had to call my mum who also lives in the states with me. Mum(Maureen Churchard) was the daughter of the town baker who had a shop by the firestation (back in the 40's). My great uncle William Chapman had the grocery shop across the street from him. My nan who was one of 13 children died back in the 90's, but aunties and uncles still live St.Ives. My sister lives in Fenstanton. And I have fond memories or going blackberry picking with her. I left in 1988 when i finished St.Ivo and often wonder what has happened to some of my friends. Of course over the years we lost touch. I do remember eastfield/westfield/st.ivo with good memories. I used to live at Whitecross so the playing field right behind it was my favourite pasttime when i got out from school. If anybody remembers me please contact me at" (tammy squiers)
I don't know if you spotted them, but there are 2 photos
of Whitecross on my floods page. (PG)

"I would like to say that I really like your site. We only moved into the area a couple of years ago because of my husband's job. At the time, I knew very little about the area and my husband was keen to move to St Ives. I found your site on the web at the time and it made me feel significantly better about the whole experience. Thanks." (Amanda J Moorhouse)

"Great Site!! I will be moving and working in St Ives very shortly and wanted to get some more information about the town and what goes on. I will be taking over what was Connies tea rooms on the Quay. So please everyone come and say hello I look forward very much to meeting you all." (Sue McGrath, Cafe Rio)

"Very informative. I really liked it. Just found out my ancesters were married in St Ives in August of 1808." (Gwen Long)

"This is great!!!! I lived there for a short while, when my father was stationed in the U.S. Air Force. I can share the best time of my life with my child. This is the most wonderful place I have ever lived. Thank you for sharing a piece of my childhood with my child." (Tangela Huggins)

"Thank you very much for a most informative website. We are thinking about relocating to St Ives, and it was the only website that I could find that gave me a sense of what it might be like to live there. It looks beautiful! I would be most appreciative if you could email me to let me know the travelling time to and from Huntingdon in peak hour traffic. We may be working in Huntingdon, and are trying to find an appropriate living place that has facilities etc but is not too far away (travel time), and has good schools. If this is an inappropriate request, then my apologies, and please ignore my request. I am aware that you may get lots of requests like this. Many thanks again for a wonderful website." (Alison and Shane Ryan, Adelaide, Australia)
St Ives would certainly be worth considering. I have a page that lists our local estate agents. I can drive from St Ives to Huntingdon Railway Station in 15 minutes, but it would probably take at least twice as long in peak time. Much depends on which part of Huntingdon you are going to! (PG)

"Having family that have lived in Hemingford Grey and Abbotts (that can be traced back to the Domsday book in the Abbotts church) so I'm told. I have lived away since 1972 but come home regularly from Portsmouth as I'm in the Royal Navy. I have had great fun tonight sitting with my two teenage children looking at all the local sights which bring back good memories. It was good to view future and past events to maybe plan our next visit to coincide with one of the events planned. Nice to pick out the historical points and we will walk around now and notice and chat about the oddity sites that we never noticed before.We will be back to view your very informative and interesting site. How about increasing the section on the local pubs and suggested pub crawls/routes/history points to lookout for and local ales?" (Tim Cooper)
There's an interesting history of local pubs in The Pubs of St Ives by Bob Burn-Murdoch, available from the Norris Museum. (PG)

"The site is great and reading through previous post it took me back I reconize some of the names. I was brought up in a village a few miles from St Ives and spent a lot of free time there, the street fair was a favourite and I also remember the barbers shop was another place that I had to visit on occasion. I joined the RAF and was based at Wyton for about 5 years and I still visit when I come to the UK it used to be two or three times a year when my parents were alive, but now every three or four years I still miss the area some of the most pleasent times of my life were spent there." (Colin Sewell, Toronto, Canada)

"hi i enjoyed looking at your site very much. i was lead to it in my search for my family tree. your site makes reference to a francis gathergood i would be grateful if you could please inform me about him. kind regards" (stephen gathergood)
I've now passed on to you Frances Gathergood's email address. (PG)

"Love it and would love to visit it. I am reading a book about a local author, Wycliffe and the Windsor Blue by W.J. Burley from Holywell near Newquay. He mentions such lovely places and it would be a trip of lifetime to come over to England and see these places. My husband and family live in Ontario, Canada but we are originally from Manchester, England but did not travel much when we lived there." (June Meller)
I think you've got the wrong St Ives! This site is about the St Ives in Cambridgeshire, not the Cornish one. (Other people have recently searched this site for references to Virginia Woolf, Barbara Hepworth, Tate St Ives and art gallery - but they too should look in the "other" St Ives in Cornwall.) (PG)

"I like the photos it has... It minds me 4 years ago when I was there... I ashamed because i havent spoken with my friends...Lane Family... But life should continue... kep on updating your nice web bye from Colombia southamerica" (Yuri U. LopezC)

"brilliant" (stanley whitworth)

"Excellent" (Steve Johnson)

"thank you for providing such an interesting and informative web site of my home town." (leanne)

"You have a very informative web site, I like all the historical information and the photos." (Kevin Kracht)

"I lived in St. Ives from 1983-1988 and visited periodically afterward. I am trying to find a friend, Ros Smith, who worked in the publishing and typesetting business in St. Ives, Cambs. If you know her, I'd appreciate your passing on my email address and asking her to write. Likewise, if she has an email address, I'd love to have it. Thank you for your help. I know it's an unusual request, but any help would be appreciated. Thanks again." (Steve Scholar)
If anyone knows Ros Smith, I'd be pleased to send them Steve Scholar's email address. (PG)

I am thinking of moving to St. Ives from the USA and wonder what would be the best way to find out if there are houses or flats to rent?  Many thanks."  (Mary Ferrate)
Please see my Estate Agents and Accomodation page that lists a letting agency. (PG)

"It was very good and interesting." (alison newman)

"It's in HUNTINGDONSHIRE!" (Jonathan Shilleto)
That is where St Ives used to be. In 1974 Huntingdonshire was taken over by Cambridgeshire for local government purposes. However, there is still a determined pressure group hopefully urging its independence. For more about this, see The Huntingdon Society website - but they've yet to convince the Ordnance Survey (and me!) (PG)

"Good to see the old town" ((John Crisp)

"I lived in St. Ives from the age of 6 to 19. 4 Elm Drive. i married an American from Alconberry. The web site is fantastic. I have not been home since 1979. I miss it terribly. I went to St. Ivo School." (Clare (Barnett) Copeland)

"As a regular visitor to St Ives by boat and very interested in the town this was a lovely web site. We visited the town by road last January and remember the floods well. The places to visit and where to eat were especially helpful as boaters like to eat out regularly. We also like to keep up with whats going on in the town ie. festivals etc. Keep up the good work." (Mrs. Liz Parker)

"The reason for my post, is I am trying to get in touch with Paul and Jane Freeman.... Paul is a friend of mine, and we worked together briefly at National Flight Services in Toledo, Ohio. I have no current phone numbers, and have had numerous dead end searches.. and saw his name on your website.. If possible, could you ask him to contact me? Thank you for your time." (Brad McDonald)
I'm afraid I no longer have Paul and Jane Freeman's email address. All I know is that they came from Sarnia, Ontario. It must have been five years ago that they got in touch with me. However, I'll add your message to my site, just in case they see it. Sorry I can't be more helpful. (PG)

"cool site's good to see St.Ives getting it's face out there on the net. I was born there but i emmigrated to was good to see it again. :) i like the list of local web pages." (Matt Kirbezinski)

"enjoyed the short travelogue on St Ives, I stayed there many years ago on a fishing weekend and it struck me as a "nice" place to live. I am currently planning to relocate and it is on my wish list." (

"I think the site is very good. Great to see photos of places I´ve been to. Got my sister and her family living in St.Ives."(Peter Pettersson)

"I enjoyed it enormously. My daughter Maaike lives in St. Ives so my husband and I are regular visitors. Please go on with it. Especially the photographs are so nice to look at, I was surprised to see even the snow that recently fell!" (Bea Bloemen, Tolkamer, Holland)

"I found the site very interesting and the photographs just amazing, It was so nice to visit the old St. Ives as I remember it from my younger days." (Mrs Collins)

Go on to WHAT YOU SAY (6)