St Ives NOW! June-July 2020

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The magazine for your town & around


June – July 2020

Dementia Friendly Community Successes and growth

St Ives in Bloom Team

Commemorating the Railways

KICK! St Ives Youth work charity Now in its 10th year

Events diary Updates and latest information

Love St Ives

June – July 2020

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June – July 2020

What’s in the latest issue of St Ives NOW! Welcome to you the latest, albeit slimline issue, of St Ives NOW! The current situation seems to change day by day, and there is some confusion over official guidelines and recommendations. Fortunately it appears the majority of us are erring on the side of caution, preferring to stay safe, and protect others. However, hopefully we are emerging from the crisis. In this issue we have endeavoured to keep you informed of the situation regarding local events, venues and activities. Whilst facilities are closed many have online updates and activities. Our Events Diary and what’s happening pages give details and contact information.

St Ives Electric Riverboat Co Sail out of ‘lockdown’ with our Special half hour, Self-Drive Boat Service. From The Quay St Ives,

In addition to the printed version, St Ives NOW! is also now available online at: For the JuneJuly issue we will update advertisers information and the editorial content to make sure you are kept up to date. So it is worth checking online as this period progress. Like everyone, we can’t praise highly enough the hard work carried out by those in essential services. The sacrifice and commitment made by workers in the NHS is and the ranks of volunteers humbling. Hopefully we will all be united with friends and loved ones soon. Stay safe. The image on our cover of this issue is from a beautiful painting by local artist John Bell -

The St Ives Now! Team St Ives NOW! is published bi-monthly by The Artworks Publisher: Jerry Hills Tel: 01487 842687. Email Editorial: Gilly Jackson. Email Advertising sales: Pat Morgan Tel: 07413 130354. Email

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June – July 2020

Events diary

If you have an event you would like us to list in our August – September issue, email

At the time of going to press, events, fairs and group meetings are still not taking place. Please check with the event or group organiser for the latest update. We hope the following information will help.

Just so you know: • Treasure Island Family Fun Day, Holt Island and The Norris Museum... will not be held this year, but will be back in May 2021. So save your Treasure Island adventures until then! • Cambridgeshire Libraries remain closed as per Government advice. We are working on an opening offer in line with the Phase three of Government plan to re-open public venues, which will be no earlier than July. To keep up to date and engage in our digital offer visit uk and click on Libraries

The DFC Group announces that all face-to-face activities listed are suspended for the foreseeable future. Please contact those names listed to check for further news as circumstances change. During the lock-down period, however, some activities are now available online or via Zoom. Details for those are to be found on page xx

• Screen St Ives: All screenings cancelled for the foreseeable time. Up-to-date information from or

MEMORY LANE SINGING CAFÉ Normally second Monday of the month 1.30 to 3.30 pm. George 07725 588145 or Sam 07851 931099

• St Ives Corn Exchange is closed for the time being. Please contact groups direct for more information. For queries please contact or Tel 01480 496454 / 01480 496955 • The Norris Museum is currently closed. The public are advised to follow the museum on Facebook where any announcements regarding reopening will be posted. Also See page xx’ • RBL Womens Section current meetings cancelled. • Darby and Joan Club meetings currently cancelled. • Charity Concert for Kidney Cancer UK with Neil Richardson. This event has been postponed to a later date. 4

Dementia Friendly Community group activities

LOVE TO MOVE Normally first, third, fourth and fifth Mondays of the month 1.30 to 3.30 pm (includes reminiscence sessions). Polly 07721 068606 or George 07725 588145 But see also page xx REMINISCENCE SESSIONS Normally first and third Wednesday of every month 10.30 to 11.30 am. Susan, Community Officer 01480 49731 But see also page xx FRIENDSHIP LUNCHES Normally first Wednesday of the month 12.30 for 1 pm. Heather on 01487 841543 DEMENTIA CAFÉ Normally third Tuesday of every month 10 to 12 am. Ian 01480 385999

READ A LITTLE ALOUD Normally third Tuesday of the month 2 to 3 pm. Fay 01223 706803 or 07342 700308 EARLY ONSET CARERS SESSIONS Normally third Monday of every month 3-5 pm in the Golden Lion. Ruth RIVERPORT SINGERS DEMENTIA FRIENDLY COMMUNITY CHOIR Normally rehearsals every Thursday in school terms 10 – 11.30 am in the Corn Exchange Agi 07757 811802 But see also page xx DEMENTIA FRIENDS SESSIONS Normally once a month in the Corn Exchange. Contact Ian 01480 385999. But see also p xx

Please contact the following groups direct for information: St Ives Gardening Club: St Ives & District Flower Club: Ouida Ashcroft 01480 880658 Civic Society of St Ives talks: Wildlife Trust: Spring Walks. For information contact 07775 365507. St Ives Adult Learning at St Ivo Academy: Summer term courses, with variable start dates, please visit or 01480 495717 Tabletop board games: Friday Night is Dance Night! 01480 496454. Riverport WI: COPE: Angie 01480 300726 St Ives Choral Society:

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June – July 2020


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Philip Pope, town councillor, former town mayor and landlord of Floods, standing outside his pub on the Broadway, organised a service with 2 minute silence which was a brilliant way for residents and passers-by to take part in the Remembrance and Celebration for VE Day last month. A note from Phil: I must say thank you to Father Mark Amey for leading us in prayers, and to everyone who helped me realise this ‘last minute vision’. What an absolutely incredible day, so emotional and joyous! I think St Ives is amazing! So many people waving, singing and dancing as they passed by. What a great community we have. And thank you so much to all those in our Armed Forces past and present for keeping us all safe! I really appreciated all the lovely messages I received following the day. Thank you Phil. It was good to have a day of celebration amidst these challenging times.




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June – July 2020

FESTIVAL EVENTS ST IVES Due to the coronavirus pandemic, FESt has been unable to move forward with its annual summer events as so many issues involved have been put on hold. As soon as we are advised it is safe to organise gatherings, and we have permission, we will put our plans in place. FESt will be ready and able to go as soon as we can!

SUNDAY 21st JUNE Picnic in the Park - now postponed SUNDAYS in AUGUST Music on The Waits

2.30—4 pm, The Waits. Free Admission Music on the Waits concerts currently postponed. But look out for more information as the situation evolves.


12 noon—3 pm, Corn Exchange, Market Hill. Free Admission Come and see Santa and the Chief Snowman arrive by boat at The Quay on 5th December. Entry to the grotto is free and each child receives a gift.


10 am to 4 pm. Corn Exchange, Market Hill Free Admission. Popular Art and Photography exhibition.

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June – July 2020

LIVE MUSIC ON HOLD As we are in ‘uncharted territory’ now due to the Coronavirus, Pubs and Bars are still closed, as we go to print. But please keep in touch with your favourite music haunts for updates when the time is right. This magazine acknowledges how hard it is for everyone, not forgetting the musicians we have loved to hear.

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St Ives, Huntingdon & Surrounding Villages

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June – July 2020

Town Team News Although we are gradually coming out of lockdown it seems that events, where people gather in large numbers, are unlikely to take place again for some time. As a result the Town Team has put on hold its usual programme of concerts, festivals and markets until further notice. We were hopeful that some events, planned for later in the year, may go ahead, however that now looks uncertain and even September’s popular Old Riverport Jazz & Blues Festival may be affected. The Team will make a decision whether to cancel this year’s event at the end of June. Before the lockdown we announced that the successful Port on the River Exhibition, which we held in the Norris Museum in the first three months of 2020 was going to travel and be on show at the old courtrooms in Huntingdon Town Hall. It was to be part of the Huntingdonshire History Festival in July, however that too has been cancelled.

Other work also affected The main role of the Town Team is to keep the high street viable. We promote St Ives as an attractive place for visitors to come and enjoy and work with other groups to improve the appearance of the town. The events that we put on are only part of this work. Sadly all our work is on hold due to social distancing. There was little point in advertising for people to visit St Ives during lockdown. However, we look forward to being able to actively promote the town again. One of our projects, which we have raised the funds for, is to improve two more of the roundabouts on roads into town. We hope to be able to start work on these soon. Another project is to improve the look of empty premises and we are also hopeful to be able to provide attractive visuals for the old Molise restaurant in Bridge Street in the next couple of months. We hope to be able to give you better news in the next issue. May 19th 2020


June – July 2020

Dementia Friendly Community Group News We are delighted to report that if you had previously enjoyed our Love to Move, Reminiscence and Riverport Singers sessions you can continue to enjoy them online or via Zoom in the comfort of your own homes! • Love to Move This gentle, seated exercise class is great fun and easy to follow with Kim Hall’s video which you will find at: https://

• Riverport Singers Community Choir Now you can join Agi Peach in a fun Zoom session each week for some chat and fun singing. It is simple to download Zoom from Google. Then make sure Agi has your email address to send you the invite to join the sessions. They are on Thursday mornings from 10.30 am for half-an-hour. Contact Agi at

You can also find other pre-recorded classes on YouTube, including one delivered by Jane Thomas:

Photograph by Ian Jackson

Our advice is to have a go at least once a week – a full session takes about an hour but you can pause at any time! There are also shorter (40 min) live sessions broadcast on the British Gymnastics Foundation’s Facebook from Monday to Friday, delivered by various leaders. • Reminiscence sessions Susan Bate from the Norris Museum has now created six short video sessions each reflecting a reminiscing theme. Follow the links, sit back and enjoy those past memories prompted by Susan’s soothing voice. She is keen to hear your stories!



Favourite Bedtime Stories Washing, Ironing and Household Chores

Polishing Your Shoes Television Cooking at Home and the Sunday Roast

The Kitchen

Normal rehearsals will restart once we can gather again!

Dementia Friends sessions Although the public DF sessions have had to cease you can still become a Dementia Friend yourself online by visiting uk. Alternatively, you can now arrange personal Zoom session to your home delivered by a Champion. This is the link to follow: https:// or contact Ian on 01480 385999 or to make sure you get a local Champion

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June – July 2020

What’s New and Happening • The Norris Museum is currently closed, but you can still get involved. Exhibition Collecting

youth friendly. If you would like to find out more contact Susan *

Hannah Vandridge at the museum tells us that there are plans an exhibition to be launched once the museum reopens. This will be Covid-19 from the perspective of local people sharing their experiences of living through these unprecedented times of lockdown, asking everyone to create “in the moment” record of their experiences.

• Huntingdonshire Volunteer Centre Community Car Scheme

They would like to know how this has affected your day-today life, how you feel about being at home, the challenges you face, the unexpected delights you have discovered, and the things you have finally achieved! So tell them how are you keeping busy, and anything else that is relevant to you.

• Renovations and Upgrades. Be sure to check out your local favourite restaurant/ café as some have been using the lockdown period to renovate their premises, ready for when they can re-open.

Hannah says there are all sorts of ways that this can be done, from keeping diaries to painting pictures, photos, videos of new isolation activities, to scrapbooks of significant things at this time. And please keep any rainbow pictures you have. If we all do this, a very special record of our community in this most unique of times will be created. A Creative Challenge: what you can do The staff are making things at home which are inspired by the museum. They would like people to join in this, to share their creations and feel connected digitally through our own mini museums and hopefully some to feature in the exhibition. You can see the museum creations and activity ideas on social media platforms and on their YouTube channel ( com/channel/UC_HB4Mq807e_34xovTQbGA) People can get involved by either making something that is suggested or by coming up with something entirely different, from junk modelling to crochet! People are invited to share their creations and experiences via our social media or by sending to

• The Norris Museum is launching a Youth Panel for young people aged 14-18 to help ensure the museums exhibitions, programmes and marketing strategies are 10

More drivers needed!. If you can help, please call Debbie on 01480 301462

• Stagecoach Buses in the East supporting the community With various initiatives, such as encouraging primary age school children to design artwork for the front of their buses and have provided free bus travel for NHS workers, they supporting the community and are working to making their buses as safe as possible to use. Please note that if you pay by cash, Stagecoach buses now only accept exact fares and will not be giving change. Any left-over change will be donated to the Captain Tom Foundation. A Stagecoach spokesperson said: “The safety of our passengers and employees remains our absolute priority. With the extensive measures we have in place, and with passengers following all of the social distancing and other guidelines, customers can continue to have confidence in buses. The steps we have taken to keep our buses safe does mean that capacity on individual vehicles will be significantly lower as we ease out of lockdown. We would therefore recommend customers consider this in planning their journeys and avoid traditionally busier times of the day. More flexible work patterns that enable people to spread their travel throughout the day will help to ensure that public transport can help to support the gradual re-opening of our economy and the steps towards our new normal way of life.”

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June – July 2020


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June – July 2020

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June – July 2020

SIIB remembers the railway in St Ives Major Project There is a plan for the corner of Station Road and Harrison Way to remind us of the time when the railways from Cambridge, March, Ely and Huntingdon met at the St Ives junction, before closure under the Beeching era. The Station itself was the other side of Harrison Way and was demolished to make way for the new bypass. The smart Victorian building, The Railway Hotel, is now the offices of Thomas Quinn Accountants.

A town effort Now a combined effort led by local volunteer group St Ives in Bloom (SIIB), Volunteers have been keeping the new sponsored by Thomas Station Road flowerbed watered as they pass Quinn and Waitrose, by on their “essential exercise”. has built a raised bed on the corner by the crossing. This is made from reclaimed railway sleepers supplied by Bannolds and planted with droughtresistant plants. The Town Team are supporting this design to produce a station-themed welcome display for visitors entering the town with other businesses along Station Road involved in celebrating and improving that end of town.

History board Meanwhile, the Town Council and the Civic Society are creating and installing a history board to explain how the area developed with the railway and the ‘new’ market.

Railway closed to passengers in 1970 Passenger services continued through into the 1960s, with eighty trains a day. The last working steam train passed in 1963 and the Station was unstaffed from June 1967 and finally closed to passengers in 1970. The freight service remained open as far as Histon for seasonal deliveries of fruit to Chivers (ceased 1983) and a second service as far as Fen Drayton was retained for transporting aggregates until 1992. Occasional passenger charters, taking groups on day trips to places such as Stevenage and Great Yarmouth visited the Station until the late 1980s. The St Ives bypass (A1096) was built on the course of the line from the north; while the guided busway travels along most of the Cambridge to St Ives route. SIIB hope that you will walk along Station Road remembering the key transport links which still play their part in St Ives today.

Station buildings (now demolished) and the station yard between the lines to Huntingdon and Somersham.

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In 1846 the large estates to the east of St Ives ‘by law’ had to sell their land to the new Railway companies who quickly built across the fens from Cambridge to Godmanchester (opened 1847), and from March (1848). Later (1866) the line from Ely was constructed and the

Godmanchester line was extended to Huntingdon. A Victorian suburb soon grew between Market Hill and the Station, with new industries developing next to the railway. In 1886 the cattle market was moved from The Broadway to the area that is now Waitrose and the town Bus Station.

June – July 2020

St Ives Town Council helping the community What have they been up to? Alison Benfield, our town clerk tells us: Like everyone the current situation has impacted on the Town Council with the Town Hall currently closed to the public. Working from home, the office staff have been supporting the community through the Community Hub. This hub was formed from groups and individuals in the town to support the vulnerable and in need. The hub has focussed on providing advice and help for people in the town who do not have access to the wealth of advice available on-line. We have produced and circulated 3 small booklets of information and contact details, especially if you are isolating. We have set up a dedicated telephone line – 01480 88 43 43 – for those who need help.

Street Wardens To help reduce the risk of someone in distress who does not have access to online support going unnoticed, we are putting together a group of Street Wardens. Each Street Warden commits simply to walk around their allocated streets at least once every 24 hours, just to look out for anyone who has put a red hand symbol (part of the booklet) in their window, or who is showing any other sign of distress. If the Street Warden sees any signs, they are asked to contact their local coordinator, or the Town Hall, who will then assess how they can best offer assistance. If you are interested in finding out more please contact us.

Help with Contact Another initiative for those without internet access, is the loan of tablets and 4g WIFI units to allow people to see family members or speak to their doctor face-to-face though Zoom. We have five units available to borrow by anyone without their own smart phone/tablet or laptop/pc. They are very easy to use and come with full instructions. So if you need to borrow one or you know of someone who would benefit from using one, please do get in touch and we can make the arrangements.

01480 388929 email: Community Hub dedicated line 01480 884343


Meet the new Town Mayor My name is Jonathan Pallant and I am the new Town Mayor for St Ives. Having grown up locally, I work in the town and live here with Carrie my wife, our two daughters and our lab-collie cross. I am an engineer at a town-based company, although recently working from home. I love St Ives for many reasons. It’s a beautiful town, which has grown without losing its charm, has many thriving businesses as well as much needed housing, intermixed with plentiful green spaces. I’m a big supporter of green initiatives, which I plan to promote. But of course, above all, St Ives is defined by its people, and I have been staggered by the hard work of the volunteers in the town. Thank you all and I will highlight your efforts, and in particular at this time, the work of Timebank, the St Ives Foodbank, and the St Ives Community Hub, who have been working to help people in need. I’m proud to call St Ives my home, and look forward to working with everyone to ensure St Ives remains a great place even as we move through these uncertain times. If you have any questions for me, or would like to tell me about an amazing group working in the town, please contact me on civic@ Follow the council activities Twitter (@stivestowncounc), Facebook ( and on our website. ( And a few words too, from our new Deputy Mayor, Pasco Hussein I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Community for supporting me through my business ventures and helping me get elected to the Town Council. I am honoured to be elected as the Deputy Town Mayor and I love this picture postcard town with a wonderful community that has been there for me and my family. I will do my utmost to serve this town and the community, as I always have, especially in the current time as we are facing more difficulty than we are used to. Massive thank you to the NHS and all the key workers working in this difficult time and helping us get through. I ask we do the same to help them; stay alert and save lives. Thank you so much, hope to see you all soon, take care and God bless.

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