Page 1

The magazine for your town & around


October – November 2020

Water Voles make a welcome return to the Great Ouse Valley See page 12

St Ives Transport Study What the planners are thinking

Good News! Latest from the Norris Museum

You can help keep our town alive Update from the Town Team

Events diary Updates and latest information

Love St Ives

October – November 2020

Normal opening times B1040 to Somersham

PROFESSIONAL FITTING SERVICE AVAILABLE For helpful and friendly advice, pop in and talk to Jon or Emma Pratt, your local tiling experts

Marley Road

OPENING HOURS Monday - Friday 8.30am - 5pm Saturday 8.30am - 1 pm Nuffield Road

Units 2 & 3 Monsal Works Somersham Road, St Ives Cambridgeshire, PE27 3LY

BP PETROL St Audreys Lane


We are her e

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October – November 2020

What’s inside this issue

AL www.sStiO ONLINE vesnow .com

We hope you are keeping well and coping with the changing situation. The latest restrictions can make it seem like we are taking one step forward and two back however, hopefully, every day we get closer to a solution to the threat of Covid 19. Once again our events diary provides updates on local venues, societies and groups. It’s great news that Holt Island, following bridge repairs, is open again at weekends. The Norris Museum has also re-opened it’s doors, and is welcoming visitors, with the appropriate Covid measures in place. More on this in our feature on page 11. Cambridgeshire County Council has just published an Options Assessment Report, for the ongoing St Ives Transport Study. As it is over 500 pages long David Stewart, Chairman of The Civic Society of St Ives gives his analysis. See page 8. It is a frustrating time for St Ives Town Team, having had to cancel their 2020 schedule. The voluntary group has organised many events which have grown in popularity year on year, as well as continually seeking ways to promote the Town, benefitting visitors, residents and businesses. Now more than ever input from new members would be welcome. Find out how you could get involved on page 11. Our regular feature, Tales from the river bank, highlights the fantastic news that water voles are making a re-appearance in our area. There is a account by Rob Adamson, who also took the our wonderful cover photo, of his encounter with these iconic little creatures. Article on page 12. We hope you can enjoy the autumn and make the most of this special season. Best wishes. Stay safe.

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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Get in touch with us! 01480 493400 17 Bridge Street St. Ives PE27 5EH

An exhibition of art and photography Saturday 12th December St Ives Corn Exchange • 10 am to 4 pm An opportunity to buy that special Christmas Gift This event will follow safety guidelines for Covid 19

Coffee Shop • Free Entrance If you are interested in exhibiting at ArtsFESt contact Pat: email

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October – November 2020

Events diary

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

As guide lines during the Coronavirus pandemic are continuing to change, please check with the event or group organiser for the latest update. We hope the following information will help, which is correct at the time of going to press. Thank you.

Just so you know: • Holt Island Nature Reserve is now open each Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm until the end of October, and possibly longer depending on the weather and safety guidelines. When on the island please follow the one-way system, and help keep it a virussafe place to be. • The Rotary Club of St Ives are holding a Christmas Craft Fair on Sunday 29th November 2020 from 11 am to 4 pm at Slepe Hall Hotel. Contact secretary@ for any queries. • St Ives Corn Exchange

Huntingdonshire Philatelic Stamp Fair with Post Cards is due to be held on 24th October 10 am to 3 pm. To check, contact 01480 468037 Craft markets are to be held on 3rd October and 7th & 8th November. Flea Markets are 17th October and 14th & 21st November. The Saints Crafters Christmas Fair will be on 28th November. The venue is also open for the Monday weekly and Saturday monthly indoor markets. However the public toilets remain closed. Please contact groups and classes direct or check social media for any updates. For more information call the Corn Exchange 01480 496454 or email manager@thecornexchange.

• The Norris Museum is now open, with safety measures in place, Monday to Saturday 10 am to 4 pm (October to 4

April timing). Please follow the museum on Facebook for further announcements www.norrismuseum. see page 11.

Dementia Friendly Community group activities The DFC Group announces that all faceto-face activities listed are currently suspended. Please contact those names listed below for further news as circumstances change. Some activities are now available online or via Zoom. MEMORY LANE SINGING CAFÉ George 07725 588145 or Sam 07851 931099 LOVE TO MOVE Polly 07721 068606 or George 07725 588145

Please keep in touch with community groups direct for latest details. Meantime, here is some updated information for you. St Ives WI hope to resume meetings by the end of the year, contact: St Ives Gardening Club, speakers are cancelled for November, and will be rebooked for 2021. St Ives & District Flower Club. The November meeting has been cancelled, but they hope to get back to normal meetings in 2021. Ouida Ascroft 01480 880658 Civic Society of St Ives Talks. The committee have reluctantly decided they cannot hold any further Open Meetings at present. Wildlife Trust : Spring Walks. For information contact 07775 365507. St Ives Adult Learning at St Ivo Academy: Visit or 01480 495717

REMINISCENCE SESSIONS Susan, Community Officer Norris Museum 01480 49731

Arts Society Huntingdonshire lectures. They plan to resume their lectures in January 2021, subject to Public Health advice.

FRIENDSHIP LUNCHES Heather on 01487 841543

Tabletop board games. They cannot restart in-person sessions yet but are holding virtual meetings each fortnight.

DEMENTIA CAFÉ Ian 01480 385999 READ A LITTLE ALOUD Fay 01223 706803 or 07342 7003082 EARLY ONSET CARERS SESSIONS Ruth

The Royal British Legion Women’s Section. Branch activities will not resume until March 2021 at the earliest. Friday Night is Dance Night! 01480 496454.


Riverport WI:


St Ives Choral Society:

COPE: Angie 01480 300726

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October – November 2020

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October – November 2020


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October – November 2020

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October – November 2020

Our roads – what the planners are thinking... The St Ives Transport Study is ongoing and Cambridgeshire County Council has just published an Options Assessment Report. The report is over 500 pages long, in five volumes, containing a lot of detail. There has been no public consultation, so we are grateful to David Stewart, Chairman of The Civic Society of St Ives for offering his analysis for us. A study on the A141 around Huntingdon and the St Ives study were combined This is because the two are geographically close. This study looked at the new infrastructure needed for both the growth envisaged in the Huntingdonshire Local Plan (HLP) and three further possible development sites at Gifford’s Park, Needingworth, Wyton Airfield, and an area described only as ‘north of Huntingdon’. The HLP allows for planned growth to 2036 and these further sites allow possible development of up to 2,200, 4,500 and 4,500 homes respectively, also by 2036 but see comments below. In my view the main findings are: • Plans for a Third River Crossing have been abandoned in favour of a new single carriageway Huntingdon Northern Bypass. Starting at the Wyton-on-the-Hill roundabout on the A141 the new route would turn south west and end at the Spittals Roundabout on the A1307 (ex A14). Sawtry Way would become the through route to/from St Ives. The completion of this would allow for the additional 4,500 homes at Wyton Airfield but only 2,250 north of Huntingdon.

Broad Leas/Globe Place/East Street) are recommended to be altered to make the bus route the through route. • The roundabout at the BP Garage/ Tesco junction to be replaced by a ‘T’ junction with traffic lights. • The Needingworth Road/St Audrey Lane junction should be made No Right Turn out of Needingworth Road. (i.e. banned towards the BP garage). No Public Consultation Whilst the reports have been published, there was no Public Consultation. This is regrettable because some proposals do not fit with local experience of the problems. Further recommendations Other improvements in the town were recommended for further study • Bus Stop infrastructure improvements (weather protection/bus timetables/next bus due). • Cycle Way signing and surfacing improvements. • A general Signage Audit and a detailed look at the problems caused by Pinch Points, (narrow streets/parking in inappropriate places). I welcome these further studies, because I believe most residents of the town, including our Councillors, know the problems. But the money to rectify the problems has not been available, and so the studies may unlock the necessary funds.

• Rat running through St Ives to avoid delays on the main routes will be discouraged, either by a 20 mph speed limit or, more likely, by speed reduction measures such as humps, road narrowing etc. • Junctions priority on the bus route through the town (Ramsey Road/North Road/ 8

Read more The website states ‘Stage One of the study is now complete and the Options Assessment Report has been published. Subject to approval at the Highways and Transport Committee on 15 September 2020, the recommendations in the report will be considered for further funding. The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority approved additional funding in August 2020 for a wider strategic study of St Ives to investigate unlocking future growth for the town.’ You can read the full report at: uk/residents/travel-roads-and-parking/transport-funding-bids-andstudies/st-ives-transport-study David Stewart, Chairman of The Civic Society of St Ives • You can support the Society by becoming a member, details are on their website

To advertise in St Ives NOW! email: or call 07413 130354

October – November 2020

Celebrating our 8th Year in the salon What an interesting year it has been! Thank you to all our regular and new clients for your support during these unusual times.


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October – November 2020

Registered under the Charities Act 1960. No.257286

The committee of the Society has reluctantly decided that, until the new law limiting the numbers attending meetings is relaxed, the Society will not hold any further Open Meetings. The Society works to retain the historic character and heritage of our Town for future generations. Our work continues, the Committee meets remotely each month.

Fine Indian Dining 25% OFF Tuesday and

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To find more about the Society, to become a member, or to receive our email newsletter, you can make your request through the Contact page of our website:

OPENING TIMES: Closed Monday Tues - Thur - 5.30pm - 10.00pm Fri - Sat - 5.30pm - 10.00pm Sun - 5.30pm - 10.00pm

David Stewart

Tel: 01480 465888. Email:

Chairman: Civic Society of St Ives

8 Manor Mews, Bridge Street, St. Ives PE27 5UW

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To advertise in St Ives NOW! email: or call 07413 130354

October – November 2020

Good news from the Norris Museum The team at The Norris Museum are really pleased to announce that they have now re-opened to the public! Subject to any further government restrictions, the museum is open 10 am to 4 pm from Monday to Saturday. They have also implemented ‘Covid security measures’ such as requesting Test and Trace details from all visitors, a one way system through the galleries, and ask that people wear face masks/coverings during their visit.

Update from the Town Team Normally at this time of year we report on our events, past and future. Sadly the coronavirus has caused us to cancel all of our 2020 programme, designed to provide fun and enjoyment and attract visitors to our charming town centre. For the past 6 years the Town Team has organised an amazing number of events, supported by town businesses and other community groups. As well as creating a lively atmosphere, all of these events are designed to help our town remain busy and viable.

Sadly they are currently unable to host their usual children’s activities, but Hannah, the Learning and Outreach Officer, has created craft packs that you can buy from the museum and use at home. Retailing for £5, the activity pack contains everything you need for crafty fun at home, including materials, fact cards, stickers and a mystery gift.

Their current temporary exhibition is Covid-19: Your Voices, Your Experiences and documents how the community has coped during lockdown. It is an evolving exhibition, continually being added to, so please go along and share your story with them. The Norris Museum, 41 The Broadway, The Old Riverport, St Ives, Cambs,PE27 5BX. 01480 497314,

So it is a concern that just at a time when our town needs more help, we have had to put some of our activities on hold. As a result the Town Team is looking at other ways we can promote St Ives and do things to help attract shoppers.

You can help keep our town alive

One way everyone can help, is to simply by buy local whenever possible. St Ives is a great little town and most residents enjoy living here because it is not only attractive but offers so much. That is at risk, particularly in the town centre, if too many of our shops close. Before lockdown, The District Council and Combined Authority had discussed plans to improve the town centre and it is likely that some of these ideas may start to take shape over the next year. We are aware there is the opportunity to revitalise the town centre, and the Town Team hope to be involved with our ideas to make a difference.

Can you help the Team? The Town Team is a community group made up entirely of volunteers. We normally meet monthly (except August and December), currently by zoom, as a group and anyone who is interested in helping keep our town thriving can attend our meetings. We are always keen to get new ideas and if you feel you would like to contribute to the life of St Ives please make contact. If you can spare a couple of hours each month please get in touch by email to Or write to Sheila Stones, Chairman, St Ives Town Team, Town Hall, Market Hill, The Old Riverport, St Ives, Cambs, PE27 5AL

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October – November 2020

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A regular series of stories from the Great Ouse Valley Trust Ratty Returns Remember Ratty from Wind in the Willows? One of our Trustees was delighted to be introduced to him again this week by a man in St Ives who sees Ratty in his true guise just about every evening through the summer. Ratty is of course a Water Vole and we are happy to say he appears to be making a comeback along the Great Ouse Valley. Conditions have to be just right and Rob Adamson is lucky that his home, a narrowboat, is moored very close to some lush reedbeds, just off the main river. This is what happened. Rob pointed out a slight twitching in the stems, and a scrunching, munching noise, a bit like a pair of scissors snipping. A reed stem disappeared as it was pulled back out of sight. We waited as more rustling occurred and then – hey presto - a pair of beady eyes appeared and then a round, chestnut head and shoulders took a full look. What a treat! See for yourself This was mid-afternoon. Rob explained that the voles are more active in the evening when he often hears them squeaking to one another – probably debating who gets which reed! Sometimes they swim from one patch to another. They seem to prefer backwater channels which are less disturbed by boat wash. They have appeared in Rob’s location in the last three years and numbers are increasing. So why not try and spot one for yourself? Choose a warm, still evening along a quiet, reedy backwater. If you can see some reeds neatly chopped off short you are in a good place. Listen intently. Be still and patient. You could be rewarded by a glimpse of one of the most enchanting mammals along the Great Ouse Valley. Thank you Rob. We are lucky to have such opportunities. If you are interested in the activities of the Great Ouse Valley Trust to protect, conserve and enhance our beautiful surroundings you can follow us on Facebook and visit

Photograph by Rob Adamson

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Tales from the riverbank

October – November 2020

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The Methodist Church updates us on renovations Such a difference River, island, birds and fish - look out for all of them in the new artwork outside The Methodist Church because we want our new church to reflect as much of the community around us as possible and we are thrilled with the design our blacksmith has created to enhance the beauty of the western section of the St Ives riverfront. We have been able to retain precious heritage features in the building, including the charming brick arches over the old small windows in the front entrance which now give a view from The Waits right into the church and link the congregation with the town outside. We have improved accessibility as well including signage helpful to those with dementia. The Church hopes to re-open in a limited way (with Covid-19 restrictions) for worship during October. We are very excited about being able to welcome friends old and new into other parts of the building in the new year.

Revd Heather Walker for the Project Team, 01480 350270

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October – November 2020

What’s New • Waitrose & Partners store in St Ives now runs a Click and Collect service. This gives customers the option to plan, order and pay online, then collect from the branch with their groceries already packed! There is a minimum spend required of £40 and your shopping is carefully and freshly picked by their branch team, with collection available in hourly slots, booked to suit you. Visit for more details and to book your slot! • The ALDI supermarket is now open in St Ives. It feels light, airy, and safe, with easy parking. • The Courtyard, next to Hyperion, is expanding rapidly now with 32 business in a box outlets offering a fantastic range of products from waffles & crepes, to flowers and vintage ware. You can browse and have coffee there too. See the back page of this magazine. • Zzohanna restaurant by the Bridge is still encouraging us to eat out by offering 25% off food bills (not including alcoholic drinks) up to £5 per person on a Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s welcome to Rachel Walmsley who has been appointed as Deputy Director of The Norris Museum. Rachel is hopeful that by the spring she will have news of an exciting programme of events and projects. The staff at the museum are so pleased though to be able to have visitors back. See our events diary.

• It’s also no for the Michaelmas Fair this year. The Fair usually fills our town centre for 3 days in autumn, but unfortunately it cannot happen at the moment. So 2021 should be a great year for our favourite events! • Santa will of course still be coming on 25th December. But before that, also on hold this winter is Santa arriving by boat, and his free Grotto normally held in the Corn Exchange for 3 weekends in December. However, the organisers FESt (Festival Events St Ives) are still planning on helping Santa! Watch this space!

... and is happening! • Only for one day, but FESt are hoping to hold their annual ArtsFESt exhibition in the Corn Exchange on 12th December. See page 3. • Yes, let it snow! We expect there will be lots of snowmen about this winter as there are plans being made for the Snowman Festival 2020. It’s difficult to make firm plans just yet, but the organisers say please remember to come into town to see what’s new, and look out for details on websites and social media, and through schools. They will also announce ways you can be part of the festival. So please look out for more details.

• Stagecoach have announced they are simplifying their A, B and rural connecting services. So this is good news, and please check their website for details before travelling. • Tookeys restaurant in the Free Church is now open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. • It’s the 40 year anniversary since The Free Church (United Reformed) of St Ives was re-opened following extensive remodelling in 1979/80.

Please note that this column was compiled on 28th September, so please accept that the information is correct at time of going to press. Thank you

The full story of the renovations will be in the next issue of St Ives NOW! magazine.

Sadly, it’s not all good news: • Fireworks in Hemingford cannot be held this November, but there are plans for 2021! In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and Government guidelines, the decision had to be made to cancel this years’ display, so organisers are planning for a spectacular event on the 6th November next year. 14

St Ives Rowing club eight out for first time after lockdown, and before rule of 6!

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October – November 2020

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October – November 2020

ROTARY SUPPORT FOR SAVING LIVES Donating a Public Access Defibrillator The Rotary Club of St Ives are absolutely delighted to have officially handed over the public access defibrillator that they have donated for use in the town centre, an example how they use funds donated to them by the generous local community. Even in difficult times like these, they tell us, it is good to still be able to make a difference within St Ives. The purchase of the PAD was inspired by local First Responder John Fagg, and the Rotary Club of St Ives thank all involved in helping to make this happen. This is the first continuously available outdoors PAD within St Ives Town centre, which they hope will make a significant difference to the well-being of our community. The PAD is situated at the corner of Priory Road and Station Road on the side wall of Nuts Bistro, and is available for use at any time.

Coffee break crossword Across


7 Engrave with acid (4)

1 Odour (6)

8 Unequal (3-5)

2 Old form of you (4)

9 Belittle (13)

3 Politician’s badge (7)

10 Husky (7)

4 Divinity (5)

12 Pile (5)

5 Distance across a circle (8)

14 Leers (5)

6 Infected (6)

16 Burnt (7) 19 Close mental application (13) 21 Army dining room (4,4) 22 Near (4)

11 Cloudy (8) 13 Soon (7) 15 Dealer in foodstuffs (6) 17 Adequate (6)

29 Tax (4)

18 Type of filling (5)

30 Prompt (6)

20 Melody (4)

Solution on page 18 16

To advertise in St Ives NOW! email: or call 07413 130354

October – November 2020

Back on the Road Again - Mobile Libraries Return. Mobile libraries returned to the roads of Cambridgeshire on 21st of September with a fleet headed by two brand new vehicles. As access to the vehicle is limited to help keep staff safe, they will provide books selected in advance. Customers can pre-order books to collect from the usual reservation service https://cambridgeshire.spydus. currently FREE of charge, or the New Select and Collect service which allows you to request a collection of books based on your tastes https://cambridgeshire-self. or by calling 0345 045 5225 Simply choose the mobile library as a pick up point and order as far in the advance as possible, (ideally a week) to ensure a selection is ready for you to pick up from your stop. If you have any queries contact the team

The Library Presents… The on-line autumn season of The Library Presents ‘In Your House’ activities begin in October. The Season includes outdoor performances, a radio play and lots of fantastic performances and workshops to enjoy! There will be theatre, music, dance, comedy, magic; workshops for families and adults – no need to look any further. All events have been carefully planned to keep audiences, performers and volunteers safe.

Gas safe Services, Repairs and Installation • Boilers • Heating • Cookers • Boiler installations • Boiler servicing from £55 • Combination boiler conversions • Boiler breakdowns and repairs • Landlord certificates • Thermostat radiator valves fitted • Power flushing • Magnetic filters installed • Unvented cylinders

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Current open times at St Ives Library Just a reminder that the library in St Ives is only open on Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays, 10 am to 2 pm on each of these days. It will be open for returning books, collecting reserved books, Select & Collect. Prebooked PC use. Sorry no browsing is permitted and for everybody’s’ safety, you must wear a mask/face covering when visiting a library, unless you have a legitimate reason for not doing so. or call 0345 045 5225.

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Est 1985 17

October – November 2020

LIVE MUSIC Sadly no more plans for live music yet, but please keep in touch with venues for up-to-date information. THE OLIVER CROMWELL



THE NELSONS HEAD 01480 494454 and facebook


Quiz night on 28th October. Please follow on facebook

IVY LEAF CLUB They will hold ‘covid safe indoor entertainment’ with reggae and soul Ska Dust on October 31st, and then on November 28th the popular duo Son of a Gun. Limited Numbers possible so please book early. Call Kevin on 01480 464431 for information.

Solution to crossword on page 16

This has been an interesting year. We have sailed out of lockdown and weather permitting will operate weekends only until the end of October. Thank you for your support. We Open again St Ives Electric Riverboat Co April 2021.

Tel: 07906 257308 email: 18

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Profile for The Artworks

St Ives NOW!  

The magazine for What's on and happening in and around St Ives

St Ives NOW!  

The magazine for What's on and happening in and around St Ives


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