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Dear Member,

I keep hoping that Summer has arrived but after a few days we lurch back into a cool Spring. The plants seem equally bemused but are putting on a brave show.

Many of you will have heard that a prime Grade 2 Listed Building in the centre of town has been sold. It is, of course, the Golden Lion and Michael Purchas (the owner) told me about this personally a couple of weeks ago. The new owners are the Coaching Inns Group which owns several similar properties throughout the country. The new owners, Kevin and Lily Charity, specialise in taking over and further improving such town centre inns and hotels. Lily's mother used to live in St Ives and thus Lily is well acquainted with St Ives. I have corresponded with Kevin and know that the Company is committed to the conservation of Listed Buildings.

The reason for Michael Purchas selling the Golden Lion has nothing to do with the imminent arrival of J D Wetherspoon. He wanted me to let you know that he is simply scaling down his before retirement.

Some will ask "What about the Robin Hood?". Well, I asked that question too. A Planning Application will shortly be made to HDC. However, the frontage will be smartened up in time for the Anglia in Bloom competition later this Summer.

We have heard nothing further from Balfour Beatty about the town centre heritage lighting. We will ask the Town Clerk to give them another prod and we will keep you informed.

However, we are pressing ahead with a suitable replacement light for the path overlooking the Parish Churchyard. A postcard photo of the near original has been unearthed and this will form the model for our appeal. We should know on 20th May if our application to the Goodliff fund for £750 has been successful. Perhaps I'll be able to announce the result this Friday at our meeting. If successful we will be halfway to reaching the target of £1500. We intend to raise the remaining money through public appeal. I hope you will be generous too.

Of course, this is not just about a single light but is a way of drawing attention to the other 11 heritage lights which are currently at risk.

Our next meeting will be this Friday, 20th May when we will have a Grand Quiz. Our benefactor Philip Simpson has once again promised £1000 to the Society if we can correctly answer most of the questions. All the questions centre on St Ives. But this year there is a difference. Philip has set 50 questions and our President Bob Burn-Murdoch has set another 50. Bob will also be the Quizmaster so we can be assured of a humorous evening. The layout will be 10 tables of 6 people but more tables can be added if necessary. We will attempt the answers in teams of 6 and there will be a modest prize for the winning team. Nibbles and drinks, including softies, will be provided free - again courtesy of Philip.

Please come along; support your Society, have fun and help us win this valuable prize. Once again, the Grand Quiz will be held upstairs in the Free Church starting at 7.30pm ( doors open at 7 p-m) this Friday 20th May.


Best wishes,


Peter Baker and your Committee