Our last open meeting was in February, since then we have all had to work our way through a very strange time, hard for everyone and very difficult for some of us. As the restrictions begin to be relaxed I do hope you are all now looking forward to a more normal life in future.
As more shops are allowed to reopen on Monday 15 June plans have been announced by Huntingdon District Council to make changes in St Ives, as well as the other market towns in the district. Parking in their car parks remains free for now. In St Ives on road parking is being reduced in Market Hill, The Pavement and Bridge Street. This is to allow on pavement queues for shops and pedestrians will use coned off strips of road. The markets in St Ives are all being moved into the Cattle Market, this will allow a wider selection of stalls to be present.
Full details can be found on the HDC Website at:
Individual town plans are at the bottom of the page.
The Commitee has continued to meet using video conferencing. At our meeting last Tuesday I reported that the prospective developer of the London Road car showroom site was offering to gift the Town Council a plot of land adjacent to the New Bridges to use as a car park. The intention being to reduce on street parking on London Road. The developer’s covering letter is included in the Agenda for the Full Council Meeting on Wednesday 10 June.
The developer included a plan of the site, it is bordered by the New Bridges, and the track to Filbert’s Walk footpath. The northern boundary marks the route of the St Ives to Huntingdon railway line. The land is part of Hemingford Meadow, it is flooded whenever the river level rises. The Committee agreed I should object to this proposal. On the night I was not alone, there were two other objections. I’m pleased to say that after a very long discussion the Town Council was ‘not minded to continue the discussion’.
Hemingford Meadow is one of the very attractive features of the Great Ouse valley. It is important in many ways, Bridget Smith, for five years the Chairman of the Society, was trained as a horticulturist. She was appointed a Meadow Reeve (a historic position to monitor the overgrazing of the meadow and monitor activities on the meadow) by Hemingford Grey Parish Council and led trips on the Electric Boat from The Quay in St Ives. My wife and I were lucky enough to experience her enthusiasm and knowledge on one of these trips.
One of our members, Ian Dobson, has written a poem in her memory and this commentary on the changing flora as the seasons unfold.
A Tribute - Great Meadow beside the Great Ouse - June 2020
Of flowers wild
on Lammas meadow long and wide
and St Ives' fabulous riverside
many of us
we surely owe
much of what we know
to dear Bridget Smith.
we hold dear
at this time of year.
We look forward to seeing you at one of our events over the coming year.
Chair: Civic Society of St Ives