Our open meeting this month is this Friday 17 March. Our speaker will be Ainslie Bousfield, from House of Flags at Kimbolton, he will speak on the history of flags, especially the history of the Union Flag.
House of Flags are a manufacturer of flags, both national and to customer's requirements; and all manner of other types of identity developing products.
For several years now I have been looking at the proposals for the updating of the street lights in the centre of St Ives. Last summer the proposals for the centre of St Ives were published and I'm pleased to say that last week the lights in Market Hill and The Pavement were converted to new lanterns. Not only have all the existing heritage style black columns either been retained or replaced, one incongruous column, at the corner of Free Church Passage and Market Hill has been replaced by a black one. When I first reported on the proposals there was a lot of uncertainty as to the type of columns to be used, and indeed on the ownership of some of the columns. Now, whilst the ownership of the columns in Broadway has been accepted by the County Council, those seven light alone remain to be updated.
One of the features of our Annual Report are the short reports of our open meetings. We are currently seeking a new scribe to write our reports. If this is something you would like to discuss further with me, or you know of anyone who might be interested please contact me, either by replying to this email or on Friday evening.
Chairman, Civic Society St. Ives
This month's open meeting is this Friday, 17th February, in the Free Church at 7.30pm as usual. Our speaker will be James Fairbairn of Oxford Archaeology East who will give an illustrated talk on The Excavation of Spitfire X4593 at Holme Fen. This dig was carried out in 2015 and received television coverage at the time.
I also remind all members wanting to use Harrison Way after 8.30pm this week or next the Great Ouse river bridge section of the bypass will be closed from the Low Road roundabout northwards. Consequently, from the south, you will be able to get to our Open meeting as normal but will have a long diversion to drive home. One alternative may be to park in the Dolphin Hotel car park. This is a pay on exit car park, £2 coin required.
At our meeting in January a collection was held for the Free Church 'Save our Spire' appeal. A total of £63.30 was collected and more was donated by Gift Aid. If you wish to contribute to the appeal for repairs to the Spire there are collection points and gift aid forms are also available.
Following Huntingdon District Council's plan to move the Huntingdon Market from the Market Square on to the High Street, it seems from press reports their next target is to move part of St Ives' Monday Market. Whilst we do not yet know any details the intention is to start using Bridge Street for part of the market. A review will be carried out in St Ives with the plan of removing the road closures, and the need for staff to control vehicles, this will allow the reintroduction of Blue Badge parking on Market Hill. HDC intend to consult Market Traders and retailers.
I will be pleased to receive your views on this proposal.
Chairman, Civic Society St. Ives
After eight years as Chairman, Peter Baker has resigned from both the Chairmanship and the Committee. As I said at last month's AGM in my Vote of Thanks "That is a long stint, attending monthly committee and open meetings, making contacts, influencing the right people, and quietly making things happen. Only occasionally has, during Peter's Chairmanship, it been necessary to make a noise to get a proposal changed."
Peter's resignation was not a surprise to your Committee, he had given notice before last year's AGM, but he reluctantly agreed to complete one more year. We owe Peter a big debt of gratitude for his work over the years on behalf of the Civic Society.
Richard Probyn, who had guided us on Planning matters, also resigned and of course we have already reported the death in August of Pat Allan, for many years our Secretary and then acting secretary. Both Pat and Richard gave valuable advice, as well as time, to the Civic Society During the time they were committee members.
At the AGM your new committee was voted in. They are: Peter Whatnell, Vice Chairman; Dr Tim Reed, Secretary; Basil Belcher, Treasurer; Helen Eveleigh, Membership; Jane Amaral; Peter Jackson; Margaret King; David Knights, Peter Newbould; Barbara Richmond; and Peggy Seamark. Both Peter Whatnell and Tim Reed are new committee members in the past year, we are very grateful for this new blood.
It became clear at the AGM, and from comments that have been expressed quietly, that the committee needs to give more emphasis to Planning matters. We have set about achieving this. Also, we have some work to do on the changes to the constitution. One proposed change was approved, the other change, after advising members, will be brought back to either an extraordinary GM or to next year's AGM.
Recently Morrisons, who have planning permission for a new large store on the site adjacent to the Marsh Harrier, have submitted a new design for a smaller store but with a secondary unit for a non-food retailer. Whilst it's good to know that Morrisons are again looking at St Ives there are reservations about the smaller store, this 'out of town' store may reduce shoppers in the Town, something we are keen to resist. We have made our comments known to the planners. There is also a proposal for a new fast food centre, this has not yet been submitted as an application but will be watched carefully, as it seems to me access to the site is unacceptable in terms of further congestion on St Ives' roads.
Finally two reminders: The Civic Society's web site http://www.stivescivic.org.uk/ has details of all our open meetings for this season. Any late changes to talks will be announced here.
Secondly, at this Friday's open meeting we will hear John Deeks' talk on The History of Fenstanton. As normal the meeting will be held in the Free Church at 7.30pm. Please try to attend if you can.
Chair: Civic Society of St. Ives