The people make St Ives a really nice place to live

St Ives mayor, Cllr Jonathan Pallant, writes for The Hunts Post.

St Ives mayor, Cllr Jonathan Pallant, writes for The Hunts Post. - Credit: JONATHAN PALLANT

St Ives is a town rich in heritage, and with a huge community spirit. 

I once heard St Ives (our St Ives, not the Cornish one) described as a virtual sea-side town in terms of its geography. Certainly, the meandering Great Ouse and its wide flood plains, must have presented a pretty formidable barrier to our ancestors.

We can see that in how the town spreads out along the north bank of the Ouse, overlooking the flood plains, with the crossing places limited to just the old stone bridge with its curious central chapel, and the newer bypass to the east.

Yet many people – and I know this because I felt the same when I first came here house-hunting – must have driven along the main road from Needingworth to Houghton and thought …. “Is this it? Have I missed the town centre?”

Well, yes. As in a sea-side town, the town centre is to be found by turning off the main thoroughfare, and I think it is well worth seeking out.

Between the historic shopfronts, the museum, the quayside, and the aforementioned bridge, there’s much for those with a keen eye for history to savour.

Yet at the same time, there are delightful independent eateries and cafés, often frequented with hungry cyclists who’ve taken advantage of the Guided Busway’s smooth, traffic-free paving.

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Then, of course, there are the beautiful green spaces, like Holt Island, or the lakes formed from old gravel pits, providing a haven for wildlife and weary souls alike.

But more than the architecture, the fantastic food and the greenery, what I’ve really come to love about living here, are the people.

The community groups, charities, social clubs and other organisations I’ve had the pleasure of meeting during my time with the town council, have universally been filled with love for St Ives and the people who live there.

For most of us, this past year has been the most awful and difficult time, but still the people of St Ives are looking out for each other, supporting one another and working together to make sure we all have a better tomorrow. I look forward to telling you more about their work, next time around.

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