Saturday 11 September 2010

St Ives September Festival

St Ives September Festival

The September Festival is finally here - lots going on today.

I very much enjoyed a pre-festival drink at The Sloop and then The Castle last night, with (among others) Rod Bullimore, Charles Shaar Murray, Martyn Barker and Kelvin Bowers. As Jo put it - Last Of The Summer Wine revisited - but who is Compo ? Also enjoyed chatting to various festival visitors from London, Germany and Switzerland.

No point repeating everything thats happening  here - as I've put a full calendar of festival events on my website - broken down into different types of event (live music, theatre etc.) if you use the navigation menu at the top of the page:
St Ives September Festival Events

For more information and tickets you can also visit:
September Festival Official Website
St Ives September Festival Twitter Feed
St Ives September Festival FaceBook Page

Here is my entirely biased and self-interested selection of events for the week ahead - based on those involving family, friends and people who have fronted me free tickets:

Saturday (11th) 12.30 pm - Poetry and Music in Norway Square (also daily throughout).
Sunday (12th) 7.00 pm - Workshop - Tea and Textiles with Jo McIntosh.
Monday (13th) 8.00 pm - Music and Comedy - Back to Back with Rod Bullimore and Martyn Barker.
Tuesday (14th) 8.00 pm - Live music - St Ives Jazz Club - Sarah Gillespie Quartet.
Wednesday (15th) 7.30 pm - Theatre - Much Ado About Nothing (also Thu, Fri, Sat).
Thursday (16th) 11.00 am - Guided Tour St Ives In The Frame.
Friday (17th) 7.30 pm - Theatre - Oh Mary with Bec Applebee

Thursday 2 September 2010

Paddleboard Marathon - Charity Event

Paddleboard Marathon - St Ives Bay

Today sees a big charity event in St Ives Bay - the inaugural Stand Up Paddleboard Marathon in aid of the Mercury Phoenix Trust.

Featuring some of the biggest Paddleboarders from the UK and also rock band Yellow Wire.

Participants will paddle 15 miles from Sunset Surf Café Gwithian to Porthmeor Beach, then back across the bay to Godrevey before paddling home to Sunset Surf. A trip which is expected to take about 8 hours.

To help raise money and awareness for the trust, organisers are calling on people to turn up dressed as Freddie Mercury to show their support!

The marathon is followed by a gig and after party at the café featuring Yellow Wire and songs from their debut album.

The band's front man - Ol Beach - is son of Jim Beach, who has been the manager of legendary rock band Queen since 1978 and The Mercury Phoenix Trust (founded by Jim) has been a cause close to their heart for many years. It’s one of the leading charities in the battle against AIDS worldwide.

Wednesday 1 September 2010

St Ives Tourist Information - Closing

St Ives Tourist Information - The Guildhall

According to a story published today in The West Briton - Cornwall Council are to withdraw all funding for St Ives Tourist Information Centre from March 2011. This will mean closure unless alternative funding sources are found. Centres in Penzance and Falmouth are also set to close.

You can read the full article on:
This Is Cornwall

It appears that this is not just speculation - its a done deal.

I think that most readers would agree that this is really bad news for St Ives. The centre helps thousands of visitors every year - and thereby helps many local businesses by putting customers their way. Not just accommodation providers either - one local shop owner told me today how grateful she is when they direct people to her.

Its also not just about tourism. I know from personal experience how helpful the staff are for local community organisations and events. They freely offer help with publicity and ticketing, usually at no charge.

They are also nice people !

So what to do about this ?

One option would be a "political" campaign to get the decision reversed. But from what I can see Cornwall Council are really making big cutbacks - so the chances of success may be limited.

One positive idea though - if every hotel, bed and breakfast, self-catering property, shop and other business in town chipped in a relatively small amount of money - it might be possible to keep the centre open. Say £50 to £200 per year depending on the size of your business ? Most places probably make much more than that from referrals every year.

Community organisations who have a publicity budget could also help out.

Maybe it could be run a a local co-operative ?

Any comments or other ideas - please post below.