Some of the ancient news:

Good news about the toilets
Toilet 2

Photograph by Kath Gabitas

We are pleased to announce that our petition and support letters have been sucessful in making the council have a rethink about closing the Public Toilets on St Ives.

Thank you for all the support which made this happen.



Recent events

On the 1st August, Ian Butterfield gave us a talk on Bats. This was very good and had us all enthralled. The talk was followed by a walk round Coppice Pond to watch them. Unfortunately the weather was too bad, even for bats!

Jane Ramsden Talk 1 Jane Ramsden Talk 2

Photographs by Kath Gabitas

On the 2nd August, Jane Ramden, professional herbalist, gave two talks in the herb garden. Telling us about the different uses for the herbs in the garden. See the above pictures.

This was followed by a history walk on 17th given by Susan Hart. There was a walk on the estate, giving history and stories from a past rich in the events of former times.

UKAR install steps
Steps 2 Steps 3
UKAR team

Photographs by Pam Laking

A team from UKAR very kindly came and made some steps so that we have access to the other green house. They also did a lot of weeding. The two pictures above show the new steps and the lower picture shows the UKAR team.

Let us never forget
Planting poppies with flax

To mark the outbreak of the First World War FOSI has planted some poppies. The land that had been supplied by Elder Homes was first cleared by BEES and UKAR before preparation by the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI). Co-Operative Memorials of Nab Wood, Shipley then gave us some poppy seeds and the people at STRI mixed them with flax seed for us. Our picture shows one of the many FOSI members who helped with the planting.

Photograph by Kath Gabitas


A note from Pam Laking, our chair

The Friends of St Ives are holding a short ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1 on Sunday 5th October at 2pm. This is not to celebrate the war in any way, but to acknowledge the loss of life and suffering which occurred at that time.

There will be an unveiling ceremony of a memorial stone created by the Co-op memorial group from Saltaire adjacent to the picnic area opposite the café. The British Legion, SSAFA and the army cadets will be present and there will be a display relating to the WW1 in the visitor centre from Saturday 27th September until Saturday 11th October inclusive. Everyone is welcome to attend.

What can only be described as a potential disaster
toilet closure protesters

Photograph by Kath Gabitas

Our picture shows just some of the people who came out to register their disagreement at the proposed closure of the toilets on St. Ives.

The St. Ives Estate has been one of the great success stories. The only country park with English Heritage status in the Bradford Area. It is visited by thousands of people a year, including school parties, who use it as a resource, parties of senior people, young families and every sort of group that you can think of. The new play ground is a big attraction, the Estate has an inestimable value to the whole community.

We regret to say that all this is now to be put in jeopardy. Just at the time when we would be expecting the toilet facilities to be enlarged to meet the requirements of the larger number of users, Bradford Metropolitan Council is to close the toilet facilities completely to save money. As far as the Estate is concerned this is a disaster, we cannot over state the importance of the toilets. The Friends of St. Ives was set up to make the public aware of the Estate and make more use of it. Now all that work is to be wiped out to make what we feel is a false economy. Without the toilets, even the Green Flag Award would go.

It is with some irritation that we have to anounce that Bradford Met has rejected our petition on what at first sight appears to be a technicality. They have given us a new link to their petition site and we would therefore urge all those who have kindly registered their feelings with the old site, to re-register on the new one. This is:- Petition

Just as an after thought. Surely the Bradford Council would want to provide toilets for its own people working on the Estate so why not make them available to the public at little extra cost?

We would wish to stress that we are not politically motivated in any way but do not want lose St.Ives whilst the public is deriving such great benefit from the Estate.

Easter at the visitor centre
Easter 2014 visitors

Easter 2014 saw lot of visitors calling in. Here are just a few.

Photograph by Kath Gabitas



Preparing the land
Popies_1

FOSI are creating a Poppy Meadow to commemorate the start of WW1. To prepare the grassed area adjacent to the picnic area on the Estate, STRI (who are based at St Ives) kindly brought their stripping and seeding machines along and firstly stripped areas that are to become a sturdy path for all users including wheelchairs, and also the beds for the poppies and then sowed the suitable grass seeds for us.

The sowing of the poppy seeds is taking place on Saturday 26th April at 2pm. Please come and join us in sowing these seeds and bring a small bowl to place the seeds in. We will be meeting in the grassed picnic area opposite Lady B's Café.

Text and photograph by Pam Laking


Participate comes to the rescue
Participate

On Friday 21st March "Participate", a group renown for team building, brought a group from "UKAR" to help sort out the garden. We are very grateful for the work that they did.

Photograph Kath Gabbitas


Teaching bird song
Bird recognition

On Saturday 8th March, Mark Doveston (picture right) installed a new system in the visitor centre for teaching bird recognition. The new interactive display boards have now been installed by Mark Doveston and Graham Hart in the Visitor Centre at St. Ives Estate, Bingley, the casing supplied by Experia. Great for kids to learn about birds and the sound they make....just push a button! After installation, all that was needed was a volunteer to test the system. At that moment Charlie (picture left) was passing and kindly offered to carry out the test.

Photograph Kath Gabbitas


Thrashing back the jungle

Helpt 2 Help 1

Photographs Kath Gabbitas

Further to our creation of a Poppy Field to commemorate the start of the WW1, the organisation called BEES (Bradford Environmental Education Service) very kindly came and did the first part of the clearing and preparing of the area to be planted with poppies. BEES is a charity and is part of the YMCA who work with community groups, schools and businesses to raise awareness of how to protect the natural environment and to work to create better habitats for plants and wildlife. Bob Taylor from STRI is kindly advising and supporting FOSI in the creation of this field and advised BEES on the day.

History walk
Seat 2

On Sunday 2nd March, Susan Hart lead a group of a dozen people round StIves, looking at many of the historical features.



New seat in herb garden
Seat 2 Seat 1

First photograph by Tony Laking, second photograph by Alex Anderson

Martin Bilj and team have delivered the circular seat to the Garden this week. The seat has come from the West Park area in Bradford where it was installed in a temporary garden, funded by a Postcode Lottery, to cheer the area prior to development. As this has now commenced the seats were put up for adoption. Twelve groups applied for the six seats and FOSI was lucky enough to win one. The seat is now installed round our Mulberry Bush.

More Ferrands come home
Davies

Over the 2013 Christmas break, a group from the Davies family paid us a visit. This family is currently living in Australia but have ancestral connections to the Ferrands.

Photograph by Kath Gabbitas


Hand rail to Baxter's Pond ripped out
Broken hand rails

On Saturday evening of the 28thDecember, a vehicle attempting to negotiate the pedestrian footpath below Baxter's pond became stuck. The hand rails on the steps appear to have been ripped out and used to free the vehicle.

We are very pleased to report that this has since been repaired by Bradford Met Council.



Pictures on a recent fungus walk

On Sunday 6th October 2013, Bob Taylor lead one of his renown fungus walks. The event this year was very well attended.

Photographs by Kath Gabbitas

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Seat 2

On Sunday 2nd March, Susan Hart lead a group of a dozen people round StIves, looking at many of the historical features.



New seat in herb garden
Seat 2 Seat 1

First photograph by Tony Laking, second photograph by Alex Anderson

Martin Bilj and team have delivered the circular seat to the Garden this week. The seat has come from the West Park area in Bradford where it was installed in a temporary garden, funded by a Postcode Lottery, to cheer the area prior to development. As this has now commenced the seats were put up for adoption. Twelve groups applied for the six seats and FOSI was lucky enough to win one. The seat is now installed round our Mulberry Bush.

More Ferrands come home
Davies

Over the 2013 Christmas break, a group from the Davies family paid us a visit. This family is currently living in Australia but have ancestral connections to the Ferrands.

Photograph by Kath Gabbitas


Hand rail to Baxter's Pond ripped out
Broken hand rails

On Saturday evening of the 28thDecember, a vehicle attempting to negotiate the pedestrian footpath below Baxter's pond became stuck. The hand rails on the steps appear to have been ripped out and used to free the vehicle.

We are very pleased to report that this has since been repaired by Bradford Met Council.



Pictures on a recent fungus walk

On Sunday 6th October 2013, Bob Taylor lead one of his renown fungus walks. The event this year was very well attended.

Photographs by Kath Gabbitas

Santa 2013

Here are a a few of the pictures that Kath Gabbitas took, when Santa called in to see us at the visitor centre.
Elves 1 Elves 2
Various Elves and members get to meet Santa (really Keith)).

Children 1 Children 2
Children with Santa.

Wood turners
Members of the West Riding Wood Turners with Santa.


Telegraph & Argus Community Stars

Community Stars On 4th December 2013 there was the award ceremony for 'Community Stars'. We did not win this time but to be nominated was an honour. Picture left to right: Pam Laking, Susan Hart, Kath Gabbitas.

Photograph by Kath Gabbitas



Wood turners come to St Ives
Wood turners Wood turners products

Left photograph by Kath Gabbitas. Right photograph by Susan Hart

On Sunday 21stJuly the West Riding Wood Turners gave a demonstration in the yard outside the stables and coach houses. Whilst they had a display of their products that were for sale at the demonstration, there was another exhibition of their wares in the visitor centre. The display in the visitor centre attracted a lot of attention and was there for about two weeks. The two pictures above show, on the left, the demonstration and on the right the display in the visitor centre.

Bat walk
bat walk On Friday 26th July 2013 the society held a bat walk. This was lead by Ian Butterfield of Forest of Bradford (Beat) and was a great success. Over 60 people came out on the walk.

Photograph by Kath Gabbitas



New gates on Herb Garden
new gates The herb garden now has a set of new gates.

Photograph by Kath Gabbitas



AGM
Our 9thAnnual General Meeting this year was better attended than usual, in no small part to it being linked to a talk by Jane Ramsden in which she gave us an insight into the world of herbal remedies. The talk made reference to both traditional and modern theories and was of great interest to all.

New bluebell pictures
Kaths page of bluebell pictures has been extended to include some of this years shots. Click here

Chain saw carvings
Some years ago a group of chain saw wood carvers carved timbers into statues and forms. These were displayed at various points round the estate but are now starting to deteriorate with age and rot. Shortly after they were made David Dufton made a photographic record of them. These pictures have been scanned and appear on a page devoted to the subject. Click here to jump to the page or use the main menu.

Super Heroes
Super Heroes For work on the St Ives Estate the Friends of St Ives have received an award from the Shipley Community Heroes. For their work they have received the 'Shipley Community Heroes Award 2013' making them Super Heroes. Their prizes are an engraved silver commemorative dish, a certificate and £ 200 to spend on the Estate. Our picture shows: (left to right) Pam Laking, Susan Hart, Kath Gabbitas and John Rhodes.

Quiz book
Quiz book For a minimum donation of £ 1- 50 you can get a quiz book from the Visitor centre. The book has pictures of gates and stiles round the estate and you can fill in where you saw them. If you really want to cheat - the answers are in the back.

Meet 'Earn the churn'
Earn the Churn If you want to meet 'Earn the churn' call in at the visitor centre. Earn is a milk churn, adapted for use as a collection box. There is a slot in the top, through which donations to the society can be made. Put in a donation and the churn speaks a thank you message. Call in and try it.

Visitor centre gets under way
Visitor centre As you may have seen, the new visitor centre is now open, twice a week; the times are Wednesday and Saturday 11:00 to 15:00. However this is subject to availability of people to man the centre. If you feel that you can help here please let them know in the centre. They are always on the look out for people to share the load. Just two hours now and then is a big help.
Herb garden repairs
repairs Some of the repairs to the herb garden walls are now quite urgent.

Photograph by Kath Gabbitas


Getting the garden ready for summer
students 1 students 2

Photographs by Kath Gabbitas

Getting the herb garden ready for the coming season is a very big job, so we were very pleased when students from Bradford College called in to give us some help.


Apples from a herb garden?
Apple Pie Before refrigeration, herbs were important to hide the 'not quite fresh' flavour that foods often had. Let us also not forget the medicinal herbs as well. Herbs can be grown in a herb garden or in an area that is part of the kitchen garden. We know that in later years, the mansion had a large kitchen garden in the area now occupied by the STRI offices but where was it before that? We may never know but the area used by the Friends Historical Herb Garden is a strong candidate as it is very typical of the kitchen gardens that were associated with large houses. It has all the right criteria in that it is a sun trap surrounded by a wall, it is conveniently close to the house, yet hidden from people in the main garden. Clearly, as the mansion grew, the plot would be too small to provide all the vegetables, fruits and herbs and hence the move to the larger area in later years. Does it date from the monastic era? Hard to say but we have to bear in mind that to run a Grange probably took a large number of people and such a host would require a small farm to feed them. Our picture shows an apple pie that Kath Gabbitas made; using apples grown in the Herb Garden. The apples are all from the older species and seldom found in modern orchards.

Photograph by Kath Gabbitas


Saturday 27thOctober 2012 - bulb planting
jubilee award
bulb planters

In 1875 the dowager Lady Blantyre, mother to the second wife of W B Ferrand died. The rock that she liked to sit under had the memorial placed under it that we can still see. This site has a special feature at Lady Blantyre's rock, click this link for more details. In 1878, W B Ferrand and his wife had snow drops planted near the rock in memory of the old lady.


main bulb planters

134 years later, nothing remains of these flowers, so the Friends of St Ives has, with the aid of a grant from the Queen's Jubilee has been planting some more, which hopefully will flower next year to mark 135 years since the first flowers were planted. Our picture above shows the planting party and the picture to the left shows the main work team.

Photographs by Kath Gabbitas


Sunday 7thOctober 2012 - the fungus walk
Bob tells us about them

This was a day to look forward to. Bob Taylor gave his annual fungi walk. The weather was good so we walked round Coppice pond, then round by the Keighley Road lodge, through the woods on the bottom path then up to the picnic tables; across the road from the cafe. On the way, we would all find samples and Bob would tell us about them, without even looking at his book!


The finds

Upon reaching the picnic table, we spread out our samples and Bob gave us more information about them. Many thanks to Bob for a very enjoyable walk.


Green flag back again
Green Flag 2012 After a year in which we failed to win the Green Flag Award, we were very pleased to get it back again this year.

Photographs by Kath Gabbitas


Work on the herb garden
Beckfoot pupils help with garden All the heavy rain that we have had this year has helped the weeds to grow in the new herb garden. We were therefore delighted when pupils from Beckfoot came to give us a hand at sorting it out.

Photographs by Kath Gabbitas


Herb quiz
angelica close up angelica
No prizes for identification but if you need a clue: cake decorators use it. This is one of the herbs that seem to thrive in the new garden.

Photographs by Kath Gabbitas


Woodland walk
tree on walk horse chesnut candle
On the evening of Thursday 24th May, Colin Whitfield lead one of his highly successful woodland walks. It was an informal walk among the trees, with Colin explaining some of features about the different trees. Of particular interest were his explanations of some of the problems that the different species suffer as they age.

Photographs by Kath Gabbitas