Some of the ancient news:

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

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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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

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