We took a tour offered by the tourist office around St Ives which is always a great way to see a town or city. St Ives, besides being a tin mining town, was also a major fishing village especially for a fish I haven’t heard of before, the pilchard. Enormous groups of these fish would arrive somewhere near St Ives and a watcher would sound the alarm (I assume the water was churned up by a sort of feeding frenzy which I saw once on a fishing trip in the ocean off of Mexico). Large boats would go out with very long nets and pull fish close to shore. Smaller boats would then go out and bring the fish to shore. The fish were mostly pressed for their oil most of which was, interestingly, sent to Italy for lamps. Then suddenly in 1924, about the same time as the tin mining stopped, the fish stopped coming-maybe over-fishing? Tourism, as is the case in many places, then became the source of income for the village. Plus, there were many artists who came here for the light. One building in the village made a sort of dividing point and the part above was called “The Up Along”, the lower part, “The Down Along”.
There was Cornish pasties everywhere. They were created when some housewife came up with the idea of putting meat and vegetables inside a pastry and baking it, thus making a way to carry lunch without a dish. I had one with beef and potatoes-very good.
I liked this sign. There are, as you might think, life boats for saving lives or floundering boats and there was all sorts of history about various events. There was a museum in town too full of photos and drawings about all that happened.
Can you see the little shelters set up among the people on the beach? At first I thought it was for privacy but, after the wind arrived with those dark gray clouds, I believe they are shelters to keep the wind from ripping everything away.