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Bid to regroup those behind St Ives' St Nicholas Court project

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: January 29, 2014

  • Artist's impression of the development. Courtesy James Lindon-Travers

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WHEN Kenneth Lindon-Travers had to sell his own house to build St Nicholas Court in St Ives in 1975 he was lauded in The Sunday Times, no less.

The newspaper said he was "building tomorrow's historic buildings today" in an article heralding the granite and slate apartment development that overlooks the island at the end of Porthmeor beach.

Now the developer's son is hoping to bring together figures from St Ives involved in the project nearly 40 years ago.

James Lindon-Travers, a former Humphry Davy School pupil, forged a career in London in the financial services sector but regularly returns to St Ives and Zennor.

James has commissioned a sculpture to commemorate his father, who died nearly four years ago, that he wants to unveil in the company of the people who helped create St Nicholas Court.

Kenneth Lindon-Travers was a former managing director of luxury liner operators Cunard. His brother was Bill Travers, whose life with lions in Africa spawned the film Born Free, and his sister married into Cornish engineering giants Holman's.

James said: "He sold the house and just about everything to build this thing. The dream of St Nicholas Court began in 1973/1974. It was the Winter of Discontent and not a good time to be building anything.

"He was a perfectionist and he wanted to build it with local materials."

The site was originally a pilchard pressing factory and some of the pressing stones remain there to this day.

The building was unveiled by then mayor of St Ives Oakley Eddy.

James said: "It was completed in May 1976.

"My mother, Gemma Lindon-Travers, who had been an estate agent in London, did all the marketing; it was a family affair. My aunt, Maureen Knaggs, who's now 90, ran all the lettings and I used to work there on Saturdays and do the inventories.

"There was a bit of money left over from his estate and we decided it would be nice to have a tribute to him at St Nicholas Court."

The sculpture by Gary Scott will reflect Kenneth's love of art, the sea and St Ives.

It will sit in the courtyard entrance that once housed a reputed Barbara Hepworth sculpture which, legend has it, was removed after a holidaymaker got his head stuck in it.

James said: "We want anyone who was involved to get in touch. Edwin Pollard, the caretaker, has died but I know his wife still lives in the town."

Names attached to the original project include architect John Harvey, Lawrence Kay, Terry Nankervis, Bert Delve and the Symons family.

James said: "There are a lot of old connections there and I'd like to see these people come together."

The gathering is planned for Thursday, April 10, and James is keen to hear from anyone who was involved in the original project.

He has also shared old photographs and documents with Brian Stevens at St Ives Museum.

He said: "I think it's part of St Ives' heritage."

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