In a ceremony at the Guildhall on Sunday 7 September 2014, thirty visitors from Laguna Beach in California, together with thirty representatives from the local community in St Ives were present to witness the Mayor, Councillor Linda Taylor, sign a Proclamation to formally accept St Ives as a “Sister City” of Laguna Beach in California.
Following the signing of the Proclamation, gifts as well as introductions were exchanged between Laguna Beach and St Ives. The Mayor was thrilled that local artist, Glyn Macey, was able to attend to present the gift from St Ives to Laguna Beach – one of his artworks. Token gifts were presented to each of the visitors from California, given by the Mayor and sourced from the Visit St Ives Information Centre.
The relationship with Laguna Beach dates back to 2012 when the Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association approached St Ives to enquire whether we would be interested in forming a link between the two towns. The similarities between the two towns were readily apparent as both are in beautiful coastal locations with strong connections through tourism and art.
The Laguna Beach visitors spent a week in England on a whistle-stop tour which included visits to London, Windsor, Devon and Bath and well as two days in St Ives. During their time in St Ives the group managed to fit in visits to the Tate St Ives, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and the Leach Pottery.
Sunday’s ceremony also featured a surprise appearance by The Three Belles who were performing elsewhere in the town that evening. The ceremony was followed by a reception and buffet (with cutting of the cake) which gave plenty of opportunity to mingle and discuss ideas of how the relationship between Laguna Beach and St Ives can be developed further. There was no shortage of ideas as those present at the ceremony had a diverse range of interests including art, music, education, tourism and business and it is hoped that these areas will form the basis of future links between Laguna Beach and St Ives.
Photo’s courtesy of Colin Sanger, St Ives