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Trail Stop No 2 - 1980s:
Hart's Ice Cream and Doble's wall

For nearly 90 years Hart's ice cream was a St. Ives institution. Generations of holiday makers savoured its unique and delicious flavour. Established in 1895 by Samuel and Miriam Hart the business soon established itself as a favourite in the town, and as Samuel said its products were 'often licked but never beaten'. Apart from traditional vanilla Hart's also offered flavours such as peach melba, banana split and many people's favourite, raspberry with cream and clotted cream. It was a true family affair - Samuel and Miriam's 7 children were all involved, and the last owner Edward Hart had his sister (also Miriam), his sisters-in-law Bertha and Joyce, his daughter Anne and his niece Vivienne together in the parlour.  Click here to watch a video with Edward talking about the business

Originally the ice cream was literally hand made - a large bowl rested in ice and salt, and the ingredients were mixed with a finger and thumb as the bowl was twisted. As the ice cream formed around the outside of the bowl it would be scooped off with a long knife.  In the early years of the business carts drawn by donkeys were used to take the ice cream to the various beaches before being replaced by vans.

The unique Hart's recipe was always a closely guarded secret - milk was delivered freshly each morning and Edward kept the details of the correct timings and temperatures to himself. The ice cream was made in the premises now occupied by St. Ives Ceramics, just over the road from where the ice cream parlour itself stood on the Wharf.

In front of this is a small wall on which people have sat for generations to enjoy the view, a drink, a pasty or an ice cream. It is known as 'Doble's wall'. It is believed that it is named after Mr Doble who in the mid 19th century was the licensee of the Globe Inn which used to stand on the site. He had the wall constructed to protect the inn from the sea.  The wall has been made famous in a song by renowned St. Ives poet and musician Johnny Barber.

There are  those

    Who once were young and strong,

    Now aged, bent and grey,

    Who did the same in days of yore

    As youngsters do today.

    Idly sitting in the sunshine,

    Lads together - big and small,

    Such as always been the case

    On Doble's Wall.


Doble's Wall, Doble's Wall,

    There's no place in all the world

    Like Doble's Wall.


    There are those 

     In foreign lands today

     Who once were with us here;

     Who wander back in memory

     To scenes they hold so dear;

      But some day we hope to meet them,

      Meet together one and all,

      As we did in days gone by

      On Doble's Wall



There are those 

       Who once were in our midst,

       Who'll ne'er again repeat

       The summer songs we used to sing

       In harmony so sweet;

But their names we often mention

       As the twilight shadows fall,

       And we gather as of old

          On Doble's Wall.



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Hart's and Doble's wall in the 1950s

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A photo from the 1960s

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One of the more unusual customers!

'Doble's Wall' by Johnny Barber being sung

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