The Mermaid is situated in the old fishing quarter, which is the older part of St. Ives, known as “Down-a-long”.
The marbles were very popular with children, who would break the bottles to get the marbles to play with. The bottles nowadays are quite collectable – we ourselves are fortunate enough to have been able to collect some Tucker’s memorabilia, which we have on display at the bar. From the bottling plant the bottles were loaded on to a horse and cart at the rear of the building, but in later days John Tucker purchased a Ford sedan from which he removed the back, making it into a dray – indeed Mrs. Tucker was the first woman driver in Cornwall and drove to the age of eighty four. In the summer months, an extra five ladies were taken on to help with production. Sadly, though, due to more stringent hygiene laws and to strong competition, the “Pop Factory” closed in the 1950s.
After the factory had been empty for a few years, Francis Coudrill renovated it and turned it into The Mermaid Studio. Francis, of television fame, was responsible for the the character Hank, who appeared with the BBC for many years.
When Francis retired, it was converted yet again – this time into a wine bar and then later still into a restaurant. This conversion was done by Norman Coburn – again of television fame – he plays Fisher in Home and Away. In 1980, it was taken over by its present owners who have completely rebuilt it with affection and care and who have made it probably St Ives’ most interesting and successful restaurant. Mathew & Roz hope you enjoy your evening with us!