Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Which Way To The Sea?

Like most towns and cities in Britain, Cheltenham has a problem with Seagulls, not a huge problem though, not like neighbouring Gloucester. There the gulls dive bomb shoppers in the car parks and snatch food from hungry visitors! This Seagull was on the roof top car park at the Regent Arcade shopping centre. His mate had just flown off, looking for the sea!

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Pretty In Pink

I know there are loads of photos of blossom around at the moment (well, its the time of year!) but I said last week I wanted to find some pink blossom to post, and I have. I decided to make mine a bit different from the rest. Hope you like it.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Herd Of The Countryside?

One of the great things about living in Cheltenham is that you are never very far from the countryside. To the North are the rolling fields towards Tewkesbury, to the East are the Cotswold hills and all the chocolate box villages, to the South the Forest of Dean, and to the West the spectacular Malvern hills. Between these four points are numerous farms, villages, woods, forest and fields.

This herd of cows, well calves actually, are in the fields that separate the South West of Cheltenham and the suburbs of the neighbouring city of Gloucester. Over the years this strip of farmland (the Green Belt) has been gradually shrinking and is always under threat from development, as the Green Belt boundary changes. I hope that there will always be some open space between Cheltenham and Gloucester as the merger of the two heavily populated areas would do them both damage.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Bless You!

This is my last post on the art exhibition at The Brewery development. These are my two favourite drawings, the detail in the first is amazing (click on it for a larger version) and the second is just quirky! Hope you've enjoyed seeing the artistic talent that Cheltenham has to offer.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Look Sharp

This drawing from the art exhibition at The Brewery is mad! I think its a Swiss Army knife monster! I wonder if it has a blade for getting stones out of horses hooves?!

Friday, 25 April 2008


Another photo from the art exhibition/competition at The Brewery. This drawing is creepy to say the least! The slogan says "his darkest ideas become reality..." They look terrified by them. What do you think?

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Picture This

On the front of one of the boarded up units that are for rent in The Brewery development is this art exhibition. There are three displays of sketches and drawings, all part of a competition (the details of which I can't remember!) that involves Gloucestershire University. What I do know is the closing date for entries is in May. Sorry for the lack of info! Over the next few days I'll show you some of my favourite pieces.

I wish I could draw as well as this!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

St George's Day

Today is St George's Day in England. I'd like to say its the day we celebrate being English, like the Irish celebrate being Irish on St Patrick's Day, but it doesn't happen! There is a small campaign to get 23rd April as a national holiday, but that isn't going to happen either!

Here are some St George's Day facts -

1. St George wasn't English, he came from Turkey.
2. St George was adopted as England's patron saint at the end of the 14th century.
3. St George is most famous for slaying dragons, though this is just a myth.
4. The red cross on a white background became England's flag in the late 1200's.
5. St George is the patron saint of many countries including Turkey, Portugal & Lithuania.
6. Shakespeare was born on, and died on, St George's Day.

Amaze your friends and family with these facts! See if you can persuade your boss into giving you the day off to celebrate St George's Day! If your English, its your duty. Slay that dragon!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

The Lights Are On...

This is the last photo from my night shoot around Cheltenham. It shows the Municipal Offices all lit up (I posted the building 'by day' last Friday). Unfortunately the main entrance and its columns were not bathed in light so don't show up so well, but you can still see the architectural highlights. Its an impressive building.

Come back tomorrow for some facts to celebrate St George's Day!

Monday, 21 April 2008


For a while now I've wanted to show you some of the lovely pink blossom that has been flowering around Cheltenham, but it seems to have all gone over and I've missed the opportunity! Luck in the street where I live, right outside my front window, is this lovely Ornamental Cherry tree and the blossom is at its best. I know its not pink, but white will have to do. When I'm around town today I'll keep my eyes open for the last pink blooms, so you may see some yet!

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Neptune By Night

This is another photo from my night shoot around Cheltenham. The fountain hasn't had the water turned on yet this year, when it does I'll get another photo! Its a shame that Neptune or the horses aren't lit up more but it still looks good at night. For more info on the fountain check out my previous post
Hope you all have a good Sunday!

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Huey, Dewey & Louie

My boss has always wanted ducks for his pond and he has finally got these three little ducklings. They are just two weeks old and are so cute! At the moment they are living in a pen, in a greenhouse with a heat lamp over them.

They haven't been given names yet but I think they should be named after Donald Duck's nephews!

Friday, 18 April 2008

Council House

The Municipal Offices stand on the Promenade, in front of the Long Garden, and are the headquarters of Cheltenham Borough Council. The building is one of Cheltenhams finest examples of a 19th century terrace. The impressive building was designed by George Underwood and was built as private houses between 1823 and 1835, originally called Harward's Building after one of the towns developers. In 1915 the five central houses became the Municipal Offices and by 1958 13 of the 19 houses were occupied by the Council. For some years now the Council has talked about moving to a new purpose built building, that will also house the Courts and other local services, and sell the Municipal Offices to fund this, allowing restaurants, shops, bars and an hotel to move into the building. Only last month this plan was once again reported in the local newspaper. It seems to me more and more likely that this will happen, it's such a shame that the the best Council House in town will be no more.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

The Colour Of Money

No, this isn't two different branches of the Alliance & Leicester building society, its the same one. The coloured lights change every few minutes! Yes, it's a bank! They don't just change at night, it happens all day long too. And its not just the outdoor lights, its the lights inside as well! I go into this branch now and again and it makes my eyes hurt. The staff must have a permanent headache!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Bright Lights

I've had my new camera since Christmas and I just realised I hadn't tried out the 'night' mode yet. So last night I headed into town and got snapping, and this is the result. This is the Town Hall which it sits on Cheltenham's One-way system. There wasn't that much traffic but I still managed to get an interesting shot. The colours in the original photo were a bit flat so I've played around with the contrast to enhance them. I think it looks ok. Watch out for more after dark photos soon!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Posting A Bookshop

Cheltenham has many old buildings and this one has been on the Promenade for 182 years! This grand building was built in 1826 as a home for a painter named Millet. He must have been good to have had this built! The area where I stood to take the photo used to be a fenced garden for the residence, this was the only garden like this on the Prom, right there by the neighbouring shops! After a while Millet moved out and the building became the Imperial Hotel (that's how big it is!), then in 1856 it changed to the Imperial Club, a venue for 'resident noblemen and gentlemen'. But the building is most well known for being Cheltenham's main Post Office from 1874 until 1987. When the Post Office moved out Hooper's department store moved in. More recently the imposing building has been used as a bookshop, firstly Ottakars and now Waterstone's. Inside there is a large open staircase leading to Costa's coffee shop, and when the weather is fine you can take your Latte out onto the Terrace, above the main entrance, and sit looking at the tree tops and the passing shoppers below. And very nice it is too!

Monday, 14 April 2008

Pasta At Prezzo

Carrying on from yesterdays foodie post, here is Italian restaurant Prezzo. Its on the Promenade opposite Neptune's fountain. Before the restaurant took up residence in the building it was a pub for many, many years. The pub went under several different names - Huckster's, 1994's and most well known, The Black Tulip. I've been to eat at Prezzo's a couple of times and the food is very good.

Hope today's post hasn't made you feel hungry. If it has, how about Italian tonight?!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Pedalling Your Trade

This is one of towns most original advertising ideas. The tandem bike, chained up on the High Street, promotes LG's Deli. Claiming as many fillings as you can fit for a fixed price is an offer to good to turn down. I haven't been to the sandwich shop yet but I will go, and I'll report back!

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Beechwood Shopping

Here is the building with all those reflective windows I showed yesterday. The Beechwood Shopping Centre, on the High Street was built in the early 90's and replaced the old Co-op department store. The shopping arcade has several big stores like Next and Debenhams as well as many smaller chain stores and some independent shops. The Centre also has the fountain I posted for Theme Day and the garden under the glass roof I showed on the 2nd April. Unfortunately Beechwood Shopping Centre is not as well used as Cheltenhams other shopping centre, the Regent Arcade, and has several empty units inside. I think Beechwood is a much nicer place but I still find myself shopping in the Regent Arcade. Old habits....

Friday, 11 April 2008

Reflection On The World

Just a short post today. This buildings many windows reflect all sorts of views, mainly bits of the sky and the odd pigeon! I'll show the full building tomorrow.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Elephant Rampage

Last weekend I posted a teaser for today's post. The photos below show five tiled mosaic murals in a small alleyway off of the High Street. The murals tell the story of the day the Circus visited town and the Elephants went on the rampage!

In March 1934 Chapman's Great London Z00-Circus came to Cheltenham. The Circus boasted 28 of the finest acts never before seen in England. They also had lions, tigers, polar bears, comedy black bears, boxing kangaroos and elephants. Could you imagine that being allowed today?! As the advertising parade went through town some of the elephants broke free and headed for the seed merchant and pet shop, Bloodworths. One of the elephants entered the shop and started to have his fill of seed and pet food, another elephant got stuck in the doorway! Little damage was done, some people said it was part of a publicity stunt. Did they do that back then?! Bloodworths Pet Shop is still open in Cheltenham, though elephants are now banned!

The Circus parade begins to work its way through town.

The Ringmaster advertises the Circus.

One of the Elephants breaks free and heads for the goodies.

A keeper struggles to remove one of the Elephants.

The police and locals look on aghast.

And here is a photo taken on the day.
Hope you enjoyed this tale!

On a different note - I have added word verification to my comment box due to all the 'see hear' 'click here' spam comments I am receiving. I don't really like this but I've got no choice. Hope this doesn't stop you commenting.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

The End Result

Last October I posted on the planting of the Long Garden, in front of the Municipal building. Back then the Council gardeners were busy planting pansies, wallflowers and tulip bulbs and now the weather has started to warm up, and the evenings are getting lighter, the fruits of their labours can be seen by all. The plants make a fantastic splash of long awaited colour.

See the 'before' post here -

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Honouring Holst

Cheltenham has finally honoured one of its most famous sons, Gustav Holst. Last Friday this bronze statue of the composer was unveiled in Imperial Gardens. Holst was born in Cheltenham in 1874 and spent his formative years here, before returning in the 1920's and staying until his death in 1934. The composer is most famous for The Planets Suite, which he conducted in Cheltenham Town Hall in 1927.

The statue, created by Anthony Stones, stands on a plinth surrounded by a fountain. On the octagonal plinth are 7 bronze plates each with a depiction of the Planets that inspired the famous Suite. The statue cost £50,000, with £45,000 being paid from the donation left in the Will of Elizabeth Hamond. The rest was paid for by the Borough Council and fundraising. For more on Holst, the sculptor and a video of the unveiling check out

Monday, 7 April 2008

Let It Snow!

No, this photo wasn't taken in the depths of winter. It was taken yesterday morning. Here in Cheltenham we had our first snow of the winter, even though its spring! It didn't last for long, it all melted away by lunchtime. I got out and took some photos just before the thaw!

The first photo shows the view up Leckhampton Hill. The photo above is of a house set in a temporary winter wonder land.

This photo is taken on the side of a country lane. I know our snowfall is nothing like some places have seen this winter, but it made for a good opportunity to try out some of the different features on my camera! Hope you enjoyed this little bit of winter.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Cheltenham Nightspots - 7

The Dobells pub, at 24 Promenade, is the sort of place that I call a proper pub. It has wooden floors and furniture, lots of brass fittings, serves real ale and has good pub grub, like bangers & mash and roast beef & Yorkshire pud. The pub has been there as long as I can remember and always seems busy. It has a lively atmosphere, with a good mix of people. I highly recommend it for a pint and a bite to eat!

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Elephant Tease

I'm short of photos, so this one is a shot of something to come! It is one of several photographs that I'm holding onto until I get the story and the history right. It is part of a mosaic mural, in an alleyway in town, that tells the story of the day the circus came to Cheltenaham. And the day it all went a bit wrong! I'll post the full story next week.

I know. I'm a tease!

Friday, 4 April 2008

In The Red

All this red caught my eye and I just had to capture it! The Red Telephone Box is recognised around the world as being British, as are our Post Boxes too. The red building in the background is Cafe Rouge, a French themed restaurant, on the Promenade. The weather has been quite warm in Cheltenham this week and people have taken advantage of alfresco dinning. We are due snow on Sunday, so it'll be back indoors to eat!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Spa Water

This was my other choice for Theme Day (I know. I'm milking it!) The photo shows the place you can try Cheltenham's Spa Water in the Town Hall. I've told you about the Town Hall before but didn't really mention this. To the left of the entrance hall of the building is this, the Central Spa. It opened in June 1906 to allow visitors and Cheltonians alike to drink the Cheltenham Spa water. The octagonal counter and urns are made by Doulton, although only one of the urns now has a tap for trying the water. As I've said before, the water is quite salty and doesn't taste very nice, but I suppose this is why people used to think it had medicinal properties!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Jungle Fountain

Today I thought I'd show you the whole of the water feature that I posted part of yesterday. The fountain stands between the up and down escalators at one end of the Beechwood Shopping Arcade. The water bubbles gently at the top of the fountain and fills the bowl. The water then runs down the chains and fills the pool. This then pours out into a stream that runs through the arcade. The arcade has a glass roof and at the centre of the building is a small garden with this fountain, the stream, plants and several benches to sit on and rest shopping worn feet. When the shopping centre first opened the garden had many large trees and tropical plants, but due to the greenhouse like setting they grew and grew and grew! In the end the large jungle plants were removed and replaced with smaller varieties. It was OK to have all these large plants at first but when shoppers had to start swinging on vines to get from store to store it all got a bit too much!

Come back tomorrow and I'll show you my other choice for yesterdays Theme Day!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Theme Day - Water

Its Theme Day time again and the theme this month is Water. Cheltenham doesn't have a huge amount of choice for this theme (apart from the floods last July!) We have the lake at Pitville Park, ornate fountains around town and the Lido open air swimming pool, but I went for this. Its part of the water feature in the Beechwood Shopping Arcade. I like the movement in the photo, hope you do too!

Over 170 City Daily Photo Blogs are taking part in this Theme Day. Take some time today to see Water all over the world!

Adelaide, Australia by Gordon, Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Ararat, Australia by Digger, Arradon, France by Alice, Ashton under Lyne, UK by Pennine, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Bandung, Indonesia by Guntur Purwanto, Barton (VT), USA by Andree, Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro by Paja, Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro by Bibi, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah, Boston (MA), USA by Sarah, Whit, & Leyre, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Boston (MA), USA by Fenix - Bostonscapes, Brighton, UK by Harvey, Brookville (OH), USA by Abraham, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cape Town, South Africa by Kerry-Anne, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chicago (IL), USA by b.c., Christchurch, New Zealand by Michelle, Clearwater (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Clearwater Beach (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Cleveland (OH), USA by iBlowfish, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Cypress (TX), USA by Riniroo, Dallas/Fort Worth (TX), USA by A Wandering Soul, Dunedin (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Durban, South Africa by CrazyCow, East Gwillimbury, Canada by Your EG Tour Guide, Evry, France by Olivier, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Guelph, Canada by Pat, Gun Barrel City (TX), USA by Lake Lady, Hamilton, New Zealand by Sakiwi, Hampton (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Haninge, Sweden by Steffe, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hyde, UK by Old Hyde, Inverness (IL), USA by Neva, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jakarta, Indonesia by Santy, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Jogjakarta, Indonesia by Jogja Portrait, Joplin (MO), USA by Victoria, Juneau (AK), USA by Gwyn, Katonah (NY), USA by Inkster1, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Lake Forest Park (WA), USA by Azure, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Las Vegas (NV), USA by Mo, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Maria João, Lodz, Poland by ritalounge, London, UK by Mo, London, UK by Ham, Mainz, Germany by JB, Maple Ridge, Canada by Susan, Marseille, France by Alex, Mazatlan, Mexico by Kate, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Melbourne, Australia by John, Memphis (TN), USA by SouthernHeart, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Mexico City, Mexico by Poly, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Minsk, Belarus by Olga, Monrovia (CA), USA by Keith, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Montego Bay, Jamaica by Ann, Monterrey, Mexico by rafa, Moscow, Russia by Irina, Mumbai, India by Magiceye, Mumbai, India by MumbaiiteAnu, Mumbai, India by Kunalbhatia, Nancy, France by yoshi, Naples (FL), USA by Isabella, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, New York City (NY), USA by Ming the Merciless, Niamey, Niger by Dinabee, Norfolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Norman (OK), USA by Chad & LaCresha, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Nottingham, UK by Gail's Man, Odense, Denmark by ania odense, Omsk, Russia by Nataly, Orlando (FL), USA by OrlFla, Oslo, Norway by Lothiane, Paderborn, Germany by Soemchen, Paris, France by Gordio, Paris, France by Eric, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Pont-à-Mousson, France by Tintin-j, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Elizabeth, South Africa by Sam, Port Townsend (WA), USA by raf, Port Vila, Vanuatu by Mblamo, Portland (OR), USA by NWgal, Portland (ME), USA by Corey, Portsmouth (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Quincy (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Riga, Latvia by Prokur, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saigon, Vietnam by Simon, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Salem (OR), USA by jill, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by Eric, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by atc, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Francisco (CA), USA by PFranson, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seguin (TX), USA by Thien, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Sequim (WA), USA by Eponabri, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Shanghai, China by Jing, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, St Francis, South Africa by Sam, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Stouffville, Canada by Ken, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Suffolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Sunshine Coast, Australia by bitingmidge, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Sydney, Australia by Nathalie, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Tacloban City, Philippines by agnesdv, Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, The Hague, Netherlands by Lezard, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Toruń, Poland by Torun Observer, Toulouse, France by Julia, Turin, Italy by Livio, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Victoria, Canada by Benjamin Madison, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Virginia Beach (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Washington (DC), USA by Rachel, Wassenaar, Netherlands by Rich, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Williamsburg (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Willits (CA), USA by Elaine, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn,
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