Saturday, 31 May 2008

More Like It

This is more like it! This is the kind of building that Cheltenham is known for, unlike the apartments in yesterdays post. This Regency terrace is on the upmarket Suffolk Square, just on the edge of the town centre. When they were first built in the 1800's this terrace would have been individual grand houses, but now the majority are divided into flats. I wouldn't mind one with a wrought iron balcony.

Have a good weekend one and all!

Friday, 30 May 2008

Millennium Plaza

These rather funky, urban looking apartments have just been built on the corner of Portland Street and Albion Street, right on the Inner Ring Road. To my mind its not the best place to live in Cheltenham but I bet there are good views from the balconies and more so the Penthouse. One of the apartments in this development is rented out as an hotel room, which is very odd in a residential building. Well it is round here. This new build sits on the sit of a former restaurant that was doomed from the start. The Millennium Restaurant was a space-age themed diner, and the building stood out like a sore thumb. It was built at the end of the 90's and it had a huge roof that was pitched like a birds wings in mid flight. I wish I had a picture to show you! The place only lasted a couple of years and sat empty for much of the start of the new millennium before being demolished last year. I don't think Regency Cheltenham was quite ready for the New Millennium!

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Summertime Blues

It is meant to be the start of summer but someone forgot to tell the sky. It hasn't stopped raining here for days and it is set to continue through the coming weekend, which will be nice! So today I've posted a flower photo to try and cheer things up a bit. Hope it works. The sun has got to shine eventually!

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Lizard Leaflets

This funky looking chap is in the window display of printing shop Fat Flyers. I'm not really sure what a papier-mache reptile has to do with printing but its certainly eye catching. The shop, on Bath Road, is always advertising on local radio. Perhaps it would be cheaper for them to do a leaflet drop!

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Its A Restaurant!

Yes, the carved stone head on the church with a difference, from yesterdays post, is on the front of a restaurant!

Zizzi's is a great Italian restaurant that took over the building about five years ago. Before that the former church, which was de-consecrated in 1974, was used as the Church Hall for St Philip and St James Church based in nearby Leckhampton. The church, once St James', is in Suffolk Square and is built in the Gothic Revival style. It was built in 1825-30 on land sold by the Earl of Suffolk's daughter, and was designed by local architect Edward Jenkins. It was, and still is, the impressive focal point of the upmarket Suffolk Square. Inside all of the original stone carvings, pillars and balconies still exist; with the open kitchen under the magnificent stained glass window, in the area of the former altar. It is stunning inside and next time I eat there I will take some photos. As a bonus the food is great too!

There was no outright winner from yesterdays quiz. The nearest guess was Vanky, but they have no link to their profile, so I can't give a link to their blog. Therefore the honour of a link goes to Jackie in Glasgow, who came second. Check out her great blog at Glasgow Daily Photo.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Heads Up

Now this carved stone head is on the outside of a church with a difference. As its Bank Holiday Monday today its time for a guessing game! Contain your excitement! So the question is - Why is this church something different? No prizes, just the honour of getting it right and a link to your blog. What more could you want?!

Check back tomorrow for the big reveal! Oooohhh!

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Spooky Monument

This monument marks the grave of a little girl who died many, many years ago. It's in the graveyard on top of Chosen Hill and, like many of these sort of memorials, it has a something bit of a spooky about it. I know its supposed to be an Angel but it doesn't give me any comfort!

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Non-Famous Skyline

If I were to show you a photo of the New York skyline you'd know instantly where it was. The same goes for London, Sydney and many other world famous cities. Unfortunately Cheltenham doesn't have such a skyline. The only reason that you'd guess this is my home-town's skyline is because its on a Cheltenham daily photo blog! This photo was taken from the top of Chosen Hill and as you can see Cheltenham is surrounded by hills, mainly the Cotswolds. If you click on the photo to enlarge it you'll get a better view, and an idea of the geography. Our only skyscraper is Eagle Tower, which you can see on the right of the picture. Just past the tower, slightly up the hill, is GCHQ's Oakley site. The Government use this as one of their information gathering (spying) headquarters, the other one is shaped like a big doughnut and is on the opposite side of town. In the photo I've managed to fit in about half of Cheltenham, the majority shows the town centre and surrounding suburbs. If you imagine the same again to the left of the photo, then you get an idea of how big Cheltenham is.

Not so much the Big Apple, but more the Medium Grape!

Friday, 23 May 2008


All these chimney pots sit on the roofs of the old back-to-back houses that are on one side of the Portland Street car park. The large car park used to have these sort of houses all over it but they were all demolished in the late 60's. One house escaped the compulsory purchase order (giving the right to developers to buy land, and whatever is on it, and then being able to knock it down) and stood alone in the vast sea of tarmac, until it was eventually demolished in 1980. A public toilet now stands on the site of the former number 14.
I don't imagine that many of the houses with these chimneys have open fires now-a-days, but in the past the smoke must have been billowing. Was that the start of global warming? Its all Mary Poppins' fault!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Spice Of Life

The Indus restaurant is one of my favourites in town. It serves delicious Indian food, their Naan bread is the best! The front of the building stands out from all those around it, what with its columns and mosaic tiles. And inside it is alive with colour, paintings, bright fabrics and fantastic smells. The staff are friendly and give great service and it isn't that expensive to eat there. And when you leave the ladies are given a flower. Ideal for a night out when you've forgotten to get flowers for your date!

Check out the menu to get your taste buds going!

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

On Your Bike

So much for Bobbies on the beat, now its Bobbies on two wheels! Actually its a good way for the Police to get through town quickly, because unlike police cars they can go through the parks, across the pedestrianised areas and cut through alleyways. This was the first time I'd seen Gloucestershire Police on their bikes, unfortunately its not the best photo but you get the idea. Any complaints and I'll call the boys-in-blue-on-bikes to sort you out!

I know there is a pun to go with this photo, but my brain can't come up with one. Any puns gratefully received.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Change Ploughs On

Since starting this blog I've shown many photos from in and around the Regent Arcade shopping centre, but never the front. Well, here it is in all its 1980's glory! I have written about its history before, but here is a brief recap. The Regent Arcade was built in 1982-84 and cost £23 million. It has 78 shops, a roof top car park and is over 185,000 square feet in size. The Arcade was opened in May 1985 by Princess Anne.

Over recent months the Regent Arcade has been undergoing a makeover, with the marble and stone walls and pillars inside being replaced. It will be white and silver when it is completed. The front is also going to be changed, with a large arch way replacing the existing facade. This change is probably going to be the most noticed, as the front you can see today is almost identical to that of the previous building that was there. The site used to be The Plough Hotel, which dated back to 1654. It was one of Cheltenhams most popular hotels and inns. The yard that was behind the High Street hotel was the biggest in the country (hence the size of the present shopping centre.) But after the Second World War the Plough fell into disrepair and was never as popular as in its heyday. It was eventually demolished in 1980, despite the protest of locals who collected a 20,000 signature petition (that's a fifth of Cheltenhams population!)

Not surprisingly, there has been no similar petition regarding the planned changes to Regent Arcade.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Sunny Dandelion

I thought I'd start the week with a bit of sunshine! The weather here has been really good this last week and all the plants are blooming. Even the weeds look good!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Busking To Increase Sales

Sitting on the bench on the Prom (the one where I met Walter and his wife) meant I was in prime position to snap a photo of this chap busking. He was outside the front of Cavendish House department store, a popular location for buskers. The store has all sorts of people passing by and I suppose they make a bit of money there. Unlike most of the other musicians this guy was selling Cd's of his music. He sounded quite good but I'm not sure I'd spend even £3 on one of his Cd's! I think he was being a bit optimistic!

Saturday, 17 May 2008


Some of you out there may know of Lori ( and the fact that she is taking a break from her New York City Daily Photo Blog. This, in part, is due to someone leaving her a very unkind message. I have always enjoyed Lori's blog and I am grateful for the comments she has left me. Her blog, along with other New York Daily Photo Blogs, is one of the reasons I started my own Daily Photo Blog. Although she is not part of the CDPB forum she has a regular following of people that appreciate her photos and enjoy what she has to say. I am sorry that the thoughtless comment of one individual has caused Lori to question her blog and her abilities as a photographer. I wish her all the best and hope that she feels able to return soon. Show your support and pay her a visit.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Mr & Mrs Walter Pigeon

While in town on Monday I sat on one of the benches on the Prom to have a rest in the shade of the trees. As I sat there these two came pecking around my feet. I managed to get my camera out and take a couple of shots before they wandered off. Nothing more to say really, I just like these photos. Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Holy Trinity

Holy Trinity Church, on Portland Street, is one of many buildings in Cheltenham designed by George Underwood. The Church was built in 1820-3 in a Gothic Revival style and is unlike many of the other Churches in town that have the usual spire, I think it has a French look about it. The construction of the church was funded by the sale of shares. Each share that a parishioner purchased entitled them to the use of a pew in the church. If you weren't well off enough to buy a share you had to pay a shilling to attend each service!

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Ladies That Lunch

The outdoor tables of the restaurants and cafes on the Promenade are full of al fresco diners as we enjoy some lovely early summer weather here in the UK. Cheltenham is known for its shopping and these ladies were obviously taking a well deserved lunchtime rest before continuing on their mission! Credit crunch? What credit crunch?!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Axiom Mural

This colourful mural is on the wall of the now defunct Axiom Arts Centre, as featured yesterday. The painting is in good condition seeing as its been off limits for the past six years. I poked my camera through the gate to get this photo! I'm not really sure what its all about. Any ideas? I love the green elephant at the far end! Hope it brightens your day.

Monday, 12 May 2008


This derelict building used to be the hub of Cheltenhams music and arts scene. The Axiom Centre, in Winchcombe street, was the place to go to see new bands, unusual art exhibitions and share a drink with friends while chilling out in relaxed surroundings.

Unfortunately the centre shut in 2000 after the Council were worried by the way it was being run and the loss of money it was suffering. After several failed attempts to revive the place it closed for good in 2002. The Borough Council has since sold the building for over £500,000 and have promised to use the money towards the Art Gallery and Museum redevelopment. I don't know how many years the Axiom was used for before its demise but I spent several 'entertaining' nights there. Once listening to a friends first gig. Sadly his band was one of the worst that night, but that was the joy of the Axiom - you never knew what you'd get! I also watched another friends rather bizarre play in the upstairs theatre area. But the best times were spent on warm evenings sitting outside on the benches chatting with the lively mix of people that were drawn to the Axiom.

I think Cheltenham is worse off for the loss of the Axiom. There really isn't the same kind of venue in town for up and coming creative minds to express themselves.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Wet Neptune

The powers that be have finally turned the water back on in the towns fountains (I guess they wait until May so that the danger of frozen pipes has passed) and I can finally show you a photo of Neptune in all his glory that I promised to you months ago. This is Neptune's Fountain on the Promenade in full flow. It is really nice to have this magnificent water feature flowing again. It makes a very summery scene. I've posted on the fountain before, click on the word 'Neptune' in the links below to read about its history. One final thing, I recently learnt that the water for the fountain is pumped up from the River Chelt that flows through an underground tunnel directly below it!

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Red Sea

This sea of red tulips is in the Long Garden in front of the Municipal Offices in the Promenade. Tulips are always the last spring bulb to come into flower and they make such a striking display. We are having some very hot weather at the moment so the blooms won't last much longer. Enjoy them while you can!

Sorry for the short post and lack of comments, time is short at the moment. I'll be catching up today! I hope you all have a good weekend.

Friday, 9 May 2008

The Planets Birthplace

"Welcome to Cheltenham's musical gem - the Regency terrace house where Gustav Holst, composer of The Planets was born in 1874. The story of the man and his music is told alongside a fascinating display of personal belongings including his piano. The museum is also a fine period house showing the upstairs downstairs way of life in times past, including a working Victorian kitchen and laundry, elegant Regency drawing room and charming Edwardian nursery."

This unassuming, rather unimpressive house is the birthplace of Cheltenham's most famous son. His statue was unveiled in town a few weeks ago and I promised to show you the museum dedicated to him. The opening paragraph of todays post is taken from the Holst Museum website. Click on the link below for more on the museum and some photos of the inside of this town centre terrace -

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Power Struggle

I spotted this graffiti on the side of a furniture shop.

One is dead, one is no longer in power, and one won't be in power for much longer, but is this enough? What do you all think? The rights and wrongs? The what ifs? Or are we all fed up of the ongoing debate? Over to you...

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Naughty But So Very Nice!

This has got to be one of the most expensive ways there is to buy sweets, but the choice is huge! From fudge and jelly beans to hard gums and white chocolate mice there is something for any one with a sweet tooth. This Pick "N" Mix is a new addition to the Regent Arcade shopping centre. You can walk right round the stall and take in the sight of all these sweet treats. I had a small selection in my bag and it came to nearly £6 ! But they were sooo nice! Yummy....

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Hill Top Church

On top of Chosen Hill (the one with the bluebells I showed yesterday) sits St Bartholomew's Church. This is the original Parish church of Churchdown and dates from the Norman era, thought to have been built in 1175. It's believed that the origins of the site date back much earlier than this, with the hill top site being used as a military camp in the Bronze Age. Recently the area around the church has undergone some transformation, with a new retaining wall built to stop the church slipping down the steep side of the hill and the over grown Fir trees removed to reveal the church to the villages below. The church has a cross on top of it that is lit at night and can be seen for miles around. Although a new Parish church (St Andrew's) was built in the village in the early 1900's (due to St Bart's not being easily accessible) the ancient building is still used for Sunday services, weddings, funerals and bell ringing! The church is a Grade 1 listed building and must hold open days throughout the year. When the next one comes I'm going to take a visit to check out the inside of this lovely little church.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Bluebell Wood

These beautiful bluebells are in the woods on Chosen Hill. The hill is in the village of Churchdown, situated between Cheltenham and Gloucester. At this time of year the whole of the woodland floor is a carpet of blue, and looks amazing. The scent is intoxicating. These photos really don't do the impressive scene justice, but I hope you get a sense of the natural beauty.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Marley In Stratford-Upon-Avon - Day 2

Here are some more photos of my family outing to Stratford-Upon-Avon to celebrate my mums birthday.

I don't know if Shakespeare kept his money here but now its a branch of HSBC.

Statue of Stratfords world famous son by the marina.

Shakespeare's house, now a museum and part of a visitors centre. Too expensive for us to visit!

People enjoying a glass of wine in the afternoon sun on a barge. What a life.

A native American pan pipe player! These guys are often seen in towns up and down the country, trying to sell a CD or two.

I hope you've enjoyed the photos of Stratford-Upon-Avon I've shown over the last few days. Back to Cheltenham tomorrow.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Marley In Stratford-Upon-Avon

On Thursday it was my mums birthday, so my sisters and I took her for a day out in Stratford-Upon-Avon. The town is about 45 miles North of Cheltenham, and is the home of world famous bard William Shakespeare. Stratford is a lovely place with the river Avon running through its heart, though it is over run with tourists. We had a great time visiting Stratford's Butterfly Farm, enjoying a pub lunch and strolling by the river. We also managed to avoid the morning showers! Today and tomorrow I'll show you some of the photos I took. Enjoy.

One of the dozens of large blue butterflies at the Butterfly Farm.

Tree frogs in one of the natural world display cabinets.

Striking red, white and black butterfly.

A colour changing Chameleon.

My sisters, who were petrified of the butterflies!

Come back tomorrow for some photos of Shakespeare. Have a good Saturday.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Every Vote Counts

Yesterday Cheltonians got their chance to cast their vote for the election of Councillors for the Borough Council. Its not as exciting as a General Election but its still an important poll. I went to my local Primary School to vote. Cheltenhams constituency is divided into Wards (areas) and each is represented by two Councillors. Half of the 40 seats are up for re-election, that's one councillor for each Ward. In two years time the other seats will be up for re-election. In my Ward the election is between a Liberal Democrat and a Conservative candidate, the fight for control of the Borough Council is also between these two parties, as no party has overall control (the Labour party have little impact in Cheltenham). Cheltenham wasn't the only Council holding voting, there were 159 Councils in England with around 4,000 seats up for grabs. Also there were elections taking place in Britain's Capital for London Mayor and in Wales for all of the Welsh Unitary Authorities. This election is the first test of Gordon Browns government, the results will be interesting to say the least!

At the time of posting, the results weren't in but when they are I'll post an update. You lucky things! Yes, I'm a politics nerd!!


....The results are in and the Council remains with no overall control! Lib Dem gained 3 seats, Conservative gained 1 and Labour lost their 1 and they now have no representation on Cheltenham Borough Council. Now its up to the Councillors to decide who will lead the Council. If they can't decide then the Mayor makes the decision, and he just happens to be a Lib Dem! Over the country as a whole the Labour government have had their worst election result in 40 years with only 24% of the popular vote. Lib Dems have a 26% share, and the Conservatives are up to 44% share. Interesting political times ahead...

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Theme Day - Numbers

Its the first day of the month and its Theme Day again! The phrase 24/7 is one of the most used set of numbers. I think it originated from the name of an American Store, but in Cheltenham our Twenty 4 Seven is a bar and club. Its housed in a four storey Regency building that's part of a terrace, the sort that Cheltenham is famous for. The venue has a nice relaxed bar, an area with comfy sofas and a large dance floor in the basement. I've been there a few times, but don't remember much about it! That's what happens when you drink 24/7 !!

Take some time to visit some of the other 180 City Daily Photo Blogs taking part in this Theme Day Click here to view thumbnails for all participants
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