July 2017: Launch of 2017 Heritage Open Days' Brochure
The 2017 brochure was launched at Honeybourne Gate, 2 Gloucester Road on 19 July. About forty participating buildings, walks leaders and speakers assembled in the atrium lounge on the first floor for the official event, with Cheltenham Civic Society Chairman Maxine Melling, Mayor Cllr Klara Sudbury and historian Neela Mann speaking.
The MC was Captain Henry Skillicorne (aka Phil Collins, House Manager Parmoor House). Cakes and tea were served afterwards in the dining area, and guests were invited to visit the roof terrace with spectacular views over the town.
Thanks to Honeybourne Gate for sponsoring the event. The brochure is available from the Tourist Information Centre, Glide brochure displays and online at heritageopendays.org.uk
July 2017: Cheltenham's Nonconformist Chapels
At Parmoor House on 4 July, Dr.Steven Blake gave members a most informative and entertaining talk on "Dissenters' Boxes" as Non-conformist chapels were known when they were built between 1808 - 1855.
Sixteen of these chapels were built in the town but only 2 survive today as places of worship. Several of the chapels were used as warehouses or other mundane use and others were demolished.
Dr. Blake showed members a range of prints, drawings, early photographs and plans, illustrating how Cheltenham has changed in the intervening years. The example below in Knapp Road, originally built in 1820 as Bethel Baptist Chapel, has recently been converted into the Chapel Arts Gallery by local gallery owner Ian James, so preserving the building for many years to come.
June 2017: Civic Day
We marked Civic Day by the launch of an exhibition about the history and identity of the Lower High Street in the new art gallery, Chapel Arts, in Knapp Road, GL50 3QQ.
Over 140 people visited the gallery to view the exhibition and talk to those responsible for putting it together, staff from the Cheltenham West End Partnership (CWEP) and the History Department at the University of Gloucestershire.
A film of interviews with local residents was shown several times at The Frog & Fiddle in the Lower High Street. This was a great opportunity for the project leaders to meet new residents which will lead to further development of the project.
The exhibition runs from today until 30 June, except Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entry is free.
Summer Garden Party
Parmoor House, Lypiatt Road
The Civic Society is an of offical consultee of Cheltenham Borough Council and through its Planning Forum offers comments on relevant planning applications.
The structure and remit of the Planning Forum is currently being reviewed to ensure that it fully respects the considered objectives of the society and its members.
Minutes of recent Planning Forum meetings can be seen here.