Heritage Open Days runs for ten days this year and we have a great selection of buildings open to the public, several for the first time – Cheltenham Racecourse and Queen’s Hotel, to mention two. There are also walks and talks (most require pre-booking) and an ‘affiliate event’, another play, written by Lou Beckett. All the details are in the brochure. Hard copies can be collected from Tourist Information Centre in The Wilson from Friday 26 July.
Heritage Open Days 2019 walk & talk bookings open
Alex Chalk MP on the High Street
Street Audit 2019
This year's Civic Day on 22 June was marked by revisiting last year's detailed audit of things that needed repair or improvements on the High Street. Redundant street signage, removal of graffiti, dangling electricity cables and cracked pavements all came under scrutiny. Volunteers were joined by Andrew Booton, Civic Society Chair, Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk, Steve Jordan, leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, and Councillor Tim Harman.
This year's audit largely concentrated on the seventy-two issues that Gloucestershire County Council and Cheltenham Borough Council acknowledged were their responsibility. Detailed findings of what issues have and have not been addressed over the last year will be sent to the councils so that outstanding matters can be looked at and attended to. Next, our Street Pride Group wants to look at ways of encouraging landlords and tenants to improve the appearance of their buildings and the High Street generally. Ideas welcome!
Alex Chalk MP, Andrew Booton & James Hodsdon with volunteers
Kevan Blackadder at Parmoor House
BID works for all
Kevan Blackadder, Director of Cheltenham Business Improvement District, gave a most informative talk on 2 July about its achievements and plans for the future. Highlights include February’s ‘Light up Cheltenham’ and the big wheel (enjoyed by 10,000 people) and a YouTube video to attract more visitors, in conjunction with Marketing Cheltenham see here.
Asked what his top three priorities for the Town Centre Vision being developed right now, with the borough council, he said: “improving finding one’s way into and out of the town; the whole town must benefit from improvements for businesses and visitors, not just the wealthier bits; and keeping the town ‘special and different’ architecturally.
Captain Skillicorne declaims ...
On a slightly damp Tuesday 4 June, Captain Henry Skillicorne, aka Parmoor House Manager Phil Collins, led his band of Regency enthusiasts on a walking tour of his much celebrated spa town. The culmination of their most informative perambulations was a splendid afternoon tea and cakes at the New Club.
Freddie Gick, Neela Mann & Andrew Booton, and right, Freddie Gick holds a restored WW1 battlefield wooden cross
On Tuesday 7 May at Parmoor House, Freddie Gick and local historian Neela Mann gave a fascinating and yet moving talk and presentation about the World War 1 battlefield crosses brought back to Cheltenham after the war. Found rotting in the Bouncers Lane Cemetery, 22 crosses were rescued and conserved in a project initiated by Freddie Gick.
With the help of a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project led by Freddie, was successfully completed with the dedication and commitment of a team that included local historian Neela Mann, 14 pupils of Pittville School and their teacher, Hannah Taylor and the work of Stephen Umpleby's Artefacts Conservation Services.
A brochure and exhibition of the project will be on display at Parmoor House during this year's Heritage Open Days 13 - 22 September.
Heritage Open Days
Applications discussed at the
16 July Planning Forum