Cheltenham town centre, England: twenty photos, including a newsagent full of plastic guns

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

Last weekend, I visited the Cotswolds town of Cheltenham for the first time. I was there for a wedding and took time out to wander around the centre of town.

The main drag was well maintained but soulless, being a long parade of upmarket fashion stores, tourist-luring cafes and shops selling pointless, pricey nick-nacks.

However, a short walk away was the old High Street, which was far more interesting. Here’s some photos from my perambulations.

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

You can make out the old decorative ‘Cigars’ signage at Cobblers Corner.

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

Above F Hinds jewellers can be seen the ‘Centre Stone’, which was once deemed to be the central point in the town, and thus served as the reference from which distances could be measured and cab fares calculated.
[Cheltonia]

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

‘You adventure starts here.’

‘We are closed.’

Closed shop on the High Steet.

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

The Happy Garden Chinese restaurant and some run down buildings at the corner of St Paul’s Street South and the High Street.

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

Faded Victorian mirrored shop signs.

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

It’s a ‘walk round store.’ That’s good to know, then.

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

Old shop front.

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

‘Wilks Ironmonger’ masonry detail at first floor level, 343 High Street. That brickwork look a bit tatty too.

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

The Ace Bingo clings on to life.

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

How lovely. A convenience store stuffed full of plastic guns.

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

Close up detail of the shop window armoury.

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

Bloke graffiti.

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

The splendid red brick Victorian Gothic building at Gloucester Road.

Formerly used by the Cheltenham Gas Company, the building is Grade II listed.

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

The slightly less than impressive edifice of ‘Burton Towers.’

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

Message for the postman.

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

Old TV repair shop.

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

Inside could be seen a collection of old and new radios and record players, some TVs and, err, a load of fishing rods.

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

Walking back into the centre of town, I passed this curious old building.

Photographs taken around Cheltenham town centre, Gloucestershire, England on the edge of the Cotswolds

A bloke was handing out branded balloons advertising a letting company in the main shopping area.

I watched as some kids took a handful off him and then amused themselves inhaling the helium to make their voices go amusingly high pitched. He didn’t look too happy about that.

Cheltenham in music 

Cheltenham may well be known as the birthplace of the famous composer Gustav Theodore Holst, but it’s my old band The Monochrome Set who spring to mind when I think of Cheltenham – and that’s because the town features in their pithy and witty critique of the privileged classes, ‘The Ruling Class’

Here’s some of the lyrics:

My old man’s an earl now
And he wears an ermine gown
He sends me an allowance
To spend in Eton town

He drives a yellow Bentley
And he beats me with his wrench
He hires me private tutors
To help me in my French

He was my man and he done me wrong
He was my man and he done me wrong

My old girl’s a duchess
And she wears a Hartnell frock
She’s picked me out a Cheltenham girl
Of Suffolk breeding stock

My young fag’s an MP’s son
And he warms my toilet seat
I thrash him with a whip
To make his character complete