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

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5 Comments on “Cheltenham town centre, England: twenty photos, including a newsagent full of plastic guns”

  1. My home town, I now live in bristol, I miss the “old” Cheltenham, lived through the 70s as a skinhead and mod, great happy days, Sarah Siddons pub, the captains cabin, such happy days… I was Dawn Nock back then…any old friends out there?

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  2. I just came back from one month there, lodging in Burton Towers! I was having my 6 y child attending Just Camps at All Saints Academy for 4 weeks while my wife and I were visiting Cotswolds. We loved the town and our accomodation. The local pitch and putt golf course at Pittville Park is free if you carry your clubs and ball and just 3 minutes away, right downtown. Cleeves Hill Golf Club is 15 minutes away to the North and is a “common”, inexensive and with good tutoring and commands wide view on the plain below as well as Malverns (hills) and Wales.
    Cheltenham is much more interesting – I mean buildings and monuments, museums and villas – than one could expect from the report i just read in the above blog! I just have the impression the author/editor wanted to publish the photos of old and dirt places more than an oversight of the town…

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      1. Thank you (for the second Cheltenham link), I tumbled by chance on this thread and I was not aware of the second one with the main buildings and monuments.
        I also capture what I see on my walks and I find interesting. We simply have different (ages, I guess, and) interests. For example I like to take pictures also at English chimneys and the wire web radiating from the woodden poles in town. We miss it in my country, as all wires are underground and there is no poetry in our illumination!

        I was living pretty close to the newsagent with weapons you put in a picture and I too found peculiar its shop window! As well as I liked the shopwindows of two nearby musics stores (I bought a fife and was interested in the ukulele on sale there) and the peculiar roof of a little mosque facing Burton Towers.
        My kid was impressed (and was laughing everytime she was hitting them) by the several Piri.Piri and Peri-Peri signs on some little and cheap restaurants (I call Piri-Piri a funny walking caracter I make using three fingers of my hand, just like an ant, to make my kid smiling since she is born!).
        I was impressed by some wide wild flower and herbs bed growing in Pittville Park around hole 6-8-9 of the pitch and putt golf course. Some of them were spiny and seemed dry, but they were extremely interesting in shape (I guess were developing accordi Fibonacci’s serie).
        All the best!

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