Little-known facts about some of Cheltenham’s best-known buildings and locations have been revealed in a new town centre trail.
Cheltenham Business Improvement District (BID) has worked with The Cheltenham Trust on the Hidden Cheltenham trail, which gives new insights for locals and visitors alike.
Do you know where in central Cheltenham Britain’s first jet aircraft engine was assembled? Or where the Rolling Stones starred in one of their first concerts with Cheltenham-born Brian Jones on guitar? Or where in Cheltenham the first successful parachute descent by an Englishman was made way back in 1838?
Hidden Cheltenham highlights the stories of the people, places and communities of the town that have been overlooked, forgotten and in some cases even written out of history.
Hidden Cheltenham is supported by a dedicated website hiddencheltenham.com, which is packed with information on the background to the places on the trail. As well as modern and historic images, local experts give the lowdown on everything you could possibly want to know.
“Many of the sites are busy places that both locals and visitors walk past every day without ever realising the stories they have to tell. We think that once people find out one fact, they’ll be keen to discover more, potentially taking them to parts of the town they don’t always visit.”
Oliver Tipper, Participation Team Leader at the Cheltenham Trust, said: “We were thrilled that the BID asked us to support this project. It has been a great opportunity to research and explore some fantastic stories from Cheltenham’s past. It made us curious about how these histories are viewed now, especially by individuals and communities with a shared interest in the history.”
The website includes stories from those individuals and communities. Look for the “A Local Opinion” item on each page.
Follow the Hidden Cheltenham trail to: The Mayflower, Clarence Street; Wagamama, Clarence Street; St Mary’s Church; F Hinds, High Street; The Brewery Quarter; the former Gaumont Cinema, Winchcombe Street; Marks & Spencer; Regent Arcade; Pizza Express, Imperial Square; The Bandstand, Montpellier Gardens; Spa Pharmacy, Montpellier Street; Cheltenham Ladies College.
Each of the 12 points on the trail will have a “Did you know?” message, with maps available here at The Brewery Quarter security office (which can be found on the first floor of Cupola Tower), from The Wilson, Cheltenham BID and many other participating venues.