Day Out: Archive Films
Day Out presenter St. John Howell
Day Out: Cheltenham
Watch a BBC TV programme made in 1985 of a day spent exploring Cheltenham...
Originally broadcast in March 1985 was this charming half-hour television programme which took a look round the spa town of Cheltenham.
As part of the BBC's 'Day Out' series - which visited a different Gloucestershire and West Country locale every week - presenter St. John Howell explores the history of the town which grew from a village into a town in the 18th Century.
The Ladies' College
He begins at Cheltenham Ladies College at the site where locals originally noticed pigeons feeding off the salts of a natural spring, which led to the town getting a reputation as a healthy place to visit. In 1788 the king came to stay for five weeks and it then became a popular holiday resort with members of high society.
He visits the Montpellier Assembly Rooms - in 1985 in use as Lloyds Bank - before moving on to the Montpellier Gardens. He then tells the story of various famous people to have been born or lived in Cheltenham - including Antarctic explorer Edward Wilson, Arthur "Bomber" Harris, Sir Ralph Richardson, and Thomas Hardy.
A trip to the Imperial Gardens follows where St. John meets Steven Blake the official Cheltenham Historian. He talks about the town's history, its fusty repution and the town's architecture. We then visit the Skillicorn Garden where St. John samples the famous spa waters - said to be the only natural alkaline water in Great Britain.
He then visits the Promenade where we see the Municipal Offices, Neptune's Fountain and the Edward Wilson statue. Then it's on to Well Walk and the Parish Church of St. Mary's which is the oldest building in the town, before St. John visits the town's museum. Here we learn from Annette Carruthers about the collection of furniture made by the Guild of Handicrafts.
The next stop on the tour of the town is the Gustav Holst Birthplace Museum where we meet archivist Lowinger Maddison who talks about the composer's life and career. Then it's on to the Pittville Pump Room where we hear about the creation of the new spa to the north of the centre of Cheltenham by Joseph Pitt.
Check out the other fascinating films from the 'Day Out' series which were filmed in Gloucestershire by clicking on the links at the top right of this page.
last updated: 21/01/2009 at 14:34
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