Sunday, 14 April 2013


Friday 14th to Sunday 16th June 2013

If you love good food, fine wine and great entertainment, there is no better place for you to be this June than the Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival. Situated in the heart of Montpellier Gardens, the Festival is one of the UK's premier culinary events attracting over 19,000 visitors annually. With a unique relaxed atmosphere, over 200 exhibitors are show casing an exciting range of delicious, unusual produce and culinary products. Starting on Friday 14th June 2013, you will have three days to meet local, national and international food and drink producers and chefs who are passionate about their food.

Exhibitors from the Cotswold's include award winning artisan cheese-maker Simon Weaver from Upper Slaughter who uses organic milk from his farm to make a range of delicious, creamy Brie cheese. Bensons Fruit Juice, from Sherborne will be inviting us to taste traditionally made juice using 100% British apples. Young entrepreneur Fraser Bawtree from Cheltenham will be returning with his famous FrasersFudj and for the more health conscious, you will have a chance to experience the virtues of Cotswold Gold Extra Virgin Rapeseed Oil from Stanton, near Broadway.

In the Cookery Theatre, a number of renowned chefs from leading local hotels and restaurants will be joined by Celebrity Chefs to provide inspirational cookery demonstrations using the best local and national ingredients.

On Friday 14th the Cotswold Chef Rob Rees MBE will be cooking with his Wiggly Worm charity team joined by students from the National Star College at the Star Bistro. The following day, Rob will team up with ex-England Rugby Captain and BBC Celebrity Master Chef winner Phil Vickery to entertain and inspire you to the pleasures of food and their love of what the Cotswolds, Forest of Dean and City of Gloucester have to offer. Their partnership is truly unique.

Saturday 15th June also sees Celebrity Chefs Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo from the BBC's "Two Greedy Italians" taking centre stage. The two old friends will share their wisdom, humour and passion for good simple Italian food reflecting their culinary heritage. Winner of the 2010 BBC2 Great British Bake Off Edd Kimber a genius of a baker will be inspiring the rest of us to have a go with his easy-to-follow and enthusiastic recipes on Sunday 16th June.

For lovers of Indian cuisine, you can learn how to create exotic flavours from Asia with demonstrations from winner of Gordon Ramsay’s Best Local Indian Restaurant Shamsul Krori from Cheltenham's Curry Corner. Together with his daughter Monrusha, they will tantalize your taste buds with truly exotic cooking. Anisa Patel from the Green Aubergine Cookery School in Gloucester will finish the Festival off as she shares her passion for exploring authentic Indian food.

A highlight of the Festival is the International Wine Theatre where visitors have the chance to participate in interactive and educational wine courses covering a range of subjects from buying, tasting, grape varieties and styles, from old world to new world wine.

This year's International exhibitors will feature the Yealand's Estate who are at the forefront of New Zealand wine making, creating award-winning wines in harmony with the environment of the stunning Awatere Valley in Marlborough. South Africa is represented by Kleine Zalze from the Western Cape.

European wines will include Chris Brierly's talk on Podere Sant'Alberto Wine & Olive Oil from Tuscany, Judith Burns' feature on Croatian wines, the Wine Tipster Neil Phillips course on Les Dauphins wines from France's Rhône Valley. Neil will also be sharing his knowledge of Spanish, English and Welsh wines which are gaining international recognition.

At the Cotswold Style's Real Food & Drink Theatre you can enjoy a series of talks from some of the most well known and respected experts in the UK. Topics include Olive Oil, Real Ale, Nutrition and local cheeses from Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. Whiskey lovers can learn more about some of the famous brands produced by Pernod Ricard, who currently own 14 distilleries in Scotland.
Your visit can be completed by relaxing in the Champagne Garden, raising a glass to summer whilst listening to a range of live music.

Admission Prices which includes Cookery Demonstrations, entry to the Real Food & Drinks Theatre and the International Wine Theatre:
Saturday or Sunday: Adults £6.00 per day on the day
Children under 16 Free. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Friday: Adults £3.00: Only available for Friday.
Advance Purchase via the Festival Web-Site
Opening Hours
Friday: 12noon to 7pm
Saturday: 10am to 7pm
Sunday: 10am to 5pm
Last Admission to the Festival half an hour before closing.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Cheltenham MP: PM wrong to pre-empt Trident review

Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood has condemned David Cameron’s declaration today that Britain needs to replace the Trident nuclear deterrent.  Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, the Prime Minister cited the ‘evolving threat’ from North Korea among other reasons to spend £20 billion on like-for-like replacement of Trident, which could ultimately cost closer to £100 billion over its whole lifetime.  Martin, who also chairs the Liberal Democrat parliamentary party’s international affairs committee, has warned that Mr Cameron’s comments pre-empt the cost-effectiveness study insisted on by Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Agreement.

The value for money study was agreed so that alternatives to Trident could be properly evaluated by government, and was initially led by former Lib Dem defence minister Nick Harvey MP.  It is being completed by Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander MP, and is expected to report within the next few months.

The Liberal Democrats opposed Tony Blair’s plan for the early renewal of Trident and forced its cancellation when the coalition took office.  The critical ‘main-gate’ decision on whether to proceed will now be taken in 2016 – after the next General Election.

Martin said: ‘David Cameron is obviously trying to pre-empt the cost-effectiveness study just before its publication.  The truth is that the Trident system was designed to deter an attack from the Soviet Union and this strategy is long overdue for a rethink.  Today’s world poses different threats such as international terrorism and regional destabilisation and makes very different demands on our military.  It is far from clear that we can afford like-for-like replacement in any case but, even if we could, we need to ask if £20 billion wouldn’t be better spent on fighter planes, frigates or other conventional military resources, or on other priorities altogether like hospitals and schools.

Linking Trident renewal to the genuine regional crisis in East Asia is topical but silly.  No one believes that Korean missiles could ever reach the UK and the idea that Trident could help to defend Japan or the United States against North Korean aggression will be received with hilarity in the Pentagon. 

Our central purpose in government is to build a stronger economy and a fairer society.  I cannot see how spending tens of billions of pounds of public money on cold war technology will help us to achieve that.  I hope the cost-effectiveness study insisted on by the Liberal Democrats will identify realistic and cheaper alternatives.  David Cameron would be wise to wait and read it before trying to undermine it.’

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Guitar Virtuoso John Etheridge at the Cheltenham Playhouse Theatre

Sunday 14 April 2013
The Playhouse Theatre, Bath Road

The Venue Jazz Club continues its thrilling program of events at The Cheltenham Playhouse on Sunday 14th April and are bringing in one of the country’s top jazz guitarists, John Etheridge to the theatre. John, rightly enjoys a glowing reputation throughout the jazz world and beyond and has been described by American legend Pat Metheny as, "One of the best guitarists in the world". He is a prodigiously gifted and creative player whose approach to music can only be described as 'eclectic' as he refuses to accommodate or even acknowledge artificial musical boundaries. John’s range is well illustrated by his years of touring and recording with the iconic violinist Stephane Grappelli while simultaneously doing likewise with the legendary jazz-fusion group, The Soft Machine. John is equally at home on acoustic and electric guitar and his willingness to engage with so many styles is matched by his ability to excel in any of them. He has played with John Williams, Yehudi Menuhin, Dizzie Gillespie, Herb Ellis, Mundell Lowe, Nigel Kennedy, Pat Metheny, Birelli Lagrene, Barney Kessel, Vic Juris and countless others. John will be appearing giving a unique up close and personal performance at The Cheltenham Playhouse.

Tickets: £12 Telephone: 01242 522852

Monday, 25 March 2013


19 April 2013
The Bacon Theatre, Cheltenham

Starring the sensational Peter Gill, this exhilarating show tells the story of the first wild man of rock and without doubt rock 'n' roll’s most exciting performer. From his meteoric rise to fame through hits such as ‘Great Balls of Fire’ and ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ to his equally as fast fall from grace when he married his 13 year old cousin, back to his reinstatement as one of music’s biggest names with his triumphal return to the top in the mid 1960s when he performed at The Star Club in Hamburg. Featuring more than 20 of 'The Killer’s' greatest hits, performed with an energy that Jerry himself would have been proud of.

Box Office: 01242 258002

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Cheltenham Connect Swishing Evening

17 April 2013
The Tivoli, 34 Andover Road Cheltenham GL50 2TJ 

Cheltenham Connect is holding a Swishing (clothes swapping) evening to enable women to "create a new look for less". The concept is simple: attendees bring at least three items of clothing or accessories and are given credits which they 'spend' on new items brought by other attendees, while their previously loved items go to a new owner. There will also be a Trendwatch talk on "What's hot for summer?' from image consultant Nicki Price. A designated fitting area and mirrors will be available and alternations can be arranged if needed.

The event takes place on Wednesday 17th April upstairs at the Tivoli from 6.45pm. Money raised will be split between Cheltenham Connect's community initiatives and local charity Cotswold Care Hospice, who will also take any clothes left over at the end of the evening. Tickets cost £10 including a free drink. For more information please visit or email Karen Wilson on

Friday, 1 March 2013

Mr Maugham at Home - Coming Soon To Cheltenham Playhouse

8 - 11 May 2013
Cheltenham Playhouse

Anthony Smee (The English Patient, Star Wars, Channel 4’s The Queen) delivers the performance of a lifetime in this hugely entertaining one man drama of the life of William Somerset Maugham written by Anthony Curtis.

Bridging Oscar Wilde and James Bond, Somerset Maugham wrote almost to his dying day aged 91 in December 1965. Fabulous wealth flowed from his books and plays and he became the interwar toast of Hollywood, Broadway and the West End. The Razors Edge, Of Human Bondage, The Painted Veil, The Letter and Rain are just a handful of his classic novels and short stories. Playwright Anthony Curtis, brings the panorama of Somerset Maugham's life to the stage with an extraordinary performance by Anthony Smee; the stricken child, the student in Heidelberg, the doctor in Lambeth’s slums, the struggling writer in Paris, the stretcher-bearer on Flanders’ fields and, incredibly, the international spy. Finally, after glittering success, the tragedy of a life ending in misery, paranoia and social opprobrium.

Mr Maugham at Home can next be seen at The Cheltenham Playhouse on 8th,9th,10th & 11th May 2013
Box office: 01242 522 852

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Harvey Andrews concert at Hatherley Cricket Club

22 May 2013
Hatherley Cricket Club

Harvey Andrews is a well known singer/songwriter who performs his own material reflecting humanity, sense of justice, wit and life stories. His latest one man show called "Glad to be Grey" includes humour, nostalgia and an occasional rant and is sure to entertain. He has been on the road for more than 50 years and always attracts very appreciative audiences. 

To find out more visit his website
Tickets £10.00
text/call mobile 07930 471425

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Cheltenham Connect Quiz

20 March 2013 
Cheltenham Bowling Club, Suffolk Square 

Cheltenham Connect is holding a Hollywood themed quiz night! Come and join in the fun at Cheltenham Bowling Club, Suffolk Square, Cheltenham GL50 2DX on Wednesday 20th March starting at 7.30pm. The cost is £5 per person to include sandwiches and there will be a cash bar. Please book in advance via

Monday, 11 February 2013

Every dog to have free microchip

The government announced that all dogs in England will be microchipped for free. Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood, who has campaigned for this measure for years, welcomed the move. From 6 April 2016, microchipping will be compulsory for all dogs. This will help to reunite owners with lost or stolen pets, relieve the burden on animal charities and local authorities, and protect the welfare of dogs by promoting responsible dog ownership. Support from Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, means a free microchip will be available for all unchipped dogs in England.

Currently there are around eight million pet dogs in the UK, and nearly 60 per cent are already chipped. Microchipping has been carried out in Cheltenham by the Cheltenham & East Gloucestershire branch of the RSPCA [see attached photo from 2008]. Each year, more than 100,000 dogs are dumped or lost in the UK at a cost of £57 million to the taxpayer and welfare charities. Over half (52%) of the stray dogs picked up by police, local authorities and animal welfare charities could not be rehomed because their owner could not be identified, a problem which causes 6,000 dogs to be put down every year.

In 2011, Martin raised in parliament the issue of a series of vicious dog attacks in Cheltenham, and highlighted the importance of microchipping in identifying dangerous owners as well as dangerous dogs.

Martin said: “This move has been a long time coming, but I’m delighted the coalition government is now going to do the right thing – and that they have agreed with Dogs Trust a way of doing it for free for at least three years. Microchipping will help to bring down the number of unidentified strays. It will help animal charities like Cheltenham’s own Animal Shelter to track down owners and return lost pets. It will also help the authorities to identify dangerous dog owners who allow their animals to hurt other animals, and pose a threat to human beings.”

Kim Hamilton, chief executive of Blue Cross, based near Burford, said: ‘Compulsory microchipping will make a huge difference to the work of charities like Blue Cross, as we struggle to find homes for an increasing number of stray and unwanted pets. We will be offering both cats and dogs microchipping at Blue Cross rehoming centres and animal hospitals across England. We also welcome plans to allow more flexibility on kennelling suspected banned breeds, as this will have a lasting impression on pet welfare and the wellbeing of dogs.’

 The laws on dog attacks will also be extended to cover private property. This will close a loophole which has meant that dog owners whose animals have attacked people on private property are immune from prosecution. Eight children and six adults have been killed in dog attacks since 2005, with many of these attacks taking place in the home. In the last year alone, over 3,000 postal workers were attacked by dangerously out of control dogs, and 70 per cent of these attacks happened on private property. Government measures will also allow the police, when dealing with any dogs which are subject to court proceedings under the Dangerous Dogs Act, to decide whether a suspected prohibited dog needs to be kept apart from their owners until the outcome of court proceedings. Previously all such dogs had to be kennelled until after proceedings had concluded, even if they posed no risk to the public.

After 6 April 2016, owners of dogs found by the police or local authorities not to have a microchip will have the benefits explained to them, and be given a short period to comply with the microchipping law. If they do not, they will face a fine of up to £500.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Bach & Vivaldi Concert at St. Gregory's Church

23 March 2013
St Gregory's Church, St James Square, Cheltenham

Musica Vera will be singing music by J S Bach and Vivaldi at their concert in aid of the Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts, which starts at 7.30 pm. The Choir will be conducted by David Dewar and accompanied by Musica Vera Camerata.

Tickets are £12.00 at the door, (to include refreshments), or from Cheltenham Tourist Information Centre, 77 Promendade, Cheltenham. Free admission to children under 16.

Monday, 16 April 2012

A Choral Celebration from Cheltenham Choral Society

23rd June 2012 at 7.30pm
Cheltenham Town Hall

Cheltenham Choral Society is proud to support the charity HELP for HEROES with a concert performance: “A Choral Celebration” to be held on 23rd June 2012 at 7.30pm in Cheltenham Town Hall.

The main work will be “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace” by the contemporary Welsh composer Karl Jenkins. Based on parts of the Catholic Mass, this powerful work explores the themes of war and peace, incorporating texts from diverse sources, religious and secular, ancient and modern. Set to music which is varied in style and pace, from military marches to lyrical chorales, it presents an emotional and reflective exploration of the horror of war and the hopefulness of peace.

Cheltenham Choral Society at rehearsal

The programme also includes a selection of well-known celebratory music to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Also taking part are popular Cheltenham-born, international opera singer Soprano Rebecca Rudge, choirs from Leckhampton Primary School and Charlton Kings Junior School, and the English Concertante Orchestra under the direction of Ian Higginson. The concert will be presented by Susie Godwin, Gloucestershire Co-ordinator for HELP for HEROES.

This will be a great way to celebrate a momentous time with a nostalgic journey through 60 glorious years of music and song.

Tickets cost £15 for adults and £5 for those under 16 years, and are now on sale from the Town Hall Box Office. You are advised to book early to obtain good seats.

Tel No: 0844 576 2210

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Dine with Cheltenham Connect Meet and Eat

17 April 2012
Suffolk Kitchen, Suffolk Parade

Cheltenham Connect "Meet and Eat" is a new regular event in South Cheltenham, where you can meet fellow traders and enterpreneurs and dine at some of South Cheltenham's fabulous restaurants. The first event is 7.30pm on Tuesday 17th April at the Suffolk Kitchen, the new restaurant in Suffolk Parade. The dinner will consist of two courses and a glass of wine for £15.

To book please go to
For more information contact

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Schubert & Mozart Concert at St Gregory's Church

24 March 2012
St Gregory's Church, St James Square, Cheltenham

Concert by MUSICA VERA takes place on Saturday, 24 March 2012 at 7.30 pm.
Conductor: Oliver Mason. Mass in G (Schubert) and music by Mozart, accompanied by strings.

Tickets £9.00 at the door or from Cheltenham Tourist Information Centre, 77 Promenade, Cheltenham. Free Admission to children under 16. Proceeds to The Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts.

The Jimmy Cricket Great Value for a Tenner Show

Saturday, 17 March 2012
The Playhouse Theatre

‘Come Closer’ ..... Jimmy Cricket, everyone’s favourite Irish comedian is back on tour with his wonderful, family friendly, ‘Great Value for a Tenner’ show! A show where tickets are priced at a mere, recession-proof £10!

Jimmy is without doubt a 1980s comedy icon. With his trademark wellington boots (on the wrong feet), his famous letters from his Mammy and his catchphrases of ‘come closer’ and ‘there’s more’ he holds the hearts of all those that were original fans of his television and radio shows.

He has lost none of his talent or energy and his theatre shows are as hilarious as ever, winning him new fans wherever he performs to add to the legions he has amassed in his formidable career.

Jimmy remains one of the few completely family friendly comedians currently on tour and has great pride in being regaled as having a truly clean act.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Be a Scorer for Woodmancote Cricket Club

Woodmancote Cricket Club have a vacancy for a scorer for our Saturday 1st XI that would suit someone that is a cricket enthusiast and who perhaps is an accountant / book-keeper or even just good with numbers and details. They would be delighted to talk to anyone who may be interested. The position is for every Saturday afternoon although if the volunteer could only do alternate Saturdays that would be fine. Travel expenses would be paid, a hearty cricket tea comes as part of the deal and even a pint at the Apple Tree after home games!

Sideways Glances Exhibition - The Gardens Gallery

30 March 2012 - 3 April 2012

“Come and complete the story!”

That invitation comes from Cheltenham based artist Michael Paul, who will be showing his new paintings at an exhibition in The Gardens Gallery, Montpellier Gardens, from Friday 30th March to Tuesday 3rd April 2012.

Entitled Sideways Glances, the exhibition will showcase around 35 oil paintings, many depicting small groups of people in urban settings. The streets of Cheltenham and London, as well as Edinburgh, Paris and Sicily, provide backdrops to the mysterious subjects that have all been caught in a 'freeze frame' moment.

The collection is largely a study of human interaction. Each painting has an unfinished narrative and the artist's intention is that viewers will make their own judgements about what is occurring. Furtive glances between strangers? Sullen silences between friends? Who's doing the watching, and who is being watched?

Michael Paul says: “The idea is that the viewer will make their own contribution, and complete each story. Not everything is spelled out – one person’s idea of what is going on will be quite different from another’s.”

The exhibition will be open between 10am and 5pm each day and is free of charge.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Chetlenham MP backs call to speed up tax break

Commenting on the speech by Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who called for the coalition to go ‘further and faster’ in raising the level at which people start paying income tax to £10,000 a year, Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood gave his enthusiastic support to the campaign.

The Liberal Democrat commitment to take everyone earning less than £10,000 a year out of income tax altogether was a manifesto pledge and has been taken on by the coalition. The tax allowance was increased by £1,000 in the 2010 Budget, from £6,475 to £7,475.

A planned rise of an additional £630 has already been announced this year, to take the allowance up to £8,105. This will mean that 1.1 million have been taken out of paying income tax altogether and will reduce the tax burden of millions more low earners.

Martin said: “I am very proud that this Liberal Democrat pledge will cut taxes for the lowest earners. Nick Clegg’s call today for this to go faster than originally planned is very welcome and would make a real difference to low and middle income workers who are struggling to make ends meet. The coalition needs to make sure the richest pay their fair share and take every opportunity to lift the tax burden on the least well-off.”