Monday, 31 May 2010

Cheltenham Netball Fun League

Cheltenham based fun netball league has been set up. It's fun, flexible and friendly! Teams and individual players can enter and there are separate divisions for all standards. For an application form email Matches are played at Bentham Country Club, Cheltenham, GL3 4UD. For more information visit

Jazz At The Venue Jazz Club, The Wheatsheaf Inn, Leckhampton

First and Third Tuesday of every month, £6 entrance

Doors open for diners from 8 pm, music from 9 pm. If you wish to dine please make sure that you book a table well in advance. Last orders for food are at 8.45 pm.

Tuesday 1st JuneThe Armstrong-Simkins Quartet
The welcome return of cornettist Dennis Armstrong and pianist Pete Simkins for an evening of swinging, foot-tapping music inspired by the Chicago and New York jazz scenes of the 1920s and 1930s. Dennis and Pete are joined on this occasion by the experienced Chris Pearce on clarinet and saxes and by the talented Rachel Hayward on banjo and guitar.

Tuesday 15th JuneThe Peter Gill Swing Band
Another great night of ratpack inspired jazz featuring the wonderful musicianship of Patsy Gamble on saxophones, Mike Cypher on drums, Wayne Elliott on bass, Mike Croshaw on guitar, Peter Gill on piano and Suzy Jacoby on vocals.

You can now book tickets to The Venue Jazz Club online at or

Cheltenham Racecourse Christmas Party - A Midnight in Monte Carlo

3 - 18 December 2010, Cheltenham Racecourse

The UK's leading Christmas party specialist, Best Parties Ever is hosting a spectacular themed party at Cheltenham racecourse for the very first time this year! Local businesses, smaller groups and individuals can step into a world of glamour and elegance as the company unveils 'Midnight in Monte Carlo.' Join the jet-set and stroll down the red carpet into Millionaires Casino where you will be greeted by the infectious rhythms of the amazing live jazz band.

The ornate columns and marble floors of the sophisticated champagne bar provide a perfect setting for a glass of Kir Royale. Watch the breathtaking contortionist before sitting down to a sumptuous five course dinner, accompanied by showgirl cabaret and aerial silk dancers. After dinner and the amazing roof-top acrobatic finale, would-be racing drivers can head for the Pit Lane and race the Monaco circuit on Grand Prix simulators or grab a beer at the Paddock Bar. Or why not test your hand on the Roulette or Blackjack tables for a real Monte Carlo experience? For those seeking even more adventure, don't forget the deluxe dodgem cars, or simply head to the dance floor to show off your moves! And at the end of the night, tuck into a free survivors' breakfast before heading home.

The 2010 season runs from Friday 3 December until Saturday 18 December with prices starting from as little as £34.50. Reservations can be made on 0844 499 4040 or by e-mail For further information check out the company's Facebook or Twitter pages -, @BestPartiesEver

Bishop's Cleeve Tithe Barn Farmers' and Craft Market

18th July 2010, Tithe Barn, Bishop's Cleeve

An exciting new venture is shaping up for the Bishop's Cleeve Village Hall. A new indoor Farmers and Craft Market in Bishop's Cleeve's 13th century Tithe Barn (next to Tesco's in the centre of Bishop's Cleeve) will be run by the Trustees of the Tithe Barn every 3rd Sunday of the month, starting on 18 July. Bring the family and stock up on great tasting farm fresh produce and top quality crafts. There will be teas and coffees and refreshments on sale. Plenty of car parking available.

July 18th from 2:30 to 5:30
August 22nd from 11:30 to 2:30
September 19th from 12:30 to 3:30
October 17th from 12:30 to 3:30
November 21st from 12:30 to 3:30
December 19th from 12:30 to 3:30

If you are interested in selling at the Sunday Farmer's Market and taking a stall for either produce or crafts, please contact James Habgood on 01242 673052

Monday, 24 May 2010

All Day Music Festival in Aid of Sue Ryder

29 May 2010, Café Rene, Gloucester

Marking the start of the UK's festival season with their very own mini-festival of music and culture to raise money for Sue Ryder Care, Café Rene & Deep Roots have teamed up to bring you Rene:gade Roots. The music will start on the outdoor stage from 2pm and host a range of the best local bands from acoustic to rock, folk to funk. The cellar bar will also host hand picked local DJ's to keep you dancing through to the early hours. During the day there will be fundraising and fun everywhere you turn with a BBQ selling top home cooked nosh and much more. What's more, it's FREE. Forget overpriced tickets and muddy fields come and enjoy quality music, a local cider and remember the festival feeling.

Artists performing throughout the day will be: Boys In The Wood Vital Organz Dr Mojito Joe & The Sluts The Me Me Me's Rufio Summers Yours Swift Manouver Thrill Collins The Outcast Band Charlotte Coupland DJ's in the Cellar Bar from 10pm will be: Dirty Lyle Danny Ruckus (Betamorph Recs)

Culture Lounge at Thirteen Degrees

Cheltenham Culture Lounge introduce a brand new live music pre-club warm up that hosts a showcase of exciting acoustic based artists in a fusion of popular genres. The night will showcase the best local acts bringing a range of edgy covers and original music followed by resident DJs playing the best dance-floor tracks in town.

28th May 2010
Thrill Collins
Arianna & The 4th Phase
Charlotte Coupland
+ Resident DJ's

4th June 2010
Rufio Summers/Joe Green
Gus/Nathan Rose (Boys In The Wood)
Russ Poole
+ Resident DJ's

£3 // £2 Student/NUS/Culture Card 2-4-1 Cocktails before 12. For more information visit

Martin Horwood, Cheltenham MP, in Talks with Kraft

Martin Horwood, MP for Cheltenham, has declared his allegiance to the Queen in Parliament on 19 May 2010. The affirmation has legal effect and Members who have not taken it are unable to sit during any debate or vote in a division, or they will lose their seat.

Martin affirmed ‘I Martin Horwood do solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare and affirm, That I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law.’

Martin said ‘I am delighted to officially resume my seat in Parliament today. It has been a real honour to serve the people of Cheltenham for the last five years and I am looking forward to doing so once again.’
Martin started his work as an MP by holding 'constructive’ talks with Kraft about their planned move out of Cheltenham. The US food giant’s UK headquarters is currently in Bayshill Road and employs more than 400 people. Following their controversial purchase of Cadbury, the company has announced plans to consolidate head office functions in Bournville and Uxbridge. Consultation with staff is likely to carry on late into the summer and closure of the Cheltenham headquarters, if confirmed, would take place in late 2011.

Talks today focussed on the process and scope of the consultation, support for Kraft’s Cheltenham-based employees, the company’s local community programme and the advantages of Cheltenham as a corporate location.

Martin said ‘I put the strongest possible case for the retention of a Kraft presence in Cheltenham. I understand the huge importance of Bournville to the Cadbury brand and community. I don’t want to raise false hopes but I did point out that if I worked in Uxbridge, I’d leap at the chance to move to Cheltenham.’

‘If the closure does go ahead as expected, it’s essential that Kraft support the employees who will lose or leave their jobs, and those that are able and happy to move and those that want to commute, for instance from Cheltenham to Bournville. That could include acknowledging the demands longer commuting distances will put on family responsibilities. I was very encouraged by Kraft’s initial response and I think they are very conscious of their reputation as a good employer and their obligation to people who have worked hard for the company here for many years.’

‘I was also pleased to hear that they will be maintaining their community involvement in Gloucestershire, at least for the moment. The health4schools programme, for instance, will continue to completion.’

‘I’m also pleased that Kraft have agreed to co-operate with the new task force that we are setting up in Cheltenham to respond to this situation. We understand why they are proposing their own move but their endorsement of Cheltenham as a world-class headquarters location would be very valuable indeed.’

Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham Helps Young People in Business

The good news is that the latest unemployment figures show Gloucestershire is doing better than the national average. Figures from Jobcentre Plus show the unemployment rate for the South West has decreased by 2.8 percent compared with a national decrease of 2.2 percent (Dec 09 – Jan 10). However, the bad news is the number of young people out of work in South Gloucestershire has gone up from 2.9 to 4.5 percent since the recession took hold. Currently, 4.3 percent of 16 to 18-year-olds are not in work, education or training in the district. With this is mind, it is now even more important to help the next generation of business people integrate into our local industries.
The Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham has volunteered to support the young people of Gloucestershire looking to develop in the hospitality industry. Recent activities include work placement schemes that develop the pupils of Cheltenham’s National Star College. The alliance has generated work placement programmes spanning over 5 weeks for students who may not have access to the same work experience opportunities because of their capabilities. The 5 week programme integrates students into all areas of the business, from kitchen duties to sales and marketing.

A new initiative called ‘Graduate Challenge’ has been launched by the University of Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire First, designed to nurture local talent and keep it within the county. The programme has been funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to sustain employment growth amongst young people since the recession. The programme offers recent Higher Education graduates living in Gloucestershire who are either out of work, or working fewer than 16 hours a week, the opportunity to apply for one of 150 work placements in the county. This hotel in Cheltenham is proud to support the county’s own local graduates by providing paid work placements for a year to budding hospitality students. “One year experience in our industry is so valuable for any candidate,” says Kimberley Hatherall Sales & Marketing Manager Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham, “…in such a competitive job market young people are too often turned away by employers. Actually they have valid, passionate and fresh ideas to bring to any business – such talent needs to be sustained within the local business community.” The Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham is keen to support the Graduate Challenge within Gloucestershire during 2010.

Gloucestershire Business United, the new initiative to stimulate local business activity, was celebrated at the Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham who hosted the launch of the scheme. Key speakers during the event highlighted different ways local businesses could grow by working together. A significant note was made to the importance of employing locally to stimulate the regional economy, of which the Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham is extremely proud to contribute to.

Dennis Taylor to Play at Pockets Snooker Club in Cheltenham

17 July 2010, Pockets Snooker Club, 7.30pm

Pockets Snooker Club is hosting yet another event for snooker lovers. Dennis Taylor will be coming to Cheltenham to play at Pockets Snooker Club on Saturday 17 July, giving you the chance to play a frame against the 1985 world champion. Dennis will be performing some of his trick shots, signing autographs, and of course, you will be able to get your photograph taken with him. Only 100 tickets available at £20 each (you have to be a member of Pockets Snooker Club to attend). VIP ticket which includes a frame of snooker with Dennis Taylor costs £50.

Pockets Snooker Club is Cheltenham's largest snooker and pool club which opened its doors after a grand refurbishment in February with Jimmy White as their VIP guest. Membership costs £20 per year. The club boasts 8 full size snooker tables, 5 American pool tables, large screen TV, fully licensed bar and much more. Opening times 11am – 11pm, 7 days a week, table rates for snooker or American pool is £6 an hour.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Ladies Keep Fit Classes for September 2010

A brand new keep fit classes for ladies only will start this September. Essential4Fitness is an exercise to music program for all fitness levels. All movements can be adapted to suit the individual. Essential4Fitness aerobics class will be held at Balcarras School, in the gymnasium on a Monday evening at 7pm-8pm from 13 September 2010. Membership is £4.99 for 12 months entitling you to discounts with major retail outlets in Cheltenham, view members only pages, a weekly progress report with a password protected page. Each class is then £4, payable in blocks of 4. This is a beginners/returners class and will be lots of fun. To join online go to

Monday, 10 May 2010

Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2010 Reviews

CRAIG CHARLES Park Campus, 28 April 2010
BBC6 DJ and well known Red Dwarf Star, Craig Charles, put on his favourite selection of funk and soul music to welcome in the Jazz Festival. His DJ set at Park Campus on 28 April, brought a large crowd, who were able to dance and jive to the classic tunes from the 60s and 70s as well as newer artists. His enthusiastic start: “Let’s tear the roof off,” was embraced by the crowd as everyone got to their feet. His music choice was enjoyed by all with a variety of eras and sounds and good sounds from the decades. Craig’s lively spirit was brought through to the crowd and really contributed to the lively atmosphere. He also brought to the stage The Craig Charles Fantasy Funk Band, which with the help of his radio listeners, formed last year and will be performing at both Glastonbury and the Big Chill festival this year. The evening ended at 2am with everyone leaving after being truly funked out.
Rebecca Waters

ELAINE PAGE, Cheltenham Town Hall, 29 April 2010
For the first time in her career Elaine Paige also known as ‘The First Lady in Musical Theatre’ chose to perform a jazz set in place of her trademark theatre songs, and what a jazz artist she turned out to be. She performed many classic jazz songs with all the professionalism and passion she shows in her famed West End concerts and shows. She looked particularly stylish in a sparkly blouse, skinny black jeans and feisty heels as she walked on stage to perform her first song. She opened with the classic ‘All That Jazz’ and like a true jazz artist she strutted and bopped about the stage injecting real passion into the performance. Her stage presence and power seemed to shrink the venue so the performance took on a more personal and intimate feel even against the Town Halls grand surroundings. Her set list compromised of many favourite Jazz songs from her childhood, as her parents were keen jazz fans. She dedicated the song ‘Blue Skies to her father in memory of singing the tune together when she was a child. Elaine Paige put on an excellent performance and looked incredibly at ease as a jazz artist. I would thoroughly recommend seeing her in concert if you like powerful vocals, excellent stage presence and a sense of humour. She may be the first lady of musical theatre but for tonight, she was the first lady of jazz.
Steven Potter

IMELDA MAY, Cheltenham Jazz Arena, 29 April 2010
The first to play the 2010 Jazz Arena was sassy songstress Imelda May. A seated encounter made for a lack of energy in the arena but Imelda made up for that with her bubbly spark. She performed title track Love Tattoo as the first from the 2008 album along with Big Bad Hansom Man and an array of others. Smokers Song was a highlight and got people going with its on cue chuckles, put on perfectly. Knock 123, a song about after-life love was performed like a lullaby; the beautiful ballad broke up the lively set list. Imelda has the ability to play true to her rockabilly recordings, adding a little extra so you know she's authentic. The bluesy single Johnny Got A Boom Boom went down a storm. Her covers included an unexpected Tainted Love which added some spice to an already spectacular performance. Teasers for the forthcoming album included Pullin' The Rug flaunting funky bass lines, and a gospel inspired tune that lead to a vocal focused serenade, in which the feisty front woman playfully challenged the audience in echoing her hums. It's no wonder she was back following high demand and she was more than thankful to be here, she said: "I want to thank the organisers for welcoming us, and the support they give to all kinds of bands, big and small. This is such a fantastic festival that they put on every year. It's lovely to be back, thanks for having us again."
Rose Churchill

THRILL COLLINS, Cheltenham Budvar Stage, 29 April 2010
Festival goers got a taste of the local talent when Thrill Collins took to the stage on the opening night of the festival and all new Budvar stage.
Despite the rain Thrill Collins received a hefty response out of the audience with the spirit of the 80s and 90s! Jazzing up songs by the likes of the Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, Peter Andre and Dolly Parton they forced the festival spirit into everyone. Cindy Lauper's Girls Just Wanna' Have Fun put a bop in everyone’s bonnet early into their set and followed through with Shaggy's It Wasn't Me, performed with a humorous swagger. Killing In The Name Of (the kiddie version!) by Rage Against The Machine, last year’s Christmas number one, was a surprising choice but certainly didn’t fall short of entertaining. Mocking the summer weather that was vacant for the evening, Mysterious Girl was an amusing and enjoyable addition to the set list. Englishman In New York originally by the police and Lionel Richie's Hello toned down the jokes which exposed a serious side to the Cheltenham trio. The funky Thrill Collins was on top form, their unique interpretations and witty comments had everyone laughing and no-one left before the end. The Prince of Bel-Air theme tune closed the first night on the Budvar stage, though I'm not sure jazz lovers of Cheltenham really knew where it came from. Thrill Collins could jazz up or dust down just about anything. They don't tag themselves 'Cheltenham's best band' for nothing, and for free.
Rose Churchill

TRIO VD, Cheltenham Town Hall, 30 April 2010
According to the Jazz Festival brochure Trio VD are ‘one of the UK’s most thrilling live bands’ which I certainly agreed with after the first track. They are a young band who are uncompromising, exciting, raw and powerful and are here to destroy any preconceptions of jazz you may already have. Don’t get me wrong Trio VD won't be to everyone’s taste and would no doubt be written off as simply aggressive noise by some people but for me it was the most intense spectacle of jazz fury I have ever witnessed and I would certainly see them again. By incorporating contemporary electronica, alternative rock and improv they have created some of the freshest sounds in the jazz scene that has allowed them to rapidly make a name for themselves. If you are a jazz fan or see yourself as an open-minded music lover I cannot tell you how important it is that you see this band. If you need to know how intense this band is someone actually fainted at the back of the hall and lead to a rather grumpy looking gentleman shutting one of the doors with a look of utter distain on his face. Trio VD has really hit upon the primal instinct of jazz improvisation, With break-neck drumming, jagged guitars and raw saxophone sounds Trio VD have taken jazz and totally re-molded it into something extraordinary which I like to call brain melting jazz.
Steven Potter

MC3 ORGAN TRIO, Budvar Stage, 30 April 2010
This year’s Budvar Brewed Jazz Competition Winner MC3 Organ Trio took to the Budvar stage in their own set to showcase their explicit talent. Despite their slightly odd nature, and the strange faces they pulled whilst playing, this band showed their audience exactly why they’d won the competition. Using some experimental techniques they produced some fascinating jazz and funk rhythms. With one of the members being a Birmingham Conservatoire Jazz graduate and another soon to follow, you can easily tell why this band made a huge impression on the judges. Playing their lengthy numbers such as DIRTY RAT and FIVE BAR SHORT they blended the unusual sound of an organ into funky jazz beats. They also did their own cover of Charlie Mingus’ GOODBYE PORK PIE HAT which went down well. MC3 Organ Trio managed to charm their audience with their unusually long-lasting beats and wonderful solos yet at the same time kept it fresh and new. Having recently toured with award winning saxophonist, Tony Kofi, this trio more than showed they deserved their own spotlight this time. Medals should be awarded to them for their ability to play their instruments with confidence and style. Matt Chandler, the guitarist, played some great guitar improvisations which complimented the songs perfectly. Cheltenham Jazz Festival’s Budvar Stage is definitely hearing the best of the rising jazz stars out there, the MC3 Organ Trio is without a doubt one of those bands.
Katherine Bayly

ERIC BIBB, Cheltenham Jazz Arena, 30 April 2010
Country Blues artist Eric Bibb started off his UK tour at the Jazz festival on Friday night. His appearance brought along a full house of fans into the Jazz Arena. His new album Booker’s Guitar was the main focus of his set with many of his songs being from the album. Eric Bibb said: “Booker’s Guitar is a series of songs which tell stories about certain times and places. It’s a tribute to music and musical heroes. I write songs, which to me have the feelings and the feel of those times and places.” With all of his passion and soul in his music Eric Bibb really connected with the crowd. His unique acoustic guitar playing and his classy American feel really enabled you to engage with the songs. The sound of his voice, so natural and beautiful really enables you to feel at ease and calm. The soul within his music really gives you an appreciation for his work and style. He performed the title single from the Booker’s Guitar album, which is a true story based on the finding of Booker Whites guitar. The individuality and uniqueness to his voice enchanted the audience and the way in which each song tells a story really allowed you to get involved. Bibb collaborated with Grant Dermody, a talented harmonic player, who is also featured on the new album. The harmonica and Bibb’s country American blues really complimented each other creating a passionate musical atmosphere throughout the arena. He excited to an overwhelming cheer from an audience who really did see a spectacular show.
Rebecca Waters

DAVE HOLLAND, Cheltenham Town Hall, 30 April 2010
The great collaboration between jazz bassist Dave Holland and flamenco guitar maestro Pepe Habichuela brought the heart of Spain to Cheltenham, in their first performance outside of Spain. Dave Holland said: “We’re so happy to be here. It’s such a special moment, as it only began a few years ago with small concerts in Spain and now we’re here performing in front of you all. We’re so happy to be able to share this with you.” The pair, along with 2 percussionists and guitar player played a selection of traditional Spanish tracks including a Tango and a Fandango. Dave had written his own Spanish inspired pieces, including Joy Ride and The Whirling Dervish. Dave’s talent on the double bass enabled him to transform the songs with his unique style and create a very individual sound. Throughout the performance Spain was brought into the hearts of the crowd with Pepe’s flamenco style. His passion and soul within the music really allowed him to captivate the audience. Both Dave and Pepe had written their own individual pieces to perform as well as performing together as a band. Joy Ride, composed by Dave Holland, brought traditional Spanish flamenco together with contemporary jazz to create a unique sound and style. Together their work created a new musical atmosphere with the crowd being swept away with the culture of the sounds. Dave Holland and Pepe Habichuela and their band are recording their first album Hands, which will be due for release in June.
Rebecca Waters

CATTLE MARKET, Budvar Stage, 30 April 2010
Cheltenham saw the return of last year’s successful Budvar Brewed Jazz Competition Winner, Cattle Market, to this year’s Jazz Festival. Claiming they hadn’t performed in nine months and this was a reunion gig for them, no-one could have expected what was to come. As the seven piece band, who formed at Bristol University, kick started their slot with DANCE OF THE CLUBFOOTED written about Bristol University’s middle class population, the whole atmosphere under the tent lifted. Playing high spirited jazz with a twist, this band had everyone’s feet tapping and bodies swinging. Introducing bongos played by an astrophysicist, Elliot Sefton-Nash, and a trumpet dual in their last song, Cattle Market’s music is as mad as their name. You’ll definitely start to agree after hearing some of their song names; BOOZE AND ONIONS and YOU’RE ONLY A PRIEST WHEN YOUR GIRL’S AROUND. Producing a sound loud enough to be that of a full orchestra, Cattle Market’s young members are wizards of jazz, combining bongos, trumpets, saxophones, drums, double bass and keyboard to make enthusiastic eccentric Latin jazz. Ending on a high and with a huge crowd, the band did something peculiar and exited each instrument one by one before bringing the whole band back together again for a big finale. Cattle Market is the making of a great band with their fun style and crazy titled songs they definitely gave the audience a good show.
Katherine Bayly

MEGAN HENWOOD, Budvar Stage, 30 April 2010
Crowds were pleasantly surprised as BBC Radio 2’s Young Folk Musician of the Year 2009 took to the brand new Budvar stage, opening the Jazz Festival’s second night. Megan Henwood’s Joni Mitchell infused music shows she’s a 21-year-old with something to say. Her long red hair and hippy style clothes gave her audience an insight into her music before she’d even struck the first note. Opening with her debut single WHAT ELLIOT SAID Megan demonstrated straight away the beauty in her vocals. The simplicity of the guitar next to such a raw voice captured the crowd instantly. As people hushed and turned to the stage, she played three numbers including SHAPE AND COLOUR and MAKING WAVES. Each song had a point to make; one was about appreciating the “pretty things in the world” as Megan described it. The other was a protest song. For a timid person, her vocals were soothing and relaxing yet powerful. They were perfect songs for a festival and some sunshine in the late afternoon. With only herself and a guitar, Megan more than interested the crowd; she held their attention with her melodic and memorable tunes. The basis of her music lies in the folk tradition leading to you being able to hear her influences seeping through, such as the likes of Bob Dylan and Nick Drake. However she produced perfect summertime music and if this performance is anything to go by, Megan Henwood has many a great thing ahead of her.
Katherine Bayly

MICHAEL PARKINSON MUSIC NIGHT - SINATRA, Cheltenham Town Hall, 30 April 2010
The world famous BBC Concert Orchestra coupled with the John Wilson Big Band came together to celebrate the life and work of singing and acting legend, Frank Sinatra. The night also included a narration of Sinatra’s life from TV icon Sir Michael Parkinson who introduced each song and entertained the audience with various trivia from Sinatra’s colourful and sometimes controversial life. Three incredible Sinatra tribute artists sang us through the most memorable and famous songs of his career including Swinging Down The Lane, New York New York and of course My Way. The acts were without a doubt as close to the real thing as you can get. Special guest star included Buddy Greco, onetime member of the famed Rat Pack who treated the crowd to some of his favourite Sinatra classics and closed the evening with an emotional rendition of My Way that raised hairs and hearts throughout the audience. This was a truly glamorous and splendid affair the arrangements of Billy May and Nelson Riddle were breathtaking and the orchestra themselves really gave each song the class and emotion that Sinatra put into every one of his performances. For a Frank Sinatra fan this was truly an amazing evening and a once in a lifetime experience, but then what do you expect, in the words of Frank Sinatra himself; it’s all or nothing at all.
Steven Potter

KIT DOWNES TRIO, Cheltenham Town Hall, 1 May 2010
Kit Downes Trio is a tight unit consisting of Kit on piano, Calum Gourlay on Bass and James Maddren on drums. They have been attracting much acclaim within the jazz community for a while now and their set at the Cheltenham Jazz festival proved that the praise is much deserved. Opening their set with the song Jump Minzi Jump, the Kit Downes Trio demonstrated a perfect balance of subtly and dramatic temperament with an undercurrent of funk. But it was the gentler songs such as Golden and Brixton which shone the brightest. Kit gets by with the minimal of notes, and often the songs boast a lot of spaces but are always fluctuating in tempo.
The diversity was electric though and the change of pace provided by the upbeat song Tambourine showed the different sides that the band had clearly developed. It is evident that the players have a unique synergy and a keen interest in exploring other places within the music. James Maddren was a highlight with his often subtle but impressive playing which was often the most exciting parts. The group often attracted applauds due to their impressive improvisation as well as their compositions
Ashley Russell

NIKKI YEOH TRIO, Cheltenham Town Hall, 1 May 2010
Postponed after technical difficulties at the Town Hall in 2009, Nikki Yeoh and special guest John Surman return to perform an especially composed set for Cheltenham Jazz Festival.
And it was well worth the wait. Drawing on Surman’s idea for a representation of the seven sins, Yeoh wrote some magnificent material using the ideas of scenarios over the emotions themselves, so as not to glorify the misdemeanours. Heavy, slow drumming set a sluggish pace which really captured sloth, with a listless bass line and Surman’s sax setting a clumsy scene the high pitch of the piano wove perfectly in-between. Envy was a highlight of the set, where it initially sounded to represent a secret envy which eventually warped into a raging jealousy. Bad Cake was composed for gluttony, flaunting a funky rhythm but slowing the pace with timid clarinet and high keys giving the essence of shame. Throwing in a track for love through an old composition, Dance Of The Two Small Bears was powerful, passionate, and playfully executed with the trio of keys, drums and bass. The final sin of lust conjured the image of a 80s burlesque nightclub, We-Hey captured lust in the form of funky soul. The music managed to, like the latter, set the scene of its trait. You could hear the presence of yearning and desire. The eight song set gave every sin a vice, and Yeoh’s amazing talent for writing and capturing a scene really shone through. Surman was praised highly by onlookers who couldn’t get enough of his sax and clarinet collaboration.
Rose Churchill

PHANTOM LIMB, Cheltenham Jazz Arena, 1 May 2010
The bluesy southern soul of Phantom Limb, with its gospel essence was a pleasurable addition to the jazz festival line up. Opening with Good Fortune from their first album, a tender guitar solo and powerful vocals made a great introduction to their unique sound. A hint of folk was present in Tumbling Down, where Yolanda Quartey and her backing vocals harmonised perfectly making an ear inviting group effort. The intro to Run was carried by gentle bass lines and beautiful guitar, whereas Waiting Around To Call really flaunted the commanding vocals of Quartey and was delivered with authority over the other songs. Don’t Need To Say Goodbye was a new track played for the jazz festival, and will appear on the new album, being recorded in June. Its truthful lyrics and pounding bass made for a catchy song, and confirmed that Phantom Limb are far from exhausting their creative abilities. A faultless cover of Angel Of Death, originally by Hank Williams was the slowest song of the set, with Grieving for Show following, treating the audience to some more new material. All the time onstage Quartey and her band looked like they were thoroughly enjoying the experience, playing a 13 song concert. The harmonic vocals and gospel enthused Withering Bones, played towards the end, has appeared on every album and was a great choice to start the winding down of the show.
Rose Churchill

THE DESTROYERS, Cheltenham Jazz Arena, 1 May 2010
There were high expectations at the lunchtime slot at the Jazz Arena on May 1st, as the much hyped 15-man band the Destroyers took the stage. Though they stand out from the other acts at the Jazz festival due to wider musical influences and a stranger sensibility, they were nonetheless welcomed with great enthusiasm. The Destroyers aim was apparent from the first song, they were there to have fun and create an atmosphere of mischievous intent. Armed with catchy choruses and a kooky sense of humour, they fired through different genres effortlessly. The fusion of different musical influences combined with Mario Bava tinged stories of lab mice, coffins, eternal youth and the current state of the economy made for a schizophrenic but well structured performance which while cleverly constructed gives a chaotic impression. Their influences ranged from Balkan folk, jazz, and Celtic music among others. The band members may have found it hard at first to get the audience to truly get into the spirit of things, but it didn’t take too long. The silliness was infectious and the jokes won over the audience who I’m sure walked away a lot happier.
Ashley Russell

WAITING FOR KATE, Budvar Stage, 2 May 2010
Bristol band Waiting for Kate had everyone up and dancing by the Budvar Stage with their ska inspired beats despite the chilly weather. The six piece band kicked off with their lively number TRIP THE LIGHT oozing the energy and tempo needed to get the crowd going. Despite problems with the sound adjustments and being heckled by four years old demanding them to perform more songs, the band played on in true style. Their current single LOOSE GOOSE proved a massive hit with the audience regardless of the repetitive lyrics and chord structure. This didn’t matter though as the ska trumpet, saxophone and strong bass line produced a great beat to dance along to. Gaining a huge crowd, Waiting for Kate dared to perform a cover of Dizzee Rascal’s DANCE WITH ME after allowing the audience to vote on what they would like to hear. This raised more bums off seats and had people singing along and wolf whistling at the lead singer whilst he rapped away. Everyone enjoyed this set from the young to the old. A triumph and fantastic performance from Bristol’s Waiting for Kate.
Katherine Bayly

Formed in 2008 as a 100th anniversary tribute to celebrate the birth of Raymond Scott (an unknown name to many), this sextet released their debut album TWISTED TOONS: THE MUSIC OF RAYMOND SCOTT in November 2009. The sextet kick started with the first of many zany and eccentric songs RECKLESS NIGHT ON BOARD AN OCEAN LINER. Instantly feet were tapping and heads were bobbing. In SUICIDE CLIFF, trumpeter, Tom MacNivan, brought to life the 1940s feel with the sound of the trumpet mimicking the sound you hear on the old records. The sextet’s reworking of THE PENGUIN allowed Stu Brown to show off with a drum solo. He was astounding to watch and made it look so simple. His calm composure and speed made it surreal.
Katherine Bayly

JIM LOCKEY AND THE SOLEMN SUN, Cheltenham Budvar Stage, 2 May 2010
Hot tipped quartet Jim Lockey and The Solumn Sun graced the all new Budvar stage for a set not-so jazz but welcomed none-the-less! The popular band attracted other local acts to enjoy the festival, The Divine Secret and The Echoes braved the rain and were spotted in the audience supporting their peers. Lockey and co played a tight set, mixing some old and much loved songs with new ones, due for release on their forth coming album, Atlases. Crossing country folk with punk their creative tunes belong in the mainstream, freshening up some genres that can tire of the same old sounds. Waitress, out for free download in May, Caskets and Bibles, and battles were just a few played, and Cheltenham fans sang to every one. Battles and Machines were in there as well, echoing their distinctive sound. Joe Summers of the band said: “I’m surprised we got the gig, I don’t know how jazz we are so it’s something different! We hope you enjoy it.”
The chilled vibes of Morning Wake Up suited the atmosphere in the stage, with machines telling the true tale of the music industry and struggling musicians. They rounded up with The Boat Song, a melodic track that really flaunted the Lockey’s brilliant vocal tone. Apart from a few swear words the set was family friendly and received a great audience reception, from those watching admirably and those just enjoying the free music.
Rose Churchill

FRINGE MAGNETIC, Jazz Arena, 2 May 2010
Led by trumpeter Rory Simmons, ten-piece Fringe Magnetic, lit up the dark jazz arena with their vibrant and hugely experimental set. With a silent audience, the band took to the stage and started with a song called EYEBALL expressing lively and vivacious beats sounding somewhat like music from a cartoon. Onto their next song EMPTY SPACES, where they were joined by Norwegian vocalist, Elisabeth Nygaard, the band displayed much darker tones to their music. Using their unique experimental style, this song stood out like a sore thumb from anything else on the jazz scene. It blended sweet yet wailing vocals with sincere and haunting music. This ten-piece produced fantastic sounds by combining what seemed like a range of songs together and making it work as one. Their songs merged classical music with a strong jazz basis which held the audience’s attention in a still silence. Later on in the set, Fringe Magnetic was joined by another vocalist, Andrew Plummer. Things got a little too strange when he performed his song FIRE DOWN BELOW breaking all rules of jazz in terms of the music and singing. His persona was as odd as his vocals which wiped out any conventions as soon as they introduced someone who sounds like he should be in a death metal band. For any other band, this would have been a disaster but for Fringe Magnetic it was expected and praised. The audience showed their appreciation throughout with massive rounds of applause so they must be doing something right. They’re breaking the boundaries for jazz and introducing some interesting and amazing improvisations to the scene. Who could argue with that?
Katherine Bayly

CUONG VU, Town Hall Pillar Room, 2 May 2010
Cuong Vu walks into the room with a modest look on his face and a small welcoming smile for the audience. The shy guy places himself on the stage. No hello or introduction is done, nothing. He picks up his trumpet and plays the first of many songs. His bass player, Luke Bergman, and drummer, Ted Poor follow suit. The music that followed was mesmerising. For such a reserved person as Cuong Vu it was crazy to see him perform songs infused with elements of rock. Using distorting, delay and echo effects on his trumpet as well as the bass guitar, he produced a grunge jazz sound. Taking a quick glance around the room, I see people in all directions rocking their heads backwards and forward to the rock drum beat. Whilst his music is infused heavily with rock, somehow it’s also relaxing. Cuong Vu’s trumpet playing and crashing symbols of the drums lead me to feel like I was in a dream-like state. Ironically, it was tranquillity. Although lacking immensely on audience interaction, leading to an unawareness of what the songs were called and to a deficit in entertainment on that part, the innovative young star still entertained. It was interesting to watch as the trio created half a rock gig, with the bass player and drummer rocking out, whilst Cuong Vu and his trumpet jazzed it out on the other side. Showing his appreciation, Cuong Vu repeated many nods and thank you’s as the crowd clapped, whistled and screamed bringing the enticing set to a close. He ended by finally introducing himself and thanking his audience: “My name is Cuong Vu and thank you so much for coming.”
Katherine Bayly

JB JAZZ AND BLUES BAND, Jazz Arena, 3 May 2010
Nearly a full arena and the JB Jazz and Blues Band walk onto the stage, unphased, with their swing suits, broad smiles and the same style and elegance you can find in their music. Starting the gig off with the jazz standard Louis Jordan’s 1944 classic IS YOU IS OR IS YOU AIN’T MY BABY, instantly feet along my row were tapping to the beat causing my seat to rock with them. The pianist, John Beckingham, filled the arena with his Louis Armstrong inspired voice and fantastic sounds as his fingers glided over the keyboard. The old swinger and saxophonist, Roger, was clicking his fingers and swinging along to the songs keeping the old girls in the audience entertained. Covering classics from the Blues song ROUTE 66, I’M IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE and the comic number FEETS TOO BIG, the JB Jazz and Blues Band showed their true colours. Half way through the set they introduced a special guest, Jo Faulkner, who had a wonderful voice. She sang numbers such as Ella Fitzgerald’s BEI MIR BIST DU SCHOEN and DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME which only added to how superb this band was. Finishing up with the bubbly classic Lewis Prima’s JUMP JIVE N WAIL, John thanked the audience with a simple: “We hope you’ve liked it as much as we have”. Roger, on the other hand, gave them one last laugh by introducing John: “On piano, on vocals, on benefits!” I don’t think I’ll ever tire of seeing this band perform.
Katherine Bayly

KIM CYPHER, Budvar Stage, 3 May 2010
One of Gloucestershire’s best female saxophonists and her band, the Kim Cypher Band, had people off their seats and up dancing as they played their classic funk and jazz beats. Kim Cypher thanked the audience for braving the cold weather and coming to see them, and invited them to come and join them by the Budvar stage for a bit of dancing. However, this audience didn’t need an invitation. After the first note had been played of the funk classic REGGAE WOMAN people were clapping along and dancing to the beat. Playing a range of covers from Grover Washington’s SOULFUL STRUT played with Joss Stone’s DON’T YOU WANNA RIDE lyrics to the Blues classic Aretha Franklin’s DOCTOR FEELGOOD, this band had everything they needed to entertain their audience. The band is made up of five fantastic musicians and a soulful singer with an immensely powerful voice designed for the music she sang. She had the passion and emphasis to make the songs mean something as well as making them great to hum along to. Kim Cypher asked the audience to participate at one point getting them to clap the drum beat out. The audience did this with no complaints and everyone was pumped with energy. The atmosphere under the tent immediately lifted with the band’s funk music filling the air. There were smiles on faces all round as small children gathered by the stage and danced next to the adults. A great gig by none other than Gloucestershire’s Kim Cypher Band.
Katherine Bayly

Undefeated by an unenthusiastic audience The Tommy Charles Tetraphonic played classic jazz songs generated to unwind. By the Budvar Stage the afternoon sun was sadly sprinkled with light rain but the band soldiered on and played a soothing set of some good old fashioned jazz sounds. With the majority of the festival showcasing experimental jazz, it was great to see a band play some traditional music. With a piano, drums and saxophone, this band created great unwinding jazz. Their set list included their own (quite long) songs like ROAD SONG and SAUSAGE AND SALAD as well as covers like Disney’s SOMEDAY MY PRINCE WILL COME, giving the children in the audience something they could recognise. The band also covered the upbeat jazz standard SISTER SADIE with huge confidence gaining a better reaction. Although their audience seemed unengaged with the music, the band looked like they had a good time. Perhaps not the most interesting band to watch on stage but they do know how to create good jazz to chill out to.
Katherine Bayly

TUBELORD, Jazz Arena, 3 May 2010
Enter the four piece rock band Tubelord. Four young lads from Norbiton. Four young lads who make fantastic rock music. With dedicated fans in tow, Tubelord rocked out the jazz arena with a sound similar to other rock bands out there. It took me a while to figure out why everyone was so obsessed with these guys, and then I saw it. None of the other bands have the charisma. The personalities that trickled out of this band made for a very amusing gig. With conversation topics between songs going from a guy who blagged his way in for free to whether Iron Man 2 was any good, it made for great entertainment. It’s not very often that you see an incredible band perform that also have the charm to go with it. Singing songs from their Myspace page, such as their latest single STACEY’S LEFT ARM and old favourites NIGHT OF THE PENCILS and PROPELLER, it wasn’t long until people were singing along with them. Their performance was bursting at the seams with energy and enthusiasm which gave the audience every reason to be doing the same. This group has more to offer than the average rock band, their high speed performance united with vocal harmonies, violent guitar riffs and catchy lyrics mean you’ll be humming the tunes in days to come. This band is not an amateur rock band; they are a rock band. With an ever-growing fan base, Tubelord are definitely ones to go and see if you get the chance.
Katherine Bayly

LLUIS MATHER, Cheltenham Town Hall, 4 May 2010
Chosen by Dave Holland from the top students on Birmingham Conservatoire’s jazz course, The Lluis Mather quartet played a great set in the pillar room on the bank holiday. As winners of the 2009 ensemble prize, they received this headline slot as their reward and really made the most of it. Dissention, their opening piece was a laid back but eerie, and lead by saxophonist Lluis Mather who holds terrific talent in both playing and composing. A tense theme ran throughout the performance, and was created by some thrilling compositions. Catch It, Bin It, Kill It stood out among the arrangement, with its sinister sound and a faster pace the track was just loud enough to be intimidating, and big enough to captivate. Following the first half, withering symbols blew up into huge, epic jazz music walls. The group picked up an excellent response from the audience for their edgy songs, Mather’s quirky style is what got them the award in the first place, and will hopefully bring them back in 2011.
Rose Churchill

MATT CALVERT, Cheltenham Playhouse Theatre, 4 May 2010
A live audience with Matt Calvert was especially chosen by guest director Jamie Cullum’s for the festival. Calvert played a narrative acoustic to a series of short stories, and was joined by the up and coming British piano, reeds and percussion player Ivo Neame, and Ben Bryant on Vibes and percussion. The theme of story-telling jazz was a fresh addition to the festival, with its visual tales including the 1906 Dreams Of A Rarebit Fiend, one of Edison Manufacturing’s most popular film releases. The music itself was in perfect sync with the films, with impressive and realistic tech noises mimicking what could be seen on screen. The Motorist, a fantasy in which a motorcar drives around the rings of Saturn was a highlight of the five stories. It was easy to forget the music was being played live, and when bought away from the screen and back to reality it was exciting to realise the soundtrack was on stage. The story of Isabella and her dance with death set an awkward atmosphere which was brought alive by the music. The Theatre, animated by Hattie Newman was a quirky little film where Calvert and his team partly improvised, which if they hadn’t noted beforehand, it would have went unnoticed which just amplified their gift in playing along to the screen.
Rose Churchill

Outboys at The Cotswold Inn

15 May 2010, The Cotswold Inn, 8.45pm, admission free

The Outboys will be performing at The Cotswold Inn on 15 May 2010. The event starts at 8.45pm, admission is free.

So, who are the Outboys? Formed originally in 1978, a group of quirky teenagers originating from Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, England formed a band called Dijkstra. Two drummers and many jams later, the band eventually evolved into a four-piece guitar orientated pop act known as British Shoes. The Outboys were to eventually emerge in 1981 with the addition of Cheltenham legendary drummer, Micky Clark (ex-9.30 Fly, The Curtains & DeckChairs). The sound was distinctive, original and hard to pigeonhole. For those of you who (are old enough to) remember the heady days of the late seventies and early eighties, the band could best be described as a cross between early Talking Heads, The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen and Joy Division.

In 1982, they all gave up their day jobs, moved to London and played more or less as professionals for two years. The band released a couple of singles which were played by, and reviewed with moderate cynicism, by John Peel and recorded material for an album in 1983. Sadly, due to 'management conflict' the album was never officially released. From 1982 thru 1984, the band toured extensively, playing on average 3-4 nights per week in and around the London area as well as further a ield building up an avid core fan base. Although the band never formally split up, it became less of priority from 1986 onwards and remained more or less inactive for 12 years.

The Outboys 're-formed' once or twice in the late 90's for the occasional show. (The Outboys write and play music that is inspired by their own lives, feelings and experiences ultimately the darker side of our lives, often with a healthy dash of cynical humour thrown in to add flavour. Outboys are currently featuring songs fro the cd End of the Show-DNA released worldwide in 2008 and new music from the forthcoming CD "Death of the Blues" For more information visit

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Sugarhill Festival Is Looking for Bands to Audition This Sunday

9 May 2010, Vodka Revolutions bar, 1pm

Sugarhill Festival, Swindon, is hitting Cheltenham on its continued search to find local artists, bands to perform along some great headline acts including The New Young Pony Club. Sugarhill Festival has already booked a number of Cheltenham based bands including legendary beat boxers DUKE, Divine Secret, Rufio Summer, Screaming 88’s and Reign of Fury.

Sugarhill Festival has teamed up with Vodka Revolutions bars in the search for local performers throughout the Southwest. The festival will be hitting Cheltenham offering the chance for local talent to perform on one of their stages alongside professionals and headline acts. Selected performers will be featured in the festival programme, marketing materials and online features.

Auditions start at 1.00pm at Vodka Revolutions, Cheltenham, Clarence Parade, Cheltenham. They are looking for not only artists/bands but also performers over all genres including comedy, theatre, dance, cabaret and much much more. To get involved please email Performers/bands will be asked to perform for 15 minutes in front of a panel of judges made up of Sugarhill Festival organisers and industry professionals from Cheltenham.

They are also looking for a LIVE audience, so if you fancy spending the afternoon helping judges find some great local talent come on down to Vodka Revolutions from 12.30pm, with free entry, Sugarhill Festival will also be handing out free merchandise!

Sugarhill Festival based in Swindon, Wiltshire, will be returning on Saturday 31st July 2010 as a one-day festival with overnight camping facilities. As well as the main stage and amazing array of bands, there will be some new editions to the camp. The Sugarhill Festival will be bringing you an acoustic venue, late nigh cabaret, EKTOS 20 year reunion dance tent and will be giving you the best in comedy and literature from its new home.

Children will be kept entertained in our dedicated kids area, set alongside the Sugarhill garden area. Various workshops and craft activities will also take place throughout the day.

Headline acts include The New Young Pony Club, Duke, The Alfonz, CHE, Rufio Summers, Napolean in Rags, Divine Secret, The Screaming 88’s, Dress to Kill, Sleeping with Giants, Reign of Fury, Becca De La musique, Theo Altieri and many many more

Tea tents, local food areas and of course the opening of the Sugarhill local pub will ensure you are comfortable within these amazing surroundings. More information and tickets for the festival are available from

Martin Horwood wins backing of animal rights campaign

Cheltenham's Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Martin Horwood has won the backing of a leading animal rights campaign.

Protecting Animals in Democracy sent a questionnaire to each of the three main parties’ candidates in Cheltenham, and as a result have decided the endorse Martin as the best voting option in Cheltenham to protect millions of animals from cruelty.

Martin said: “I'm delighted by this endorsement. I wasn't in the Commons when the hunting ban was passed but I gather it took hundreds of hours of parliamentary time. I can't believe my Tory candidate really thinks it is worth re-opening all these arguments again“.

The Supper Club at D-Fly

7 May 2010, The Buzz Venue, D-Fly

To celebrate Cabaret week hosted by The Everyman Theatre and the Jazz Festival, Cheltenham's very own The Lollipop Lounge are producing a Friday night live supper club in the Buzz Venue at D-Fly Cheltenham. The Supper Club will recreate a traditional cabaret club with lively and upbeat Jazz, on the hour cabaret performances, cocktails, bar food, sit down tables and much more. As a pre-club venue The Supper Club will open from 9pm - Midnight on Friday 7th May with £5 entry tickets on the door or in advance from
For more information visit D-Fly at
Cotswold Style will be on hand to take pictures so a chance to dress up cabaret style!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Jonathon Porritt backs Martin Horwood

Cheltenham-based environmentalist Jonathon Porritt has pledged his support for Martin Horwood’s re-election campaign. This comes after the Cheltenham Green Party voted to not stand a candidate against Martin in light of his excellent record on environmental issues.

Jonathon is one of Britain's leading environmentalists, a former director of Friends of the Earth and founder of environmental think tank Forum for the Future. In 1997 he was appointed as the first chair of the government advisory body, the Sustainable Development Commission, a post from which he stood down in 2009.

Jonathon said ‘I wholeheartedly endorse the decision of the Green Party in Cheltenham to stand down in favour of Martin Horwood, our Liberal Democrat MP. Martin is an excellent local MP, with an impressive track record on environmental issues, both locally and nationally. I shall certainly be casting my vote for him on May 6th ‘.

Martin and Jonathon opened together the Springbank wind turbine.

The Venue Jazz Club at The Wheatsheaf Inn, Leckhampton

Tuesday May 4th 2010 The Jayne Steele Quintet
Jayne Steele brings with her Dutch Lewis on his stunning saxes and all manner of woodwind,Dayne Cranenburg on upright bright white bass,Trevor Davies on guitar, lastly with Ian Russell on drums.Having worked together for almost ten years they offer their own unique and accessible take on a wide range of familiar jazz standards.Jayne's voice, described as 'velvet', will sing such beautiful ballads as A Love Affair to Remember, whilst her version of St Louis Blues has been likened to the wolloping sound of the legendary Bessie Smith.For a musical night of fire, passion, love, loss.. all the stories of jazz, come and join her.

Tuesday May 18th 2010Zanzibar
Zanzibar is an exciting quartet who have discovered fantastic tunes from the Tropicana movement in Brazil in the late 60s. This, coupled with firm roots in post bebop modern jazz, makes for a great evening's music. The band features Billy Woodman on piano, Carlos Alvarez on flute and soprano sax, Mike Waite on bass and Mark Bharucha on drums and percussion.

Tuesday June 1st 2010The Armstrong Simkins Quartet
The welcome return of cornettist Dennis Armstrong and pianist Pete Simkins for an evening of swinging, foot-tapping music inspired by the Chicago and New York jazz scenes of the 1920s and 1930s. Dennis and Pete are joined on this occasion by the experienced Chris Pearce on clarinet and saxes and by the talented Rachel Hayward on banjo and guitar.

Tuesday June 15th 2010The Peter Gill Swing Band
Another evening of ratpack inspired, easy and light-hearted swing jazz with Peter who is as usual joined by Mike Cypher on drums, Mike Croshaw on guitar, Wayne Elliot on bass, Patsy Gamble on saxophone and Suzy Jacoby on vocals.

Bark in Pittville Park

27 June 2010, Pittville Park, 10am - 4pm

For the second summer running Pittville Park in Cheltenham will be turned into a haven for all dogs and their owners thanks to Gloucestershire County Association for the Blind. Bark in Pittville Park, sponsored dog walk and family day out is taking place on Sunday 27th June from 10am - 4pm. Dog owners (and members of the public who don't own a dog) can help raise money to help blind and visually impaired people by entering a sponsored 5km walk around the whole of Pittville Park.

Lucy Gooding, Community Fundraiser for GCAB says "We are inviting anyone whether they have a dog or not to enter the walk and help raise sponsorship. GCAB help and support over 3,000 blind and partially sighted people throughout the whole of Gloucestershire. We receive no Government funding so sponsored events like this are vital to help carry on the services we provide.

As well as the sponsored walk there are a wide variety of activities going on throughout the day. They include a fun dog show judged by local Vet Brad Cooper. Brad will also have a stand which pet owners can visit to ask him any questions they have. There will also be 2 displays from Paws for Thought Dog display team who recently performed on the Alan Titchmarsh show on ITV. Local dance group, Dance tech are coming along to wow the crowds with some great dance moves. You can also have a ride in a tethered hot air balloon, bouncy slides and buy some tasty refreshments.

If you are interested in taking part then please contact Lucy on 01242 246 110 or email her on

New for Cheltenham - The Women's Business Club

The UK's leading support and networking organisation for women is launching a new club in Cheltenham.

Hosted by expert trainer and coach Jacky Leonard, The Women's Business Club will be held at lunchtime every month at Mercure Cheltenham Queen's Hotel in Cheltenham. The next meeting is on Thursday May 20th.

Jacky is very excited about hosting The Women's Business Club. She is hoping as many women as possible from the Cheltenham area will become involved to help grow and move their businesses forward.

The Women's Business Club is a professional, membership-based company that works to empower and encourage women to reach their full potential in business. For more information, or to book a place, telephone 01903 244434 or go to

Cheltenham Family History

Family history research has become an increasingly popular pastime in recent years. Millions of people are searching for their roots and devote hours of their free time to this fascinating hobby.

Cheltenham4u's Cheltenham Family History section is here to help you with your research. You can connect with other Cheltenham researchers by leaving a message on our Cheltenham family history message board, share the results of your research with others by submitting your family history stories, or introduce your Gloucestershire ancestors by sharing their photographs.

Our most recent family history story I Didn't Know I Belonged in Cheltenham submitted by one of our readers just shows what kind of surprises awaits you on this journey through time. If you came across an interesting story in your family history research, don't forget to share it with others.