Cheltenham revisited

Yesterday I had to go through to the hospital in Cheltenham for a renal scan. It is the first time in ages that I have visited the city, and it would be interesting to see how the coronavirus has affected it. I also had an ulterior motive too.. but more about that after a look at the numbers.
USA still leads with 4 4398343 active cases and 152320 deaths. The UK is in at number 10 with 300692 cases and 45878 deaths while South Africa is sitting at number 5 with 459761 cases and 7257 deaths.

Continuing where we left off… I have been craving a hamburger or any junk food now for quite some time, and Burger King is conveniently situated around the corner from the bus stop.

Because I had an early appointment I was in town very early so had an hour or so to kill, but alas BK’s was still closed so no early morning junk food for me. The streets were reasonably deserted at this time of the morning although the people that were on their way somewhere were trying their best to dodge each other irrespective of whether they were masked or not.  The weather was grey and gloomy in spite of the forecast muttering about heat waves and sunshine. 

Unfortunately the effect of the prolonged lockdown was evident with so many shops empty or destined never to re-open.  The pavements were also displaying signs of the times.

I turned around and headed in the opposite direction which was generally towards the hospital.  This area is pedestrianised although I forgot to take more general shots around here. 

Some of the shops that I usually haunt are in this area so it would be interesting to see how they were doing. All around were people cleaning and emptying bins and generally preparing for the day’s business;  It did look promising.  I spotted the entrance to Regent Arcade and decided to have a quick look. I don’t usually go in here as there is very little in it that interests me and I have not found the toilets in there in case of bladder emergencies. 

They have marked out lanes and queuing areas inside the arcade, with designated “turning around” areas. On the left is a hand sanitising station and to be honest I did not like the feel of this place at all. It is unfortunate that we have come to this situation and it is going to be the new “normal” for awhile. Nature however showed me that while we are all suffering from the effects of a pandemic she is still showing her true colours.

The one thing I do like about this area is the street art in the one alley, it has been relatively unchanged for quite a long time and I was glad to see it still existed. 

The images in the left column were created by John D’Oh. 

I was also glad to see the Elephant Rampage mosaics were in place although they have still not restored the missing plaque.  I did a post about them way back in 2018

Continuing on my stroll I noted that the hobby shop was still in business although closed at the time and my new breakfast emporium still existed but was also closed. My navigation had included a shortcut through what is known as Sandford Park, but I had to change my plans slightly as I urgently needed a loo!  The park is situated at the end of the High Street, and the river Chelt, (which takes its name from the town), flows through it. It was opened by the Duke and Duchess of Bedford in September 1928. 

The image above is of the “Italian Garden” that was created in 1920 by landscape architect Edward White. Sadly though the garden did not look too impressive due to the grey skies and overall gloom surrounding it.  Unwins Fountain was also not working, although it was being cleaned when I returned from the hospital so there is still hope.

The flower beds around the fountain were partly in bloom too, and I did like these purple spikey flowers.  It appears they are called “Echinops ritro ‘Veitch’s Blue’ small globe thistle”. 

Exiting the park I took a quick turn around St Luke’s church before walking to the end of the block.

I have not really explored the area around the hospital and Cheltenham College and  The College Ground is a cricket ground in the grounds of Cheltenham College. I was really on the opposite side of the building on the grounds so this is really a long distance shot. (image is 1346 x 523). It may be worth coming back here once day and to get to the other side of the pitch.  The ornate Victorian building is the gymnasium/cricket/pavilion and it was built 1865. It was almost time for my appointment so I turned around and strolled to the hospital. 

I was finished in less than 30 minutes and soon on my way back to the bus stop. A quick reminder though…

On my way back to the bus stop I could not help shake my head at the amount of litter in the park and area around it. In South Africa all of those aluminium tins would have been long ago recycled. But here in the UK it appears as if we have quite a few tossers around.

I quickly popped into Lidl and bought some pink doughnuts and halfway to Clarence Street it started to rain. Unfortunately BK’s was still closed, so much to my dismay I did not get to scoff a Whopper. The 41 bus was waiting and half an hour later I was back in Tewkesbury.  Masks are mandatory on public transport by the way, and buses are now sporting signs that limit the bus to 17 passengers only.

And that was my day.

DRW 2020. Created 29/07/2020

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