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Pump room and lake

Now 14,000 histories

John Simpson and Steve Blake, with a few of the 80 strong audience

There was a fantastic turnout for John Simpson’s presentation for Cheltenham Local History Society at St Luke’s Hall on 5 March.  John talked about the award-winning website, Pittville History Works, explaining how the searchable database was built up to over 14,000 items. It covers every person and building in the original Estate from 1842 to 1939, with stories of individuals ranging from those in the women’s suffrage movement to the First World War to the slave trade. Historian Steve Blake also gave a quick update on his planned, more detailed, research into the builders of Pittville’s houses.

Quiz night 18 February 2019

A very successful quiz evening was held at the welcoming Feathered Fish with a good turnout of ~ 60 people. There was a great atmosphere as contestants were tested by quiz-master Paul over a range of subjects. FoP raised £370, including £100 from the raffle, which will go towards Pittville Park projects and ongoing maintenance.  Thanks go out to Philippa Howell for organising the event and to Amanda Slayton-Joslin for assisting on the night. Also thanks to all who donated raffle prizes and to Henry Williams for ticket sales. Finally thanks to the Feathered Fish and their staff.

Committee roles 2018-19

At the first trustee meeting after the AGM, on 11 December 2018, the trustees re-appointed Judie Hodsdon as Chairman, Fiona Clarke as Secretary and Paul Benfield as Treasurer.

Gloria Jones continues as Membership Secretary and Chris Archibald as Green Space Volunteers co-ordinator (and much more). Andy Hopkins remains as editor of the newsletter and Sandy Marshall takes over as the Pittville History Works representative. Other trustees are responsible for specific events and/or are members of one of the teams. One of our members, Jocelyn Potter, has very kindly volunteered to take the minutes at our trustee meetings and at the AGM.

Click here for more information about our trustees.

Hilary Simpson stood down as a trustee at the AGM but continues to lead the Pump Room Action Group. She is also maintaining this website and our Facebook page until new trustee Adrian Allen is able to take over.  Thanks to Hilary for her significant contribution as a trustee and as a founder member of the Pittville History Works group.


We are sorry to say that an illustration on the back page of the December newsletter was printed backwards. This is how it should have looked.

Entitled ‘Pittville Park’ and drawn by Audrey Yabsley,  it appeared in a 1936 magazine from Pate’s Grammar School for Girls. With thanks to the Archive of Pate’s Grammar School who can be contacted at

Our report on the visitor experience at the Pump Room

Earlier this year Friends of Pittville set up a Pump Room Action Group whose aim is to improve the visitor experience at Pittville Pump Room.

During August and September the group carried out a survey using mystery shoppers. More than 30 separate visits were undertaken, during which data was collected on the information and facilities available to visitors, and the welcome they received at the Pump Room.  This data has now been analysed and compiled into a report, which you can read here.

We have sent copies to the trustees and Chief Executive of The Cheltenham Trust, urging them to take immediate steps to bring the visitor experience at the Pump Room up to the standards set out in the Trust’s own customer charter, and offering to help with things such as signage, visitor information, website content etc.

The Action Group is preparing a separate presentation on a future vision for the Pump Room and hopes to work with The Cheltenham Trust to develop this.



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© Friends of Pittville 2019, Created by Daniel Espley

Charity Commission Registration number 1146790