Chalybeate Cottage / Field Lodge

[Jill Waller, CLHS, July 2022]


The chalybeate spring by the Chelt was briefly mentioned by A. Fothergill in 1785, but not developed until it was ‘rediscovered’ and analysed in 1802. It was part of the estate of William Humphris Barrett, maltster, sold 1820s. 

1785 – An Experimental Enquiry into the Nature & Qualities of the Cheltenham Water, A. Fothergill, MD, FRS   … The temperature of a well lately sunk in the adjacent grounds of Lord Falconberg, which seems to partake of a similar saline impregnation, but devoid of the Chalybeate principle, was only 51˚, though shut up in like manner from the outward air; whereas a new Chalybeate spring at the opposite extremity of Cheltenham, near the mill, which was opened for my inspection, proved to be nearly of the same temperature of that of the spa, though exposed to the air. This water strikes purple with galls, and deposits a rich ochrey sediment; but my time would not admit of further experiments. 

Staffordshire Advertiser, Sat 21 Aug 1802
A Chalybeate water, possessing all the properties of that so long and so justly celebrated at Tunbridge, has lately bubbled up at Cheltenham, within a quarter of a mile of the celebrated Saline spring. It is situated in a delightful meadow, and preparations are making for the accommodation of the company at the New Spa. 

Gloucester Journal, Mon 23 Aug 1802 – NEW CHALYBEATE SPRING, CHELTENHAM

There has lately been discovered at Cheltenham, in a field belonging to Mr Barrett, of that place, a Chalybeate Spring, which has attracted the attention of the faculty and the public. The water has been accurately analyzed by Mr Cruikshank, of Woolwich – a gentleman well known to the world as an eminent chemist, who intends soon to favour the public with his Observations upon the Chemical and Medical properties of the water; which, we are already informed, is one of the most efficacious mineral springs of the kind in the kingdom; and no doubt will prove a very valuable discovery to the proprietor, the inhabitants of Cheltenham, and the public at large.

 Morning Post, Mon 11 Oct 1802 – CHELTENHAM, OCT. 7

Cheltenham could scarcely ever boast of so much company at this season of the year, as at present. – The usual signs for departure pass unnoticed. (The ‘season’ in Cheltenham was usually May-Sept – JW) In vain does October strew the walks with his many-tinted leaves, or the autumnal dews collect on the fluttering ribbons of our fair visitors. One great and novel attraction is the Chalybeate Spa. The renovated health of numbers who have already partaken of this salubrious stream can best proclaim its virtues. We will not presume to say it has no equal; but among the Chalybeate springs that this or any other country can boast of, it certainly is not excelled.

Morning Post, Tue 8 Mar 1803 – Cheltenham’s new Chalybeate Spa is just covered in, and a most commodious pump-room erected; a beautiful gravel walk thereto is marked out; and it is resorted to by numbers every morning.

 1803 – History of Cheltenham and its Environs, Humphrey Ruff

THE NEWLY DISCOVERED CHALYBEATE WATER – This spring had been observed for many years to issue out of the side of a bank in a very sparing quantity, depositing in its course a yellow ochery matter. The common people drank it; and it was frequently made use of, and it was thought successfully, as a lotion in weaknesses, and other complaints of the eyes. It was not, however, till the beginning of 1802 that it attracted particular attention, when it was found, upon examination, to be but a small branch of a very copious spring, originating in a meadow within a few hundred yards. – Upon sinking a well in the proper situation, it was found to produce at the rate of 130 gallons of water in an hour; a quantity equal to any demand that is likely to be made upon it.

Mr Barrett, the proprietor of it, has built a commodious room for the company frequenting it, and has also laid out neat gravelled walks to the town, from which it is distant but a few hundred yards.

This spring is one of the simply carbonated chalybeates. From an analysis it appears to contain a larger proportion of iron than is common to waters of this class; and the combination of it with the carbonic acid gas is so complete, that it will retain its properties when closely corked in a bottle, which is quite full, for several months. …

… The analysis of it has shewn that it contains less foreign matter than almost any water of this class with which we are acquainted, while the proportion of iron is much greater. When taken from the bottom of the well, it contains about five times as much iron as the celebrated water of Tunbridge, and about one-fifth more than the Pouhon spring at Spa. The quantity of carbonic acid gas, however, is not nearly so great as in the latter, and to which it is indebted for its brisk, sparkling appearance, and pleasant quickness of taste. From the experience of those who have drank it, its effects upon the human constitution are very considerable; and there is no doubt but that, properly directed, it is capable of producing the most salutary effects in many diseases to which mankind are subject.

Gloucester Journal, Mon 12 Nov 1804 – LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Sir – The salubrity of the purgative water at Cheltenham is well known; but few, comparatively, are acquainted with that of the steel water, notwithstanding a commodious house has been built over it, to accommodate invalids; length of time was requisite to give celebrity to the saline spring, and bring it into general notice.

The water discovered by Mr Barrett has been analysed by an eminent Chemist, and is highly approved by the faculty; it possesses properties equal to the famous German Spa. The combination of iron with sulphuric acid is plainly discoverable without the aid of chemistry. By giving publicity to the qualities of this Chalybeate, the fair sex may be informed more generally where relief can be obtained, in all cases wherein the preparations of steel are necessary – an in those of great debility from various causes – in all which this water is peculiarly efficacious, as well as in restoring the constitutions of those who have suffered from military fatigue, and residence in sultry climates. …

… I am, Sir, yours, &c. – ‘Phone’, Painswick, Nov 10, 1801

1806 Mitchell map: [N.B. – North is at the bottom in these early maps.]

1809 – Treatise on the Cheltenham Waters, Jameson

VI. THE ORIGINAL CHALYBEATE SPA – This carbonated steel well is situated in a level meadow on the banks of the little river Chelt., about 200 yards from Cheltenham mill, and the same distance from the top of the town. It is only four feet deep, and the proprietor was obliged to raise a mount of earth, and a plantation of trees, to shelter it from solar heat. (The proprietor, Mr Barrett, has rendered the access to this delightful spot extremely commodious.)

There existed for many years an open hole at the side of the running stream, which contained an iron water, that the country people resorted to for disorders of the eyes, and the late Mr Cruikshanks traced the water by its ochry channels through a thicket of brush wood 100 yards nearer its source, and established this well in the year 1803, to which a pump-room was immediately built within 14 yards of it.

The water issues out of a black gravelly soil, under a yellow clay, and the supply is near 100 gallons an hour. It is transparent, resembles common water, with the smell and taste of iron, and like other simple chalybeates, produces a brown stain, and a greazy appearance on the tumblers, and becomes turbid by standing exposed to the air. The temperature of the water from the pump varied from 47 in November, to 60 in August, in consequence of its superficial situation; and the specific gravity in the former month was 10020. …


1815 – The Improved Cheltenham Guide, Wood & Co.:

THE ORIGINAL CHALYBEATE SPA Is only 4 feet deep, and is situated in a level meadow belonging to Mr Barrett, of Cheltenham, about 200 yards from the flour-mill, and nearly the same distance from the upper end of the town. It had long been known to exist, and was made use of by the country people as a lotion for the eyes, but it was not otherwise noticed, except by Dr Fothergill, who slightly mentions it in his Treatise on Cheltenham Waters in 1778. (Actually 1st edition, 1775 – JW). At this time it issued out of a bank, at the side of a stream running through a thicket of brushwood, in a very sparing quantity, depositing in its course a yellow ochreous matter. It was not, however, particularly observed till the year 1802, when it was traced 100 yards nearer its source by the late Mr Cruickshanks.

A well was then immediately sunk, which produced at the rate of near 100 gallons of water in an hour, a much larger quantity than can ever be consumed by drinking. A commodious room is now built, and neat gravel walks are also laid out by the proprietor on the banks of the river; and a coach-road being but a little distance, makes it easy of access from the town. – This water is transparent; it resembles common water, with the smell and taste of iron, and, like other simple chalybeates, produces a brown stain and a greasy appearance on the tumblers, and becomes turbid by standing exposed to the air. …

1820 Gell & Bradshaw, Directory of Gloucestershire:

John Ballinger, plasterer – Chalybeate Cottage & 452 High Street (His wife may have dispensed the water – JW)


1820 – New Guide to Cheltenham, Bettison – THE ORIGINAL CHALYBEATE SPA

This spring had been observed for many years to issue out of the side of a bank in a very sparing quantity, depositing in its course a yellow ochery matter. The common people drunk it successfully as a lotion in weaknesses, and other complaints of the eyes. It was not, however, until the beginning of 1802, that it attracted particular attention, when it was found to be a small branch of a very copious spring, originating in a meadow within a few hundred paces. Upon sinking a well in a proper situation, it was found to produce equal to any demand. Mr Barrett, the proprietor, has built a commodious room for the company, and also laid out gravelled walks to the upper part of the town, from which it is distant but a few hundred yards. The spirit and judgement exercised by Mr B. in his recent alterations and improvements, have rendered his Spa a scene of liveliness and public attraction.

This spring is one of the simple carbonated chalybeates … It possesses a brisk sparkling appearance , and pleasant quickness. – Terms for the season, a lady or gentleman, 10s 6d;               Per week, 3s 6d


1824-5 – The Original Chalybeate Pump Room, drawn & published by Henry Lamb (from The Wilson AG&M collections)

The view is from E of the present College Road, on S side of the Chelt, looking W.


1826 – A Picturesque & Topographical Account of Cheltenham, Revd T.D. Fosbroke

… Of the Chalybeate waters, the Cambray has had the reputation of superior strength. The No.3 of the Old Well, is also very powerful. Fowler’s Chalybeate is not strongly impregnated; Barrett’s is still weaker. There are other Chalybeate springs; one out of the High Street, on the north bank of the Chelt, is beautifully situated in a small grove. (Although it is actually on the south bank of the Chelt!!) …

… Of the Chalybeate Waters, I cannot say much; they are used but little. The greatest risk of producing morbid determinations to head attends any random application of them. …


1826 – New Historical Description of Cheltenham, Griffiths

The Original Chalybeate Spa, situated near the upper part of the town, in a “pleasant meadow”, immediately on the south bank of the Chelt, from which it is distant but a few paces, was discovered by Mr Cruikshanks, chemist to the Board of Ordnance, in 1803, (actually 1802), who traced it from a small running stream to which the country people resorted in cases of disorders in the eye. A neatly commodious room was built over it, and gravelled walks laid through a small shrubbery (which was planted to protect the spring from the solar heat) communicating directly with the High Street. (via Barrett’s Mill?).

Held in Gloucestershire Archives:

1815-1824 – Court documents & related papers for the case in Chancery between William Barrett and John Gardner

relating to several copyhold and freehold properties in Cheltenham. – D2025/Box792/Bundle 1

This Deed Bundle contains the following, et al.:


17 Oct 1815 – Copy of draft of will of W.H. Barrett, of this date.


15 Nov 1821 – Agreement for the purchase, between W.H. Barrett and John Gardner re. a copyhold messuage with bakehouse & shop; a dwelling house and inn called the Eight Bells, with brewhouse; also a freehold grist mill with malthouse, garden and orchard; also a meadow called Perry’s Meadow, c.5½ acres, and pump room and well called the Chalybeate Spa.


1821 – Bill in Chancery between John Gardner and William Barrett concerning copyhold and freehold premises in Cheltenham. A case between William Barrett, a debtor, and John Gardner who now wants to sell the premises. These comprise copyhold premises, a bakehouse & shop, High Street; also a messuage abutting the bake house & shop and abutting the Eight Bells; also a freehold water grist mill with a newly-built malthouse adjoining, at the E end of the High Street; a pump room for the Chalybeate Spa and adjoining Perry’s Meadow of c.5 acres.


3 Dec 1821 – Note from W.H. Barrett to Mr Gwinnett concerning requested denial of any knowledge of £400 to Mr Gardner.


1822 – Coloured plan of Meadow spa, Mill (Barrett’s Mill) and other premises, Cheltenham. Details include a laid out formal garden, adjacent to the mill and malt house, and two other adjacent buildings; also a spa to the east called Meadow Spa, all abutting the River Chelt, with a parcel of meadow called Perry’s Meadow (5 acres).


1820s – Brief, Amended Bill and Answer to the original Bill, in Chancery, Gardner v. Barrett.


1820s – Note with previous and later valuations of Mill, malthouse and spa, total £8,690.


1820s – Papers, marked observation A and B, concerning the public house, the Mill and malthouse, the spa building and adjacent gardens, with records of conversations between Gardner and Barrett. – undated.


21 Jan 1822 – Letter signed by W. Welles re. the valuations of the property and the character of Mr Barrett.


1820s – Rough copy of valuation of Eight Bells public house, stables, brewhouse, mill house and mill, the miller’s cottage, orchard and garden, and malthouse, and Perry’s meadow, with Spa house and carriage road over the brook [Chelt], total value £12,740. – undated.


14 Nov 1822 – Copy of Answer, in Chancery, Gardner and Edmund Barrett.


20 Dec 1822 – Copy of affidavit of Messrs Welles & Carden for the case of Gardner v. Barrett, in Chancery, referring to Ann Hancock.


1820s – Statement by Edward Groves referring to a conversation with Mr Barrett about the sale of property previous to Barrett’s death. – undated.


1820s – Copy of the draft interrogations in Chancery, between Gardner and Barrett – undated.


18 May 1824 – Close copy answer in the case in Chancery, including a list of small payments to defendant’s witnesses and others.


1820s – Relevant papers concerning the case in Chancery between Gardner and Barrett, including accounts and receipts, draft letters, notes of objections, solicitors’ letters – mostly undated.


10 Apr 1824 – A valuation of the properties by Morris and Forbes.


N.B. William Humprhis Barrett died 11 Dec 1821, and the case in Chancery continued with Edmund Barrett, his brother, heir and executor. – JW


Bath Chronicle & Weekly Gazette, Thur 12 Oct 1826 - DEATHS

At Cheltenham, Mr W. Hannam, of Chalybeate Cottage.


Cheltenham Chronicle, Thur 6 Nov 1828 – NOTICE

1832 – A Stranger’s Guide Through Cheltenham, H. Davies

… A third chalybeate spa once existed in a meadow to the left of the High Street from the London Road, and hard by Mr Barrett’s mill; but this has been closed now for some years; …


Cheltenham Journal & Glos. Fashionable Weekly Gazette, Mon 23 Dec 1833

On the 9th inst., at Cheltenham, after a lingering illness, borne with exemplary fortitude, Mary, only daughter of --- O’Driscoll, Esq., of Baltimore, Ireland. – (see 1837 Annuaire below)

1834 Merrett’s Map: – (North is now at the top of the map)

1837 Cheltenham Annuaire:

Chalybeate Cottage, Sandford Field – W. O’Driscoll


Cheltenham Examiner, Wed 17 Jun 1840 – ATTEMPTED SUICIDE

On Wednesday night as two police-officers were on duty on the banks of the River Chelt, on the old Chalybeate walk, they heard some one struggling in the water, and uttering loud cries; they hastened to the spot, and found a girl in the stream; with great difficulty they succeeded in rescuing her from her perilous situation; she was nearly suffocated with mud, and on her recovery was taken to the police barracks.

She stated that her name was Elizabeth Clarke, that being seduced and deserted, her completely destitute state induced her to commit the rash attempt on her life. She was thought to be insane and was taken to the Poor House that the medical officer might examine her, where she still remains.


1841 CENSUS (6 Jun)

                                                                                          Age            Occupation                                  Born in County?

Chalybeate Cottage:

                 Joseph Whitehead                 32             Statuary Mason                     No                     Michael Whitehead                61              Statuary Mason                  No

  Jane Whitehead                     32                                                              No

James Whitehead                        8                                                                   No

Jane Whitehead                       6 weeks                                                     Yes


Chalybeate Cottage: (This may be a house in Rodney Road, at the Cambray Chalybeate Spa,

or they may be lodgers at the Chalybeate Cottage in Sandford.)

John Bradley                           60             Independent                           No

Maria Bradley                         60             Independent                           No

Sarah Brooks                           20             Female Servant                       Yes


1841 List of Voters:

Chalybeate Cottage – T. Whitehead; J. Bradley

Cheltenham Looker-On, Sat 15 Oct 1842 – (Building of College Road)

A NEW STREET or Road, 50ft wide, and opening into the High Street, at the end of Belle Vue Place, has recently been commenced; and if completed according to the present design, is likely to lead to very extensive improvements on property now of comparatively little value. It is intended to run behind Bath Buildings and Paragon Parade, intersecting several small streets, and coming out immediately opposite Sandford Fields, and not far from the new Proprietary College. A cross road is also intended, commencing in continuation of a narrow street facing Oriel Terrace, and thence to proceed parallel with the High Street across Old Bath Road, near the mill, and to open into the Charlton Road, some distance above Oxford Place – the ground on either side of these contemplated roads will be sold for building, according to a general design, which is to regulate the style and kind of houses to be erected. – (The cross road from Bath Road never got beyond College Road, where St. Luke’s Church was to be built. – JW)


With the new access provided by the new College Road, the holding of cattle auctions was enabled in the field beside Chalybeate CottageJW


Cheltenham Chronicle, Thur 20 Jul 1843 – PROPERTY ADVT.

1846 Johnson’s Map:  – (The new road from the High Street, College Road, is only hinted at here.)

Cheltenham Chronicle, Thur 18 Jan 1849 – BIRTHS

Jan 14, at Chalybeate Cottage, in this town, Mrs Francis Malpas, of a son.


Cheltenham Journal & Glos. Fashionable Weekly Gazette, Mon 7 May 1849 – PROPERTY ADVT.

Cheltenham Looker-On, Sat 1 Dec 1849 – ADVT.

(Arthur Whitcombe and family were a later residents of Chalybeate Cottage, by 1859, and ran a gallery in Clarence Street. He manufactured looking-glasses, picture frames, etc. and was also a print-seller. – JW)


1851 CENSUS (30 Mar)

                                                                          Rel.          Status        Age            Occupation                Birthplace

Chalybeate Cottage:

         Harriet Webb                           Head       W             57             Fund Holder           Bloomsbury, Middx

     Nassau Fredk Weales Clift   G-son   U               12             Scholar                     France

    Louisa Weales Clift               G-dau     U               10             Scholar                     Middx

       Sarah West                               Servt       U               19             Servant                     Apperley, Glos

Cheltenham Chronicle, Thur 24 Apr 1851 – ADVT.

Cheltenham Examiner, Wed 4 Jun 1851 – POLICE COURT

Thomas Chappell charged with having in his possession a stolen horse, the property of Mrs Harriett Webb, of Chalybeate Cottage, Cheltenham. Supt. Seyes explained to the magistrates that Chappell was not the man that stole the horse; he had known Chappell for some time to be a respectable man. The magistrates bound him over to appear when called upon. Great praise is due to Sergts. Shekleton and Nightingale for the recovery of the horse at the horse-fair at Cheltenham, after receiving information from Mrs Webb.


1852 Slater’s Directory of Cheltenham - Mrs Harriet Webb, Chalybeate Cottage, Sandford New Road

(Arthur Whitcombe, looking glass maker, 4 St. James’s Square, Alstone)


Gloucestershire Chronicle, Sat 28 Mar 1857

We regret to state that on Tuesday morning a serious accident occurred on the premises of Mr Arthur Whitcomb, at his extensive print and plate glass depot in Clarence Street, Cheltenham. He has lately had a new cistern fitted up in the upper part of his house, and owing to some disarrangement in the piping this cistern overflowed, and on the shop being entered in the morning it was found that the premises were completely deluged with water, which had been apparently falling for hours over the costly prints, looking-glasses and picture frames, with which the warerooms were stored. The water filled the print drawers and bins. We regret to say that the damage has been of the most serious description, and we fear that Mr Whitcomb’s loss will amount to some hundreds of pounds.


Cheltenham Examiner, Wed 29 Apr 1857 – ADVT.

1855-57 Cheltenham Old Town Survey:

Cheltenham Journal & Glos. Fashionable Weekly Gazette, Sat 13 Feb 1858

Cheltenham Chronicle, Tue 15 Mar 1859 – ADVT.

The Maid and The Magpie, Edwin Landseer:

Cheltenham Chronicle, Tue 10 May 1859 - BIRTHS

April 27, at Field Lodge, the wife of Mr Arthur Whitcombe, printseller, of a daughter.

(It seems likely that it was Arthur Whitcombe who renamed Chalybeate Cottage as Field Lodge – JW)


Cheltenham Looker-On, Sat 21 Jul 1860 – ADVT.

  1861 CENSUS (7 Apr)

                                                                          Rel.          Status        Age                              Occupation                                  Birthplace

Field Lodge, Woods Road, College Road:

Arthur Whitcombe               Head       M             48  Looking Glass Manuf, Master empl 4 men.      London

                       Sarah Sophia Whitcombe   Wife         M             33                                                                                     Minchinhampton

          Elizabeth Sophia Whitcombe   Dau                             1                                                                                     Cheltenham

          Reynald Thomas Whitcombe   Son                             4 mths                                                                         Cheltenham

              Martha Stephens                   Servt       U               18             Nurse Maid                                                 East Dean, Glos

Harriet Nelson                         Servt       U               21             Cook                                                             London


Cheltenham Mercury, Sat 5 Oct 1861 – MONTPELLIER GARDENS CO. LTD

DIRECTORS: Sir Alexander Ramsay, Bart, Montpellier Parade; Sir Wm Russell, Bart, CB, MP, Charlton Park; … Alexander Shirer, Southcourt, Leckhampton; … Arthur Whitcombe, Clarence Street; …

The Objects for which this Company is established are (amongst others), “To lay out and maintain the Montpellier Gardens as a place for Public Amusement, Recreation and Resort. To erect thereon a Hall for Musical and other purposes and for Public Assemblies and Entertainments, with convenient Ante-Rooms, Museum, Hothouses, Conservatories, Tennis and Racket Courts, Turkish and other Baths, and other necessary or convenient offices and buildings. – The Gardens, containing upwards of 8½ acres of land, have been purchased for £5,750. The nominal Capital of the Company is £12,000, divided into 1,200 shares of £10 each. … … (much of this was never developed – JW)


Cheltenham Examiner, Wed 3 Feb 1864 – ADVT.

Cheltenham Mercury, Sat 7 Jul 1866 – BIRTHS

May 20, at Field Lodge, Mrs Arthur Whitcombe of a son – Archibald Bertram.


The enquiry, adjourned from Tuesday week, was resumed on Monday last at the Board-room … The Inspector stated that he should require, 1st, a list of all the votes that were objected to as bad; and 2nd, a list of all the votes by proxy which it was alleged were bad because the principal was non-resident. … The enquiry was resumed on Wednesday. …

… The first witness called on Friday morning was Mr A. Whitcombe, carver and gilder, of Field Lodge; said he applied for a voting paper and was told he had no vote; he, however, filled up the paper and tendered; was told that his name was not on the list; no voting paper had been left at his house. – Mr Skipper contended that the vote was bad because it was not tendered on the proper day. …


Cheltenham Mercury, Sat 22 Aug 1868 – BIRTHS

July 21, at Field Lodge, Mrs Arthur Whitcombe of a son – Edgar Alfred.


Cheltenham Mercury, Sat 17 Sep 1870 – BIRTHS

Aug 15, at Field Lodge, Mrs Arthur Whitcombe of a son – Algernon Henry.


Cheltenham Examiner, Wed 1 Mar 1871 – ADVT.

‘Light and Darkness’:

1871 CENSUS (3 Apr)

Field Lodge, College Road:

Arthur Whitcombe               Head       M             58             Looking Glass Maker           London

                                  Sarah S Whitcombe             Wife         M             43                                                                   Minchinhampton, Glos

       Elizabeth Whitcombe           Dau                           11             Scholar                                       Cheltenham

Gertrude Whitcombe           Dau                             9             Scholar                                       Cheltenham

Lionel Whitcombe                 Son                               6             Scholar                                       Cheltenham

Archibald Whitcombe         Son                               4             Scholar                                       Cheltenham

Edgar Whitcombe                 Son                               2                                                                   Cheltenham

Algernon Whitcombe           Son                               7 mths                                                       Cheltenham

Sarah Mills                               Servt       U               20             Nurse                                         Cricklade

Rose Harvey                             Servt       U               20             Housemaid                               Sevenhampton

Kate Yeats                                 Servt       U               15             Under Nurse                           Cheltenham


Cheltenham Examiner, Wed 8 Dec 1875 – CHELTENHAM IMPROVEMENT BOARD

SEWAGE & DRAINAGE – The Flooding of the Chelt – The Surveyor had submitted a report upon the overflow of the Chelt, and suggested the extension of the overflow and outfall works above Field Lodge, at a cost of about £400, in substitution of the enlargement of the existing weir and channel previously authorised. Upon the same subject there had also been received a letter from the Rev. T.C. Fry, with a memorial signed by the Principal of the College and about 200 other persons, calling attention to the damage done to the lands and houses bordering upon the Chelt by the frequent overflow thereof, and expressing an opinion that a remedy might and ought to be found for the evil. The further consideration of the subject had been adjourned until next week. …


Cheltenham Examiner, Wed 5 Dec 1877 – PROPERTY ADVT.

(Arthur Whitmore and family had moved to 3 Pittville Villas, Prestbury Road.)


Cheltenham Mercury, Sat 6 Dec 1879 – FOR SALE

Cheltenham Mercury, Sat 27 Mar 1880 – THE WATCH CASES

John Singleton, a watch maker, living at 9 Corpus Street, was brought up on remand, charged with stealing a gold watch, value £5, the property of Edmund Hollins; and three further charges of stealing silver watches. – Ann Hollins said she was the wife of Edmund Hollins, residing at Field Lodge, College Road. In the early part of March last year, she took a gold watch to prisoner’s house in Corpus Street, and left it with his daughter to be repaired. Prisoner had repaired it a day or two before. On the following morning prisoner called at her house and asked if he might keep the watch for a week, in order to see if it would go, and she consented. Two days after the week had passed she sent for it, and found prisoner had gone; she was told prisoner left shortly after he had been to her house. The watch produced was the one she lost; she knew it by the number that was on it; the value was about £5. Edward Wood, assistant to Mr Isaac Solomon, pawnbroker, 199 High Street stated that the gold watch produced was pledged on 14th March 1879 for £1, by a female who gave the name of “Martha Taylor, High Street”. …

… (Other watches were missed by Robert Pullham, labourer of Shipton Oliffe, William Jordan, labourer of Bentham, and by a fourth victim. The watches were all pawned by Singleton, or his accomplices.) … Sergt. McRae said that morning he received the watch produced from Mr Moses, pawnbroker, High Street. The charge was read to the prisoner that morning, and witness told him all the watches were found except the gold one. Prisoner said “you ought to find that one, it is pledged in Cheltenham. … I am not sure whether I pledged it myself or my wife; you will find it either at Solomon’s or Moses’. “ Witness found it at Mr Solomon’s. …

The fourth charge was not gone into, the Magistrates being of the opinion that the evidence given in the three charges was sufficient to convict the prisoner, who was committed for trial at the next Quarter sessions.

Cheltenham Mercury, Sat 15 May 1880 – ADVT. – A new venture for Edmund Hollings – JW

Cheltenham Mercury, Sat 29 Jan 1881 - DEATHS

Jan 14, at Field Lodge, College Road, of debility, aged 1, Edwin Jones.



1881 CENSUS (2 Apr)

                                                                          Rel.          Status        Age            Occupation                                  Birthplace

Field Lodge, College Road:

       Edmund Hollings                   Head       M             46             Chemist & Botanist               Rawdon, Yorks

Annie Hollings                         Wife         M             45             Chemist’s Wife                       Leeds, Yorks

        William E. Hollings                 Son           U               24             Printer                                       Horsforth, Yorks

                                                Edward Hollings                     Son                               4                                                                   Sutton, War                       Rosa Woods                             Visitor                         5 mths                                                       Bristol

Reginald Simmons                 Servt       U               16             Chemist’s Assistant               Gloucester

Lilian Gay                                   Servt       U               17             General Servant                     Bristol



Gloucester Citizen, Sat 13 Aug 1881 – IN LIQUIDATION

E. Hollings, Winchcombe Street and College Road, Cheltenham, botanic chemist, lately trading with G.J. Derby, of St. Mark’s, Cheltenham, as the National Non-Intoxicating Ale Company, at Hanover Street, Cheltenham; …

(Presumably Edmund Hollings had to sell his furniture, etc., to meet his debts – JW):


Cheltenham Mercury, Sat 27 Aug 1881 – PROPERTY ADVT

Note on Edmund Hollings: – The above was not the first time Edmund Hollings had been in financial difficulties. Among other crises, he had gone bankrupt in Leeds in 1858, as a grocer and botanical chemist; in 1867 a partnership in Leeds with his father, John Hollings, and brother, Henry Hollings, (John Hollings & Sons) was dissolved, and they continued in business without him as John Hollings & Son; Edmund Hollings went bankrupt again in 1873, as a druggist in Leeds, and was in liquidation in 1875, as chemist and druggist in Birmingham, shortly before moving to Cheltenham and Field Lodge to start afresh. After the 1881 failure of his ‘Non-intoxicating ale’ venture, Hollings gave up premises in Winchcombe Street and sold his furniture. – JW


Cheltenham Mercury, Sat 8 Sep 1883 – ADVT.

An example of Edmund Hollings’ botanical ingredients and his tools of his trade can be seen in this extract from a sale of stock, etc., following his 1858 bankruptcy:

Cheltenham Examiner, Wed 28 Nov 1883 – BIRTHS

November 18, at Field Lodge, College Road, the wife of Mr Frederick George Godfrey, of a daughter.

(It is likely that the Hollings family took in lodgers to supplement income – JW)


Cheltenham Mercury, Sat 20 Sep 1884 – INQUEST ON A CHILD

An inquest was held at the Old Swan Hotel, on Wednesday afternoon, upon the body of an illegitimate child named Rosa Wood, aged four years, who died on the 14th inst, at Field Lodge, College Road. Deceased was the daughter of a Governess named Emily Wood, residing near Bristol, and for the last three and a half years has been in the charge of Mr E. Hollings, botanical chemist, and his wife, at the above address. Mr E.W. Coren, coroner, presided at the enquiry.

In reply to the Coroner, Mr Hollings said that Mrs Hollings was ill in bed, and had been for the last three days; she was always delicate, but was not attended by a medical man; he gave her medicine himself. The Coroner said he should have liked for Mrs Hollings to have been present, as she certainly knew most about deceased.

Edmund Hollings was then sworn, and said he was a registered botanical chemist, residing at Field Lodge. The child had been under the charge of his wife for three and a half years; she was six months old when brought to them. They were paid by the mother after the rate of £20 a year. The child was rather delicate when sent to them, but had no disease, although he did not consider her of a strong constitution. She had never improved, and he always considered her a lingering child. She had a continued eruption all over the body. The mother had not seen her for two years, but had communicated with them from time to time. She had an engagement that prevented her coming, but she sent money regularly. His wife had written to her, informing her of the child’s death, but she is not here, and they have not received a reply. They thought she must have left her situation as she had not replied.

Dr Walters saw the child about two years ago, but no medical man has since seen it until Sunday morning last, when Dr Kirkland was called in. Dr Walters did not prescribe for deceased, but said they were to give her meat and nourishing food. He thought she was quite an imbecile, and ever would be.

Deceased was a little sick on Saturday, but it did not amount to more than a little rising in the stomach. They had seen her more sickly than she was that day. She had her usual bath and was put to bed on Saturday night. She slept with witness’s little boy in the next room to them. They noticed nothing during the night, but on Sunday morning when Mrs Hollings got up, she went into the bedroom and thought the deceased looked very strange. She called witness, who went to the child and found her vomiting and violently purged. He did not think she was sensible. He gave his wife three grains of bi-carbonate of potash. His wife took the parcel of potash and weighted the grains as she had often done. His wife had weighed potash and taken it herself for many years past. – He did not keep a chemist’s shop, but had been apprenticed to a chemist. He had studied botany, and although he had made up thousands of medical men’s prescriptions, he did not do so now. He gave the potash to correct the acidity of the bowels and stomach. Dr Kirkland came immediately and saw the child; this was about 8 o’clock in the morning. He left, and when they found the child got worse he was fetched again about 3 o’clock, and the child died while he was there.

During this evidence the coroner remarked that he thought the administering the potash by Mrs Hollings as stated by witness, was rather a loose way of doing things. – In reply to the jury, witness said that he had the care of no other child than deceased. When Dr Walters came he was accompanied by a relieving officer, and this was in consequence of a report from a discharged servant, who had reported that the child had not enough to eat. There was no truth whatever in that report. There was always plenty of bread, and also milk in the house which the servant had access to. Mrs Hollings sometimes gave her bread and milk, and sometimes the servant. She had lately had the same food as the rest of the family, and took her meals with them. The child usually had its tea about 6 o’clock, and was put to bed about 7. It did not have anything afterwards till breakfast the next morning. The mother paid the money for the child regularly, but he could not say when the last instalment was paid. He should have to pay the expenses of the funeral, and endeavour to get it back from the mother.

The Coroner remarked that ,seeing the mother had not seen her child for more than two years, he had no doubt she would willingly pay its funeral expenses – the remark seemed to be unanimously endorsed by the jury. Witness, in reply to another question, said the child’s life was not insured.

Dr Robert Kirkland stated that he was called in to see deceased on Sunday morning. He found her unconscious, and her eyes glazed; she evidently had not many hours to live. Mr Hollings told him she had been convulsed. He noticed a small bruise upon the eye and shinbone, but they were not of recent date, and were satisfactorily accounted for by the child falling when trying to walk. The child was of stunted growth, and was of delicate nature. It was not fat, but was fairly well-nourished. Probably the child died from convulsions, and was of a nature predisposed thereto. He did not think there were any suspicious circumstances connected with the death. … By the Jury – The potash would not do the child any harm, but it would not do good in a case of convulsions. An overdose would do harm, but there was no trace of any overdose in the present case. Mr Hollings observed that three grains was the smallest dose prescribed.

The Coroner said that was just the question that had induced him to hold the inquest. They had no evidence as to the quantity given. Mr Hollings had given the potash to his wife, and she was not here to say what she had done. Mr Hollings observed that unfortunately he had had a drain burst, and the effluvia therefrom was so bad that it had produced diarrhoea in his family. – The Coroner thought they could not carry the case further; it was one that certainly cast some reflection upon Mr Hollings, and he hoped that he would be more careful in future, and always make up his own prescriptions himself. Mr Hollings, in reply to a question, said that the child’s mother paid her money quarterly, and there was now nothing due. The Coroner observed that the reply went a good way to remove any doubt as to the motive for the child’s death. – The jury unanimously agreed that no other verdict than “Death from natural causes” could be returned, and they presented their fees to the Cheltenham General Hospital.

(The Hollings family left Cheltenham shortly after this. – JW)


Gloucester Citizen, Mon 11 Jul 1887 – FOR SALE

FOR SALE, a Tricycle (Sociable); a great bargain, £7. – apply Field Lodge, College Road, Cheltenham.


1888 OS Map:

Gloucester Citizen, Fri 18 May 1888 – ADVT. – CYCLES

A GREAT bargain Convertible Tandem Tricycle, maker Singer, Coventry, cost £32 12 months ago, £16 lowest cash price. – J. James Original Cycle Works, College Road, Cheltenham.



10. Dangerous Wall at FIELD LODGE – Letters from Messrs Young & Gilling, stating that the present condition of this wall having been caused by the great weight of ashes placed against the outside of it by the Town Council, they consider the Corporation should bear a moiety of the contemplated outlay thereon (£16), or of the expense of substituting a tall unclimbable fence in its stead, were read. And It was Resolved That the Committee are not prepared to entertain the proposal, and that Notice be given to the Owners to remedy the dangerous state of the wall.

Cheltenham Chronicle, Sat 23 Nov 1889 – ADVT. – APARTMENTS

TWO or three rooms to let unfurnished, pleasantly situated – Apply Field Lodge, College Road.


Cheltenham Chronicle, Sat 8 Mar 1890 – ADVT. – APARTMENTS

TWO or three Unfurnished Rooms to let, pleasantly situated, terms moderate – Field Lodge, College Road.


1891 P.O. Directory of Cheltenham:

Field Lodge, College Road – Joseph James, cycle manufacturer


1891 CENSUS (5 Apr)

                                                                          Rel.          Status        Age            Occupation                                  Birthplace

Field Lodge, College Road:

Joseph James                           Head       M             48             Bicycle Machinist                   Cheltenham

                     Bertha James                           Wife         M             48                                                                   Stanton St. John, Oxon

Alice James                               Dau         U               18             Housemaid                               Cheltenham

  Hester James                           Dau         U               16                                                                   Cheltenham

Annie James                             Dau                           14             Scholar                                       Cheltenham

Edward James                         Son                             11             Scholar                                       Cheltenham

Charles James                         Son                               9             Scholar                                       Cheltenham

Harry James                             Son                               8             Scholar                                       Cheltenham

Martha Arundel                     Boarder                   47             Living on her means             Cheltenham

          Mary H. Price                           Boarder                   64             Living on her means             N. Littleton, Worcs

   Rachel B. Price                       Boarder                   63             Living on her means             Leckhampton

Extract from The Story of the Bicycle, John Woodforde:

My boyhood memory takes me back to a time when on the south bank of the Chelt on a spot at the corner of Sandford Park now graced by public conveniences, a firm of engineers known as James’s operated in a large ramshackle building. My recollection is that flaking, once-white paint on a dull red background announced “Cycle Manufacturers”. … James’s was well and truly in existence as an old-established concern at the turn of the century …


Cheltenham Chronicle, Sat 26 Mar 1892 – ADVT. - APARTMENTS

TWO Unfurnished Rooms, pleasantly situated in a healthy part of Cheltenham –Field Lodge, College Road.


1897 Bennett’s Business Directory of Glos:

Cycle Depots – … J. James, College Road; …


Cheltenham Examiner, Wed 29 Sep 1897 – MARRIAGES

September 21, at St. Luke’s Church, Cheltenham, by the Rev. H. Evan Noot, MA, Harry c. Holman, only son of Harry Holman, of Briton Terrace, St. Mark’s, to B. Ada K. James, eldest daughter of Joseph James, of Field Lodge, College Road.


Cheltenham Chronicle, Sat 30 Apr 1898 - MARRIAGES

April 27, at St. Luke’s Church, by the Rev. Julian Harvey, MA, Frank, third son of the late Mr William Salmon of Evesham, to Alice, second daughter of Mr Joseph James, of Field Lodge, College Road.


Cheltenham Examiner, Wed 2 Nov 1898 - MARRIAGES

October 27, at St. Luke’s Church, by the Rev. H.E. Noott, BA, John R., only son of Mr C. Dixon of Lancaster, to Annie J., youngest daughter of Mr J. James, of Field Lodge, College Road.


Cheltenham Chronicle, Sat 3 Dec 1898 – A DAMAGED CYCLE

DIX & CO. v. WAGHORNE BROS – Messrs Samuel B. Dix & Co. claimed from Messrs Waghorne Bros, all of Cheltenham, a sum of £4 16s for good sold and repairs of damage to a bicycle. … The dispute arose out of the hire of a cycle by defendant, which was smashed up on its return. The sum claimed was made up of items for repairs, including punctures, a lost bell, crooked forks, etc. Plaintiff further stated that he could not secure a settlement out of court. …

… The cycle had been ridden by a lad who was a “rare” fellow, well known in the town. … Walter Green, assistant to Messrs Dix, said he occasionally lent cycles to this boy. There was nothing the matter with the machine when it went out, but it was in a bad condition when it came back. Other machines which the boy had hired were damaged. – Mr H. James, cycle maker and repairer, said when the machine was sent to him for repairs the chain was not damaged. It was not possible for a chain to cause the damage. It could not have happened from any defect in the machine. Witness had been working for his father for 7 or 8 years. He repaired the machine, and the bill for £2 15s was cheap. With fair usage the machine would not have been so badly damaged. …

… A lad in the employ of Messrs Waghorne deposed that he had gone to Battledown on the bicycle, and after mounting it to return he heard a clicking noise, and discovered that the chain had come off. Then the accident occurred that caused the damage – Corroborative evidence was given. – His Honour gave judgement for the defendant for all except the amount paid into court, £1 14s 9d, together with a fee of 2s.



9.) – Filling up old Channel of Chelt through Field on W side of College Road (site of fountain & park now) – With reference to a Report which had been made by the Borough Surveyor that the late Mr Harford’s Trustees were filling up the old channel of the Chelt which runs through part of their land from the Chelt overflow weir near Field Cottage (sic) the Town Clerk reported that he had written to Messrs Young & Gilling, the Agents for the Owners to inform that the Council object to the old channel being filled up and that any soil, &c., that may have been deposited in the channel must be removed, to which he had received a reply from Messrs Smith Bros., the tenants, stating that Mr C. Rainger’s carter came to them and asked for the key as he said he had orders from Major Harford to empty old building rubbish in the old waterway as he wanted it filled up, and that they had cautioned their man not to empty any rubbish into it.

That Mr Rainger had written that he had not taken any deposit to the old channel of the Chelt referred to. Resolved, To instruct the Town Clerk to give notice to Messrs Young & Gilling that if the deposit is not removed within 7 days proceedings will be taken under Sec.39 of the Cheltenham Improvement Act of 1852.


Cheltenham Chronicle, Sat 1 Sep 1900 – CHELTENHAM VOLUNTEER INVALIDED HOME

The first to return home of the local Riflemen who volunteered for active service in South Africa six months ago is Pte. Charles Owen James. He is the son of Mr J. James, of Field Lodge, College Road, who has another volunteer son, Private Harry James, still at the front. Our readers will be aware from paragraphs which have previously appeared in the Echo that the brothers and other members of their company have been doing duty on the lines of communications. Unfortunately Charles contracted enteric fever in a rather severe form. After spending many weeks in hospital he has been invalided home. – The homecomer landed at Southampton on Saturday of last week, and arrived home on Tuesday night. He may now be seen in Cheltenham wearing the uniform of the Gloucester Regiment, which he will rejoin after two months leave of absence.


Gloucestershire Chronicle, Sat 30 Mar 1901 - DEATHS

March 21, at Field Lodge, College Road, Cheltenham, Catharine Frankland, aged 63 years.


1901 CENSUS (31 Mar)

                                                                          Rel.          Status        Age                              Occupation                                  Birthplace

Field Lodge, College Road:

Joseph James                           Head       M             58             General Machinist-Cycle Maker       Cheltenham

      Bertha James                  Wife         M             58                                                                          Stanton St. John, Ox

Edward James                         Son           U               21             General Machinist-Cycle Maker       Cheltenham

Charles O. James                   Son           U               20             General Machinist-Cycle Maker       Cheltenham

Frank Salmon                           S-in-law M             27             Butler, domestic                                       Evesham

   Alice Salmon                           Dau         M             27                                                                                     Cheltenham

   Frank C Salmon                       G-son                         2 mths                                                                         Chislehurst, Kent

(Occupying 2 rooms)

Janet Martin                           Head       W             57             Retired Housekeeper                             Malmesbury, Wilts

Edith A. Haines                       Visitor     U               24             Dressmaker, own account                   Hereford


Gloucestershire Echo, Mon 18 Nov 1901 – LOCAL VOLUNTEER JOINS FRENCH’S SCOUTS

Among those of our local Volunteers who, nearly two years ago, proceeded to the front, under Capt. Mouat-Biggs, was Private Harry James, the youngest son of Mr J. James, of Field Lodge, College Road. When the Service Section returned home, Private James decided to remain in South Africa, and obtained an appointment on the Government Railways, and soon was promoted to line foreman. Tiring of the monotony of his work, he sought pastures new, and a few weeks ago proceeded down to Capetown, where he again offered himself for active service, and after a stiff examination, both medical and otherwise, he re-enlisted, and succeeded in gaining admission to that important body known as “French’s Scouts”.


Gloucestershire Echo, Thur 13 Feb 1902 – HOME FROM THE WAR

Private Harry James, son of Mr J. James, of Field Lodge, College Road, who went out to South Africa with the Service Section of the local Rifle Volunteers two years ago, returned in the Plassy, which arrived at Southampton on Weds, and reached his home in Cheltenham the same night. He has been serving as a trooper in French’s scouts for the past few months, and we are glad to state that he has returned full of health and vigour after his two years’ service.


1903 OS Map: (showing extensive cycle-manufacturing workshop built alongside house)

Gloucestershire Echo, Mon 20 Aug 1906 – DEATHS

August 18, at Field Lodge, College Road, Cheltenham, Bertha Ann, the beloved wife of Joseph James.


Gloucestershire Echo, Mon 3 Feb 1908 – THE FIRST IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Many will regret to learn of the death on Saturday at Field Lodge, College Road, of Mr Joseph James, who established his cycle manufacturing business in Cheltenham as far back as 1864, in the days of the old “bone-shaker”, and could claim to be the first cycle manufacturer in the county. Mr James, who was 64 years of age, had been failing ever since the death of his wife about 18 months ago, and death came as a happy release from protracted suffering.


Cheltenham Examiner, Wed 5 Feb 1908 – DEATHS

February 1, at Field Lodge, College Road, Joseph Hames – aged 64 years.


Gloucestershire Echo, Mon 10 Feb 1908 – DEATHS

Jan 31, at Field Lodge, College Road, after a few days illness, Annie Prior, widow of the late William Prior, aged 66 years.


Gloucestershire Echo, Thur 20 Feb 1908 – NOTICE

1911 CENSUS (2 Apr)

                  Name                          Relat.        Status        Age            Occupation                                                    Birthplace

Field Lodge, College Road: (Occupying 5 rooms)

Edward James                         Head       M             31             Cycle Maker (Employer; At Home)   Cheltenham

Kate James                               Wife         M             29             (née Sheen)                                               Cheltenham

Edward James                         Son                               9             School                                                           Cheltenham

Stella James                             Dau                             6             School                                                           Cheltenham

Emma James                           Dau                             3                                                                                     Cheltenham

Ronald James                         Son                               2                                                                                     Cheltenham

Maude Moulsdale                 Niece                         14             School                                                           Cheltenham

(couple were married 10 years; 4 children, all surviving)

(Occupying 2 rooms):

Janet Martin                           Boarder W             70             Retired Housekeeper                             Malmesbury, Wilts


Gloucestershire Echo, Mon 5 Jun 1911 – APARTMENTS

TWO unfurnished rooms to let – Field Lodge, College Road, Cheltenham.


Gloucestershire Echo, Wed 11 Oct 1911 – ADVT. – MOTORS

TRIUMPH, 3½ H.P., 1909, complete with side car and all accessories; very little used; £44 or near offer – James, Cycle Works, College Road, Cheltenham.


Gloucestershire Echo, Wed 8 May 1912 – APARTMENTS

PLEASANT unfurnished rooms to let – Field Lodge, College Road, Cheltenham.


Gloucester Citizen, Thur 6 Jun 1912 – ADVT. - MOTORS

F.N. 2¼ Single Cylinder, shaft drive, Magneto, 2-speed, free engine, late 1911; £28 – James’ Garage, College Road, Cheltenham.


Gloucestershire Echo, Wed 3 Jul 1912 - APARTMENTS

UNFURNISHED rooms to let; no attendance. – Field Lodge, College Road, Cheltenham.

Gloucester Citizen, Sat 31 Aug 1912 – ADVT. – CYCLES & MOTORS

6 H.P. ROVER, 2-seater, complete with hood, screen, lamps, etc; very fair condition; £30. Can be seen at James’s, College Road, Cheltenham.


Gloucestershire Echo, Tue 5 Nov 1912 - APARTMENTS

TO LET, unfurnished rooms, pleasant situation – Apply Field Lodge, College Road, Cheltenham.


Gloucestershire Echo, Mon 17 Mar 1913 – ADVT. - MOTORS

ARIEL motor-cycle, old pattern, sale; very cheap; in running order, tyres good. – To be seen at James’, College Road, Cheltenham.


Cheltenham Chronicle, Sat 17 May 1913 – ADVT.


Report of Trees Sub-Committee: … College Road – That a partly dead elm tree by the Cycle Works be removed and a lime tree planted. …


1914 Kelly’s Directory of Gloucestershire – Edward James, cycle manufacturer, College Road



Mineral Water Trenches Repaired – Bath Parade, Bath Road, Christ Church Road, College Road, Eldorado Road and Well Place. - (Perhaps the chalybeate spring is still known to the Borough Council? UCAL were processing the Cheltenham waters in nearby Corpus Street. – JW)



Mineral Water Trenches Repaired – College Road and Eldorado Road.


Gloucestershire Echo, Tue 17 Aug 1915 – LOST & FOUND

LOST, on Saturday night, in Winchcombe Street, lady’s handbag, containing wrist watch and silver; reward given. – Field Lodge, College Road, Cheltenham.


Gloucestershire Echo, Mon 17 Jul 1916 – NOTICE

J. JAMES, having been rejected for military service, has resumed his motor and cycle repairing business at College Road, Cheltenham. All work will receive the usual prompt, personal attention.



Cultivation of Land Order – College Road – The Borough Surveyor reported that the whole of the 40 allotments on the East side of College Road had been let. There were still 65 applicants wanting allotments. … Resolved, that a representation be made to the War Agricultural Executive Committee of the need for further land for allotments, and calling their attention to several pieces of land suitable for the purpose.


Extract from Leaving All That Was Dear, J. Devereux & G. Sacker, 1997:


3.) Cultivation of Land – Rent of Allotments – Resolved, That the Rent of land taken by agreement be fixed as follows:

1919        1920        1921

College Road Tip                                                       10s           15s           17s 6d

Land in Orrisdale Terrace                                       10s           15s           17s 6d

Land in College Road, adjoining Field Lodge  10s           15s           17s 6d

Albert Road, Pittville                                               10s           12s 6d     15s

Agg-Gardner Recreation Ground                         10s           ---             ---

Naunton Park                                                             10s           ---             ---

Resolved also That the Rent of the land compulsorily taken under the Cultivation of Lands Order remains as at present.


Gloucestershire Echo, Sat 7 Jun 1919 – ADVT. - MOTORS

B.S.A. motor-cycle, three speeds, clutch, 1914 model; what offers? – Seen at James’ Garage, College Road.



3.) Nuisances from Drains, etc., at 68 & 69 St. George’s Place, 379 High St, 19 Columbia St, 2-5 Brooklyn Bank, 1 Gt Western Terr., Field Lodge, College Road, and 18 Dunalley Parade. The Inspector of Nuisances having made written application under Sect.41 of the Public Health Act 1875, stating that the drains, &c, on or belonging to the above-named houses were in such a state as to be a nuisance or injurious to health. Resolved, That authority be given to the Inspector of Nuisances to open the ground, examine the drains and report to the Committee.


1921 CENSUS (19 Jun)

Field Lodge, College Road: – Edward James, wife Kate, daughter Stella + 3 other members of household.



Chelt Riverside Improvement Scheme – Read, letters from Messrs Young & Gilling, offering on behalf of Col. Lloyd Harford to sell Field Lodge for £750 (subject to tenancy). Resolved, That this offer be accepted. Resolved, also, That a Contract be entered into for the purchase of Perry’s Meadow (beside Field Lodge) for £825 and the Orchard for £500 and Field Lodge for £750,making a total of £2,075.

Resolved, also, That application be made to the Ministry of Health for their sanction to a loan of £2,096 for the Purchase of these properties, including stamp duty.



The chief item in the report of the Town Improvement & Spa Committee, presented by Mr Stewart, dealt with the proposed riverside improvement scheme. – Mr Stewart stated that in addition to the property that had been acquired by the Council, the Committee wished to purchase Field Lodge, which had been offered to them for £750 (that was without the workshops). It was a very reasonable offer, and for the improvements they proposed making, it was a very necessary purchase, and would enable the Borough Surveyor to carry out the scheme in a much improved manner.

He regretted to state that some of the adjoining owners of the Chelt were unwilling to part with that valuable right they imagined they possessed, namely half the Chelt. They did not feel inclined to surrender that right, and if they persisted in their refusal the Council must manage to do without it, and carry out the scheme in a different manner. Of course, it would be a very serious thing for the town if the abutting owners did not surrender, because the Council would not be able to engage the unemployed labour they proposed to do this winter. It was, to say the least, a “very uncitizenship thing” for the abutting owners to do, to hold up their hands in this way and prevent other people from getting suitable work in a very trying period, and he hoped they would see the error of their ways and give up their rights for the benefit of this great scheme.

Mr Pates, … said the original scheme was to take a portion of the property known as Turner’s Field (W. side of College Road), which was kindly given them by Major Harford, but they had now purchased the whole of this field and he hoped the Council would consider making this field into a playing field for the children. He regretted the action of abutting owners in declining to give up something of value, which would enable the Council to develop this riverside scheme. The only use they made of the Chelt was to deposit dead cats, broken bottles and tin cans, and he did not think some of these people knew they owned half the Chelt until it was brought to their notice. When they got to hear that they did own something, they did not meet the Committee in the spirit the Committee had a right to expect. He contrasted this absence of patriotism with the generosity and public-spiritedness of Col. Harford, who let them have his land, which, had it been submitted at a public auction, would have fetched 50 to 100 per cent more than the Council gave him for it. It would, he said, be a lasting rebuke to these abutting owners if they refused to help in the carrying out of this scheme. It they declined, then the Council should, he suggested, rail off that portion of the Chelt, and cut the abutting owners off altogether.

Mr Moore said he would like to have the Town Clerk’s opinion on this claim by abutting owners. If they owned half the Chelt, then they must be held responsible for the pollution and the cleansing of the river. There, perhaps, their citizenship might be a little more to the front, for if they maintained what they called their right in order to spoil this scheme, then they might be asked to pay for what they owned and cleanse the stream. …



6.) Sanctions to Loans – The Town Clerk reported receipt from the Ministry of Health Sanctions to the following Loans – 8th October:                                                                                                   Period of Repayment

Purchase of Field Lodge, Perry’s Meadow and The Orchard, £1,596       60 years

Purchase of Buildings on Field Lodge Property, £500                                     20 years


1926 KELLY’S DIRECTORY of CHELTENHAMField LodgeEdward James, Cycle Manufacturer


Gloucestershire Echo, Thur 25 Feb 1926 – NOTICE

Gloucestershire Echo, Wed 25 Aug 1926 – MR H.C. HOLMAN’S SAD END

Mr Henry Cyrus Holman, of Rosehill Street, Cheltenham, who for the past 30 years has been a member of the clerical staff of Messrs Winterbotham & Gurney, solicitors, of Cheltenham, and has for long been Mr Gurney’s personal clerk, has been drowned while bathing at Hayling Island, near Portsmouth, where he was spending his holiday with members of his family. It is stated that Mr Holman, who was about 54 years of age, on Tuesday got into difficulties whilst in the water, and that two bargemen went to his assistance and got him out. Artificial respiration was tried, but he died almost immediately after being taken from the water. …

Mr Holman was a native of the Garden Town, where he had spent the whole of his life, and where his mother died last year at the advanced age of 90 years. He married Miss Ada James, daughter of the late Mr Joseph James, engineer, of Field Lodge, College Road, who survives him, as do a son and two daughters, all adults. …



4.) Chelt Improvement Scheme – (a) Field Lodge – RESOLVED, That the Town Clerk be instructed to take proceedings if necessary to obtain possession of these premises and for the recovery of the arrears of rent due. …

… (e) Electricity Sub-Station – RESOLVED, That a site 40ft x 30ft be provided for an Electricity Substation in the grounds of Field Lodge, subject to agreement with the Electricity Committee as to the amount to be charged for the value of the land appropriated for the purpose.



4.) Sub-Stations – College Road – The Borough Electrical Engineer reported that he had arranged with the Borough Surveyor for a suitable site in the garden of Field Lodge for the proposed sub-station. RESOLVED, That this Committee agree to a charge of £200 being made to the undertaking for the value of the site.


Gloucestershire Echo, Wed 20 Apr 1927 – HOLDING UP THE NEW SANDFORD PARK SCHEME

TENANT WHO WON’T QUIT – APPICATION to the COUNTY COURT – Before Judge Macpherson at Cheltenham County Court on Wednesday, the Town Clerk of Cheltenham (Mr R.O. Seacome), on behalf of the Corporation, sought a possession order against Edward James, cycle engineer, of Field Lodge, College Road, which stands on a portion of the new Sandford Park, and was some time since acquired by the Corporation. Notice had been given on Nov 21st, 1924, to defendant to quit on June 24th, 1925. – The Judge asked defendant what he found fault with in such a notice, and he said he thought he was protected under the Rent Act. Asked what he thought justified protection under the Act, he said, “the rent being £30 or under. It seemed very hard to have to turn out after having had the place a great number of years.” – The Town Clerk said he relied upon Section B of the Act, which set forth that possession would be granted where a dwelling house was reasonably required for the purpose of a local authority or statutory undertaking. The premises were required for the lay-out of the park, including the erection of public conveniences, on part of the garden in defendant’s occupation. – Defendant: Do the public know that, sir? The Judge: You must not interrupt.

Continuing, the Town Clerk said that another part of the garden would be required for an electricity sub-station. The house itself was the only house on the property acquired, and was wanted for the park caretaker. – The Judge: Supposing I am satisfied that you require these premises as a necessity for carrying on the scheme, what about alternative accommodation? You must not expect me to prove enthusiastic about the scheme.

The Town Clerk replied that they had endeavoured in every way to meet defendant, offering him a house at 1 Ferndale Terrace, (in St. Luke’s Place, off St. Luke’s Road – JW), let at £18 15s, and to permit him to erect his workshop on allotments not far away. Another alternative they had offered him was a new Corporation house, 21 Shakespeare Road, again with permission to erect his shed on a spare piece of land; and a third alternative was for him to remain at Field Lodge, if he would give up the portion of the garden required for the convenience. – The Judge: You are going to erect a public urinal there? Mr Seacome: It would be cut off.

The Borough Surveyor (Mr J.S. Pickering) gave evidence as to being present when the offers of alternative accommodation were made to defendant, who then took up quite a reasonable attitude. He said the house on the Housing Estate (St. Mark’s) would suit him quite well, and that there was all the accommodation needed. He also said he would not want the site offered for a shed, as he did not think of continuing the business.

It was very important, the Borough Surveyor continued, that the Corporation should obtain possession of the site, as the work was being carried out under an Unemployment Grant, and they had only six months to finish it. Unless they were granted an extension of time, they ran the risk of losing the grant. The matter had been left on the understanding that defendant, if he gave up the garden, would be allowed to remain in the house. Witness produced plans of the scheme in hand, and the Judge asked him at what distance the public convenience would be from the house. The reply was 30 feet.

The Judge: Are you asking me to decide on the ground that a public convenience 30ft from a house is not a nuisance? The Town Clerk. What would be seen from the garden? The Borough Surveyor: Nothing at all; it is all hidden. The Town Clerk: Would you like to see the plans, your Honour? The Judge: I shouldn’t have thought a public convenience 30ft from the house with the wind in that direction would be an attraction on a warm day.

Asked what his business was, defendant said he was an engineer, and his shop was 60ft long. The sites offered by the Corporation for his shop were out of the way places where nobody would find it. It was not true that he said he was going out of business. What he said was that he would have to do so if he were forced out. The moving of the shop and re-erection of machines would cost £400 at least. By the Judge: He had not seen the site offered him for the shop.

Mr Hudson, Sanitary Surveyor to the Corporation, gave evidence as to the size of the house wanted and of the alternative accommodation. It appeared that three of the rooms at Field Lodge are not used and that the alternative accommodation was but little less in floor space to the portion of Field Lodge actually occupied.

Defendant was questioning Mr Hudson as to great cracks at Field Lodge into which one could put a fist, when the Judge said he would have thought these would have made one prefer a newly-built house.

Mr Deacon, Borough Treasurer, being called to prove that the rent was in arrears to the amount of £17 10s, the Judge asked the Town Clerk why he did not tell him that before, because the fact entirely altered the position as regarded alternative accommodation.

Mr John Evans, of the firm of Young & Gilling, estate agents, was also called for the Corporation, and spoke of the difficulty the firm had had in getting rent from the defendant. The Judge told defendant that the fact the rent was in arrears was in itself a good reason for upsetting any rights he might otherwise have had under the Act. Defendant said he did not know the Corporation had bought the place; they sent him no notice.

In reply to the Judge, defendant refused to accept either of the three alternatives offered him; and his Honour asked Mr Seacome whether anything else could be done – he did not like turning out a man who was established in business. Mr Seacome said he thought defendant would have jumped at the offer to be allowed to remain at a decreased rent on giving up a slice of the garden. – The Judge (to defendant): Would you be content with that? Defendant: We don’t like the convenience there. – Are you prepared to put up with the inconvenience? – No. – You would sooner turn out? – Yes. – Asked when the Corporation wanted the house, Mr Seacome said provided they could get on with the work in the garden, they did not object to defendant staying till Sept 29th; and a possession order was made on that condition. As to the £17 10s arrears of rent, taking into consideration that defendant would be giving up a part of his garden, the order was that he should pay £10 10s for three quarters (instead of £7 10s a quarter), the first £10 10s to be paid in a fortnight. Failure to pay would place him in danger of being turned out at once, the Judge told him.


Gloucestershire Echo, Thur 19 May 1927 – PUBLIC NOTCE


16) – Public Lavatories … b) – College Road – The Borough Surveyor reported that this convenience was nearing completion. RESOLVED, That he be authorised to make temporary arrangements for a woman living near the lavatory to attend to the Women’s convenience at a wage of 7s per week. RESOLVED, also, That the woman engaged for the Leckhampton underground convenience be paid at the same rate.



7.) – Sandford Park – a.) Field Lodge – The Town Clerk reported that this property was inspected by the Members of the Committee on the 14th inst. RESOLVED, That the Borough Surveyor be instructed to take down the workshop recently occupied by Mr James. b.) Read, letter from Messrs Treasure on behalf of Mr E. James with regard to the tools and workshop. RESOLVED, That Mr James be allowed to have the materials removed.



1.b) – Sandford Park – Field Lodge – The Borough Surveyor submitted specification and estimate of the cost of the repairs and redecoration required at these premises. RESOLVED, That tenders be invited for the work.


Gloucestershire Echo, Thur 26 Jan 1928 – PUBLIC NOTICE


1.) Electricity Sub-station, Sandford Park, College Road – Nine tenders were received for the erection of this Sub-Station. Resolved, That the tenders of Messrs J.C. Pearce & Sons, of Bishops Cleeve, of £1,539 9s 5d be accepted.



7.) – Sandford Park – Field Lodge – The Borough Surveyor submitted 6 tenders for the renovation of Field Lodge. RESOLVED, That the tender of Mr W. Bellamy of £375 19s be accepted, subject to a contract to be prepared by the Town Clerk being entered into.



The minutes of the Parks & Recreation Grounds Committee were presented by Mr W. Sawyer, who, dealing with the appointment of Gardens Superintendent, said 106 applications were received for the post. The Committee spent some hours in sifting them out, and eventually they decided to recommend the Council to appoint Mr David Leuchars, FRHS, at present Parks Superintendent to the Oldbury Urban District Council, at a salary of £250 p.a., with house free of rent and rates. He proposed that this recommendation be approved. Mr Dunn seconded.

Mr J.F. Ward said it was a sore point that local men who applied for the post were not interviewed by the Committee. Some of the men he knew to be excellent men, and he felt they ought to have been seen by the Committee and questioned as to their abilities. Mr E.L. Ward said the Committee had laid down certain lines upon which to base the appointment, one of which was age – the applicant not to be more than 42; and that he should have had experience of public gardens. In the case of the local applicants, although the Committee were very anxious indeed to give them every consideration, they had not the necessary qualifications.

Mr Yarnold asked whether the Committee



16.) – Public Conveniences – a.) College Road – The Borough Surveyor reported damage by children and others at this Convenience and that it was necessary for the woman custodian to attend at frequent intervals during the day. RESOLVED, That her wages be increased to 10s per week. 


Gloucestershire Echo, Mon 10 Sep 1928 – CHELTENHAM’S NEW PARK

Cheltenham’s beautiful new pleasure ground, the Sandford Park, was formally opened on Saturday afternoon by the Duke of Beaufort in the presence of a great number of townspeople, his Grace performing the ceremony from a dais in the playing field portion of the park – formerly Perry’s Meadow. …

… Our journey up the new park has brought us to the College Road. This we have to cross to reach the Perry’s Meadow portion, which continues along the Chelt for no less than 300 yards, with an average width of about 90 yards. This was formerly an allotment ground of about 6 acres, and the Corporation having also acquired the Orrisdale allotments of 5 acres from Cheltenham College with a view to a possible extension of this portion in that direction, they were able to use an acre of these for the widening of the Perry’s Meadow part of the Park.

They have also acquired Field Lodge, a house standing on the Chelt path – College Road corner, and this will be the residence of the newly-appointed parks and gardens superintendent of the Corporation (Mr Leuchars). The greater part of the field has been levelled and sown with grass, and is to be preserved for games so only the fringes have been treated with trees or flowers. Over against the Orrisdale allotments, half an acre of land has been railed off as a children’s playground. In this is a pond for boat sailing, a large shelter, swings and other playing apparatus. …

… About £2,000 worth of the contract work in connection with the new park was carried out by Mr W. Bellamy, builder and decorator of St. Paul’s Street North, whose contracts in connection with all the jobs he undertook were the lowest. Such work comprised the brick bridge over the Chelt, the oak bridge and the seats, the pavilion, conveniences for ladies and gentlemen in College Road, the renovation of Field Lodge, the labour for the ornamental brickwork entrance in Bath Road, the erection of the sundial, the work on the making of the paddling pond for the children, and a lot of other smaller jobs. At one time he had over 30 men at the Park, and gave employment to a number of men who otherwise would have been out of work.



1928 Aerial Photos showing Field Lodge (Courtesy of Britain From Above):

Field Lodge looking North

E. James’ 60ft cycle manufacturing workshop has been removed from the L side of the house.

The public conveniences and the electricity sub-station have been built on the R, in the former garden.

Field Lodge looking North

Field Lodge, looking West

Field Lodge, looking South

Field Lodge, looking South-West


2.) Sandford Park – b.) Field Lodge – The Borough Surveyor reported that the renovations at Field Lodge had been completed and were satisfactory except the external colouring was patchy, and he submitted an offer from Cementone Ltd to remedy this free of charge. RESOLVED, That this be accepted.



… Ald Sawyer protested against various matters forming the subject of recommendation by the Town Improvement & Spa Committee which should come within the purview of the Parks & Recreation Grounds Committee (of which he is chairman). He instanced the proposed removal of the Westal Green Fountain to Sandford Park; the renovation of Field Lodge; and the rejection of the offer of a gift of two stone caryatides by Dr J. McF. Pollard. …



2.) Borough Meteorologist – The Town Clerk reported that only one application had been received for this appointment. RESOLVED, on the recommendation of the Borough Engineer, That the Gardens’ Superintendent (Mr D. Leuchars) be appointed Borough Meteorologist at a salary of £26 p.a., and that Mr James, (gardener) be paid an additional sum of 5s per week for assisting the Gardens’ Superintendent in carrying out the duties.



11.) – Gardens Superintendent – Transport – RESOLVED, That the Borough Surveyor, in consultation with the Chairman, be authorised to purchase a second-hand car not exceeding £65 for the use of the Gardens Superintendent.


Gloucester Citizen, Wed 22 Oct 1930 – ADVT. – (Circuses frequently appeared beside Field Lodge in the 1930s)


3.) – Sandford ParkMills’ Circus – The Borough Surveyor reported that Mr Bertram Mills had now paid the sum of £96 7s 2d, the amount agreed upon for repairing the damage to Sandford Park after the Circus.



11.) – Gardens Superintendent – Read, application from the Gardens Superintendent for an increase in salary. RESOLVED, That his salary be increased from £250 to £300 p.a. 


Cheltenham Chronicle, Sat 23 Jul 1932 – UNCLE CHARLIE’S CORNER

Birthday Greetings to … Doulas Leuchars, Field Lodge, College Road, … (greeted every year – JW)



1.) Field Lodge – The Borough Surveyor reported that the shed at Orrisdale Allotments, which had been used as a garage for the Gardens’ Superintendent’s car was now required for a store. RESOLVED, That a garage be erected at Field Lodge at a cost of £12.



1.) Notices & Plans of intended New Buildings – … No.3559 – Cheltenham Corporation, Motor house, Field Lodge, College Road – … RESOLVED That Plan Nos. … 3559 … be approved.


1934 -1942 KELLY’S DIRECTORY of CHELTENHAM – College Road:

Field Lodge – David Leuchars

Parks Superintendent & Borough Meteorologist – David Leuchars, F. Inst. P.A., FRHS, Field Lodge



6.) Gardens SuperintendentCar – The Borough Surveyor reported that the second-hand car provided for the Gardens Superintendent was now worn out, and that the Gardens Superintendent was willing to provide his own car if the Council would make him an annual allowance for running it, and he submitted statement showing the annual running costs of the present car. RESOLVED, That the Gardens Superintendent be allowed the sum of £75 p.a. (This was amended on 12 Mar 1934, to an allowance of £70 p.a.)



2. Chelsea Flower Show – RESOLVED, That the Gardens Superintendent be authorised to attend this Show as last year, reasonable expenses being allowed. – (In fact he was allowed to attend every year – JW)



4.) Gardens Superintendent’s House – RESOLVED, That the Committee agree to a telephone being installed at the Garden Superintendent’s house, Field Lodge, College Road.



2b.) Field Lodge – RESOLVED, That a telephone extension bell be fixed to the kitchen of the Gardens Superintendent’s house.



5.) Garden Superintendent’s House – RESOLVED, That in lieu of an extension bell, an extension telephone be fixed in the kitchen of Field Lodge.



1b.) Grey Squirrels – The Borough Surveyor reported that grey squirrels had recently been seen in Pittville Gardens. RESOLVED, That the Gardens Superintendent be instructed to have these destroyed. (Good luck with that!!)


Tewkesbury Register, Sat 25 Apr 1936 – A GREAT CIRCUS – BERTRAM MILLS AT CHELTENHAM

Bertram Mills’ Tenting Circus will visit Cheltenham on Thursday next. The visit will be for three days only at Sandford Park, College Road. Performances on Thursday and Friday at 4.45 and 8 p.m., and on Saturday they will be at 2.30 and 5.30. The advance caravans are now on the ground, where seats may be booked. Tel: Chelt 2388.

… The programme includes many thrilling acts. Priscilla Kayes will present her splendid troupe of lions; Capt. Wesley’s sea lions from Pacific waters are clever musicians; there are jugglers and comedians; Bertram Mills’ marvellous Liberty and Lippizana horses charge of Mrocakowski; these are the most highly schooled horses in Europe and come from the stables of the late Emperor of Austria. Also there are six Burmese baby elephants, acrobats, wire walkers, golden statues, aerialists, tumblers and haute école riders, all brought together by Bertram Mills, king of the circus world. … Also the Padaung Giraffe Neck Women will be seen. They created a sensation when at Olympia. …

… The Menagerie and Stables may be visited each day from 11 a.m. and after every performance. More than 3,000 seats are available for each performance. 



5.) Gardens Superintendent – The Chairman suggested that in view of the increasing work of the Gardens Superintendent, it was desirable that he should have an office at the Municipal Offices and clerical assistance. RESOLVED, That the Borough Surveyor be asked to consider if accommodation can be provided in his department, and to arrange for one of his clerks to deal with the correspondence and filing of papers, etc., of the Gardens Supt.



5.) Gardens Superintendent – The Borough Surveyor reported that it was not possible to provide office accommodation for the Gardens Superintendent in the Municipal Offices, and he recommended that this be provided at Field Lodge. RESOLVED, That the Borough surveyor be instructed to submit an estimate of the cost of providing an office at Field Lodge.



4.) Gardens Superintendent – The Borough Surveyor submitted report on the provision of additional office accommodation at Field Lodge, at a cost of approximately £470, together with a report on the condition of the house, which is very old and in need of extensive repairs, the cost of which would amount to £100. RESOLVED, That consideration be adjourned, and that the above Sub-Committee be asked to consider the desirability of providing another house for the Gardens Superintendent.



12.) Garden Superintendent’s House – The Chairman reported that the Sub-Committee had inspected Field Lodge and recommended that the walls should be treated with a damp-resisting material and a portion of the roof renewed at an estimated cost of £165, and that the question of providing other office accommodation should be adjourned for the present. RESOLVED, That these recommendations be approved and adopted, and that the Borough Surveyor be instructed to have the repairs carried out.



2b.) Field Lodge – The Borough Surveyor reported that during the work on this house it was found that there was no damp course in some of the walls. RESOLVED, That he be instructed to have a damp course provided.



12.) Garden Superintendent’s House – The Garden Superintendent asked for a well grate to be fixed in one of the bedrooms at Field Lodge. RESOLVED, That the Borough Surveyor be asked to inspect and report as to the cost of this.


(1898)-1939 OS Map:

(The workshop next to Field Lodge is still shown, although removed in 1928)


6.) Gardens Superintendent – a.) Salary – The Committee considered application from the Gardens Superintendent for an increase in his salary. RESOLVED, That his salary be increased to £450, rising in one year’s time to £500. – (b.) Office Accommodation – The Committee considered the question of the provision of larger Office accommodation for the Gardens Superintendent. The Borough Surveyor submitted alternative plans; one for alterations to present office accommodation at Field Lodge at an estimated cost of £350, and the other for the erection of a new building at the rear of Field Lodge at an estimated cost of £475. RESOLVED, That the Borough Surveyor be instructed to obtain tenders for the erection of a new Office at an estimated cost of £475. RESOLVED also, That application be made to the Ministry of Health for sanction to a loan of £475 for the cost thereof.


Gloucestershire Echo, Wed 7 Jun 1939 – PUBLIC NOTICE


7.) Field Lodge – Custodian’s New Office – The Borough Surveyor reported that tenders had been invited for the erection of the New Office at Field Lodge. RESOLVED, That the Chairman and Councillor Fisher be authorised to open and consider the tenders.

RESOLVED also, That the tender of Public Works Construction Co. Ltd, amounting to £472 16s 2d for the erection of new offices and stores for the Gardens Superintendent (being the lowest tender received) be accepted subject to Contract and sanction to loan being obtained. Resolved, also, That application be made to the Ministry of Health for consent to a loan of £473 for the cost of the building.


1939 WW2 National Registration (29 Sep)

Name                          D.o.B                            Occupation                                    Marital Status

Field Lodge, College Road:

David Leuchars                       17 Apr 1897           Parks Superintendent         married

Ella (Isabella) Leuchars       6 Mar 1896             Unpaid Domestic Duties     married

+ 2 records officially closed (children Douglas and Olive Leuchars)

Emma McMillin                     16 Feb 1865           Unpaid Domestic Duties     widowed (lodger or relative?)



6.) Gardens Superintendent’s New Offices – (a.) The Borough Surveyor reported that these offices were nearly completed. RESOLVED, That the Chairman be authorised to purchase the necessary furniture and equipment.

(b.) Telephone – RESOLVED, That the telephone at present installed at Field Lodge be removed to the new offices with an extension to Field Lodge.



1.) Sandford Park – New Offices – The Borough Surveyor reported that the Public Works Construction Co. had completed this work and the keys had been handed over to the Gardens Superintendent.



4.) Gardens Superintendent’s Office – Owing to increased work, the Gardens Superintendent asked for assistance in his office. RESOLVED, That a Youth be appointed on Grade “A” scale.


Gloucestershire Echo, Thur 13 Jun 1940 – PEST SHOULD BE ATTACKED AT ONCE

Many people have remarked on the unusual number of white butterflies to be seen this season. They fear that as large numbers have been seen flying round treetops, such trees will be infected. This is incorrect. The caterpillars of the white butterflies chiefly attack such plants as … are classed under the heading of “Brassica”. … PLAGUE IN LAST WAR – During the last world war there was one year when locally the crops of brassica were ravaged by butterfly caterpillars. The late Dr Lansdown told me how many hundreds he had destroyed from only a few plants. – Beneath the eaves of the wall of Field Lodge, now the residence of Mr David Leuchars, then occupied by Mr James, scores of caterpillars pupated in October. … People remarked to me that the succeeding year would see the entire ruin of the brassica crop in Cheltenham. It did not happen. Of all the chrysalides on Field Lodge walls, from only three did butterflies emerge; all the rest had been parasitised, and in a few weeks after they had turned into the chrysalide state the characteristic yellow cocoons of the parasite, apanteles glomeratus, appeared, averaging about 12-20 from every chrysalide. …


Gloucestershire Echo, Sat 16 Nov 1940 – PUBLIC NOTICE


8.) Shorthand Typist, Gardens Superintendent’s Office – The Gardens Superintendent submitted application from Miss G.R. Ballinger, shorthand typist in his Office, for an increase in salary. RESOLVED, That her salary be increased to £1 10s per week, including war bonus, as from the 11th inst.


Gloucestershire Echo, Sat 14 Mar 1942 – PUBLIC NOTICE


6.) Gardens Superintendent’s Office – Shorthand Typist – The Gardens Superintendent reported that Miss G. Ballinger at present employed in his office, had informed him that she was joining the Land Army. RESOLVED, That the Chairman be authorised to engage a temporary Shorthand Typist at a salary not exceeding £3 per week.


Gloucestershire Echo, Thur 17 Sep 1942 – DEATH OF MR DAVID LEUCHARS

The Echo regrets to announce the death, which occurred with tragic suddenness this morning at his home at Field Lodge, College Road, of Mr David Leuchars, Parks Superintendent to the Cheltenham Corporation.

Mr Leuchars had not been in robust health for some time. Following a breakdown some months ago, he went away to recuperate, and although he returned and resumed his duties, it was obvious that he had not been fully restored to health. It was consequently deemed desirable, in view of the heavy duties that had been thrust upon him by the exigencies of war, to appoint an assistant. This did much to relieve him of some of his more onerous duties, and it was hoped that he would eventually return to his normal health. Unfortunately this hope was not fulfilled.

SUDDEN COLLAPSE – This morning, while he was walking from his office to his house, a matter of a few yards, he suddenly collapsed and dropped down onto the lawn. He was carried into the house, and Dr Bruce Wallace was summoned. He was found to be dead when the doctor arrived. The deepest sympathy will be extended to Mrs Leuchars and her son and daughter in their loss.

APPOINTED TO CHELTENHAM – It was in 1928 that Mr Leuchars, then the parks superintendent to Oldbury Urban District Council, was appointed out of more than 100 applicants to a similar position in Cheltenham. No municipal appointment was ever more justified by its happy results, for with his extensive horticultural and arboricultural knowledge he had a keen sense of colour and artistic arrangement that greatly enhanced the reputation of Cheltenham as the “Garden Town of England”. – At first his work was confined to Pittville Park, Montpellier, the Long Garden, and the Agg-Gardner, Naunton Park and Whaddon recreation grounds. Since his coming the work has enormously expanded. Sandford Park, to many people the most artistic of all, was created on a site that had once been a refuse dump. A number of unkempt “communal” plots in front of some of the town’s terraces, such as those in Berkeley Place Square and Pittville Circus, were converted into charming pleasances; and even the traffic islands were made to “blossom as the rose”. He was responsible for the lay-out of the new recreation grounds at Hatherley Court and St. Mark’s, and of several school playing fields.

IN THE LONG GARDEN – Everywhere in his work one could see the hand of an expert, and nowhere more than in the Promenade Long Garden, where every year his amazing displays of tulips were a joy to behold, followed in their season by arrangements of other flowers, often of a kind rarely seen in a public garden, and always grouped in a perfect blending of harmony and colour. It was only natural that soon after his coming to Cheltenham his assistance was sought and gladly given to the big Floral Fete arranged every year by the Chamber of Commerce in Montpellier Gardens. In 1931 and again in 1932 he was the president of the Floral Fete Committee, and his active co-operation and expert knowledge contributed largely to its success year by year.

WAR WORK – Since the war began and it became evident that the nation would have to rely more and more upon home production for its day-to-day sustenance, he had done yeoman work not only among the tenants of the municipal housing estates but in the generous expansion of the allotment movement. In his capacity as a municipal officer and as secretary of the newly-formed Horticultural Committee he was responsible for the numerous exhibition garden plots in Sandford Park, St. Mark’s, and other parts of the town.

When it was decided last year to show what Cheltenham had achieved as the result of its intensive effort, he became co-secretary with Mrs Bisset (secretary of the Floral Fete of the first Autumn Produce Show in the Town Hall. There he had the honour of escorting H.M. Queen Mary and listening to her warm commendation of an exhibition that was acknowledged by representatives of Government Departments as the finest they had seen.

WORKING TO THE END – This year he was again secretary of the “Dig for Victory” Exhibition, and was in the midst of work in its preparation when his health broke down, and he had to hand on the work to others. For the second Produce Show, due next week, he was again busily employed. On Monday night and again on Tuesday night he was actively engaged with a small sub-committee until a very late hour in overcoming the difficulty of planning the Town Hall in such a way as to house a far greater number of exhibits than at first site the building could possibly accommodate. Though visibly tired after such a long day’s work extending far into the night, he left the sub-committee to take the usual weather records for the Government, for, with all his other duties, he was the Borough Meteorologist. The Echo was deeply indebted to him for the meteorological reports he periodically supplied for publication, and the courtesy and readiness with which he always met any request for information.

WAR SERVICE – Mr Leuchars was a native of Kirriemuir, in Forfarshire. In the last war he saw service with the Black Watch, and was wounded six times and gassed, and was in hospital when the armistice came. There can be little doubt that his war experiences had a marked affect upon his health in later years. He was a member of the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and was a deacon there until last year.


Gloucestershire Echo, Fri 18 Sep 1942 – DEATHS

Suddenly, on September 17th, at Field Lodge, College Road, David, beloved husband of Ella Leuchars, aged 45. Funeral Service Monday at 2.30, at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church; cortege proceeding Cheltenham Cemetery.


Gloucestershire Echo, Sat 26 Sep 1942 – TRAGEDY FOLLOWS ILLNESS – INQUEST ON MR D. LEUCHARS

The tragic death of Mr David Leuchars, aged 45, Parks Superintendent to the Cheltenham Corporation, following a breakdown in health, was investigated at a Cheltenham inquest on Friday. – Mr Leuchars collapsed and died outside his office at Field Lodge, College Road, on Sept 17, and a verdict of suicide while the balance of his mind was disturbed was returned by the Coroner, Mr J.D. Lane. …

… The Coroner said he was satisfied that Mr Leuchars’ death was caused by potassium cyanide, which had set up acute heart failure. There was quite a definite history of illness, including a collapse and breakdown. He was bound to take the view that Mr Leuchars was a man well used to handling poisons in connection with his calling. – “I am of the opinion”, proceeded the Coroner, “that he took the potassium cyanide himself, and it follows that there must be a verdict of suicide. As regards the state of Mr Leuchars’ mind – he had had the illness and collapse, and it is proper to add that he took the poison when the balance of his mind was disturbed. “It is an extremely sad case, and I must add my own expression of sympathy to the many others that Mrs Leuchars and the family had already received. …



4.) Death of Mr David Leuchars, Parks & Gardens Superintendent – The Mayor referred to the recent death of Mr D. Leuchars. RESOLVED, That the Council record their appreciation of his devoted and loyal services and that the Town Clerk do convey to his widow and family the sincere sympathy of the Council with them in the great loss they have sustained.


Gloucestershire Echo, Sat 5 Dec 1942 – SEED POTATOES

Do you remember the warning already given to order your supplies by December, as otherwise you are likely to experience disappointment, and may not be able to obtain your requirements? For information as to storing potatoes apply Town Clerk; Allotments & Gardens Society, 1 Regent Street, or Deputy Gardens Superintendent, Field Lodge, College Road, for leaflets.



446) Appointment of Parks & Gardens Superintendent – The Committee interviewed the six selected candidates for this appointment (out of 84 applicants) … RESOLVED, That Mr J.W. Smith (Parks Superintendent, Lancaster) be appointed Parks & Gardens Superintendent at a salary of £500 p.a., rising by annual increments of £25 to £650 p.a., plus house, &c … RESOLVED also, That the Town Clerk apply to the Glos War Agricultural Committee for a certificate for the deferment of the calling up of Mr Smith for service with the Armed Forces in view of the work to be undertaken by him in connection with food production.


Gloucestershire Echo, Thur 7 Jan 1943 – NEW PARKS CHIEF FOR CHELTENHAM

Cheltenham Parks & Gardens Committee today decided to appoint 34-years-old Mr J.W. Smith, for four years Parks Superintendent at Lancaster, to the post of Cheltenham Parks Superintendent, at the salary of £500 rising to £650 p.a., in succession to the late Mr David Leuchars. – No fewer than 84 applications had been received for this appointment, and after consideration six applicants were interviewed.

HIGH HONOUR – Interviewed by an Echo reporter after his appointment, Mr Smith, who is a bachelor, and possesses a friendly, confident manner, said: “I feel highly honoured in being appointed Parks & Gardens Superintendent for the beautiful borough of Cheltenham. Having in mind the high reputation which Cheltenham holds horticulturally, I shall do my utmost to justify the trust placed in me by the Parks & Gardens Committee. “I am sure that my varied experience will stand me in good stead. There is scope in Cheltenham, and I hope that I shall be able to add still greater lustre to the reputation of Cheltenham as the garden town of the West.”

VARIED CAREER – In the course of his career, Mr Smith has been engaged on the gardens of Harewood House, the home of the Princess Royal, 2 ½ years at the Royal Gardens, Windsor Castle, two years at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, four years as supervising foreman with the Manchester Corporation Parks Dept, one year as Deputy Supt. at Hayes, and four years as Parks Supt. at Lancaster. – The Echo understands that Mr Smith’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the War Agricultural Committee. On this being obtained Mr Smith intends to resign his post at Lancaster and come to Cheltenham as soon as possible.



449) Field Lodge – The Town Clerk reported that possession had now been obtained of the house previously occupied by the Gardens Superintendent. RESOLVED, That a Sub-Committee comprising the Chairman, Councillors Addis and Bendall be appointed to inspect the premises, and that they be authorised to instruct the Borough Surveyor to carry out such repairs and decorations as are desirable and practicable having regard to war-time conditions.



629) Field Lodge – With reference to Minute No. 449, the Town Clerk reported that on 4th Feb the Sub-Committee had inspected these premises. The Borough Surveyor reported that certain work to remedy dampness and also some interior decorations were necessary, and he estimated the cost not exceeding £20. RESOLVED, That he be authorised to carry out the work recommended. 



826a.) David Leuchars Memorial Trophy – The Committee had selected a cup and had decided that for 1943 this should be awarded to the exhibitor obtaining the highest number of points at the Autumn Show. Miniatures would be provided to be presented from time to time to the winners of the trophy. It had also been decided that subscription list should be open to all those who wished to contribute; the Town Clerk had been asked to receive the subscriptions.



1046a.) David Leuchars Memorial Trophy – The reference back by the Council of Minute No.826 (a) was considered. The Committee also had before them the suggestion that in order to provide an opportunity for the many friends of the late David Leuchars to subscribe to a memorial to perpetuate his memory, a subscription list should be opened for the purpose of endowing a cot or bed at the Cheltenham General Hospital, and it was recommended That the Mayor be requested to open a fund for the purpose, And That the Challenge Cup previously authorised be provided by the members of the Horticultural Committee. 



1258) Field Lodge – The Gardens Superintendent (Mr J.W. Smith) reported that the recent repairs carried out to these premises had not remedied the dampness, and as he intended to occupy the premises at an early date, he asked that additional work might be undertaken in this connection. RESOLVED, That the Borough Surveyor be requested to have the premises inspected and any necessary additional work carried out at an early date.



1441) Field Lodge – With reference to Minute 1258, the Borough Surveyor reported that in view of the condition of this property, and the great difficulty in rendering the same weatherproof and convenient as a modern dwelling, he recommended that after the termination of the war, the use of the building as a dwelling should be discontinued, and that suitable premises be obtained for the occupation of the Superintendent. RESOLVED, That the Borough Surveyor undertake the necessary repairs to render the property weatherproof, and that consideration of the provision of other accommodation for the Superintendent be deferred until more normal conditions prevail. 


Gloucestershire Echo, Sat 1 Jul 1944 – FINE CRAFTSMANSHIP

For the past 15 years, Mr Edward James, of 22 Clarence Square, Cheltenham, has devoted a portion of his spare time to compiling a complete engineer’s tool-kit, measuring when rolled up in its leather case, just under three inches long. – It consists of several sizes of spanners, screwdrivers, pincers, pliers, and several other miniature tools. The largest, and adjustable spanner, measures a little over one inch long, and the smallest, a similar tool, about ½ -inch long. Every part of the kit fulfils its purpose perfectly, and all are in splendid working order.

Mr James, who is 65 years old, retired from his business of engineer at Field Lodge, College Road, Cheltenham, about 15 years ago.


Gloucestershire Echo, Sat 23 Sep 1944




The wedding took place today at Giggleswick Parish Church, Yorks, of Mr J.W. Smith (Parks Superintendent of Cheltenham) of Field Lodge, College Road, Cheltenham, and Miss K.B. Davidson, only daughter of Mr and Mrs T. Davidson, of Settle, Yorks.


385.) Gardens Superintendent’s Office – Roof – The Borough Surveyor reported upon his inspection of this roof, when it was ascertained that rain was penetrating in one or two places. He had communicated with the specialists whose material was used and a representative would make an inspection in the near future. He, therefore, suggested that authority be given for the necessary treatment to be undertaken. RESOLVED, That this be approved.

386) Field Lodge – The Gardens Superintendent asked for the provision of an electric power plug in the kitchen, and also drew attention to the repairs required to the bathroom wall and other minor matters. RESOLVED, That the Borough Electrical Engineer be asked to install a plug and that the Borough Surveyor carry out the necessary repairs.


Gloucestershire Echo, Mon 29 Oct 1945 – THE SQUIRREL

The grey squirrel, whose depredations have been a source of concern in many parts of Gloucestershire, has infiltrated into Cheltenham. It has not been an uncommon sight to see him jumping from branch to branch in some of the tree-lined thoroughfares, but lately he has been increasing in numbers, and Mr J.W. Smith, the Parks Superintendent, tells us there are at least a dozen pairs in Pittville Park. A number have also been seen in Sandford Park as well.



44.) Deputy Gardens SuperintendentMr Page attended before the Committee and explained his difficulties in regard to housing accommodation. Although he had made every endeavour to obtain a house or flat, he had been unable to do so. In addition to his living costs in Cheltenham, he had to maintain a home for his family at Southend-on-Sea. RESOLVED (i) That the Borough Surveyor be asked to consider the practicability of altering, and if necessary, enlarging Field Lodge, so as to accommodate both the Gardens Supt. and his Deputy, and that if the Borough Surveyor is of opinion that this could be carried out satisfactorily, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman be authorised to approve reasonable expenditure for the work.



265.) Deputy Gardens Superintendent – (Min.44) – Mr Page thanked the Council for their sympathetic consideration of the position in which he was placed and expressed appreciation of the concessions granted to him. The Borough Surveyor reported that, as instructed, he had made an inspection of Field Lodge, but was unable to recommend that any expenditure be incurred in adapting these premises to enable living accommodation to be provided for the Gardens Supt. and his Deputy. He reminded the Committee that he had, on a number of occasions, reported that Field Lodge was damp and, in spite of extensive repairs, it had been impossible to remove this defect, and in his opinion the brick work had become perished. The Committee understood that the Housing Committee would shortly have before them the question of the adaptation of Arle House into flats and, in such event, if accommodation could be allocated to the Gardens Superintendent thereat, this would assist the Parks Dept. as it would enable supervision to be maintained over the large Arle House Gardens, for the cultivation of which the Department were responsible. RESOLVED, That the Housing Committee be asked sympathetically to consider the needs of the Deputy Gardens Supt. in their future proposals for the premises.



597.) Parks Office – Conversion of stores into Office Accommodation – The Gardens Superintendent recommended the extension of his office accommodation and suggested that this might be accomplished by the conversion of the room now used for storage purposes into an office for his Deputy. RESOLVED, That the recommendation be approved and adopted.

598.) Sandford Park Nursery – Construction of Garages and Store Sheds – Facilities were urgently required for the safe storage of large quantities of perishable and breakable materials; Gardens Supt recommended consideration be given to the construction of a suitable building on the piece of land W of the glass houses at these Nurseries, etc. …

Borough Surveyor reported … it would be difficult for his Dept to complete the whole scheme during the current year … In the interim period, the rooms at the rear of Field Lodge, formerly used as offices, and which had a separate exterior entrance from the yard, might be used for storage. RESOLVED, That the Borough Surveyor proceed with such portion of the work as is practicable at the present time; that the old offices at Field Lodge be utilised in the manner indicated; and that provision for the cost of the complete scheme be included in the estimates for 1946/47.



48.) Field Lodge – The Gardens Superintendent asked for certain minor repairs to be carried out to his residence to avoid dampness. RESOLVED, That the Borough Surveyor be asked to undertake this.



1383.) Field Lodge – The Gardens Superintendent reported again on the damp condition of these premises. The Borough Surveyor stated that prior to the War he had recommended that no large sums be expended thereon as little could be done to make the premises habitable, and owing to the age of the property, money expended would be largely wasted. He had then suggested that other accommodation should be found for the Gardens Superintendent, but owing to the War this proposal had been in abeyance. The Gardens Superintendent pointed out that it was desirable for his accommodation to be in such a position as to enable him to carry out his duties as Borough Meteorologist, which entailed frequent readings of instruments, both day and night. RESOLVED, That efforts be made to find other suitable accommodation, and that in the meantime the Borough Surveyor undertake necessary urgent temporary repairs.



1974.) Gardens Superintendent – Housing Accommodation – As authorised, efforts had been made to obtain more suitable accommodation for this officer before the winter owing to the condition of Field Lodge and the Borough Surveyor’s recommendation that no further repairs be undertaken as expenditure would be wasted. One of the houses in course of erection in Brooklyn Garden would be suitable. RESOLVED, That the Housing Committee be recommended to nominate the Council as a purchaser of one of the houses to accommodate the Gardens Superintendent.



2173a.) Gardens Superintendent –Accommodation – (Min.1974) – The Housing Committee were unable to agree with this Committee’s recommendation to purchase a house in the Brooklyn Gardens for the Gardens Superintendent. RESOLVED, That the Town Clerk pursue his efforts to find accommodation.



97.) Field Lodge – The amount included in the estimates for maintenance amounted to £40, but the Borough Surveyor had expended £61 8s 8d to date, due to necessary renewal of window sashes. RESOLVED, That the over-expenditure be approved.



352.) Field Lodge – The Estate management Sub-Committee had inspected the Gardens Superintendent’s house and unanimously agreed that it was unsuitable for housing purposes. They were prepared, as a temporary alternative, and until other arrangements could be made, to offer a requisitioned flat, and suggested that this Committee should indicate the possible temporary use to which Field Lodge might be put, such as a park café, to relieve catering difficulties at Sandford Pool. RESOLVED, That consideration be deferred to enable the Gardens Superintendent to inspect the flat, and also for the Entertainments Sub-Committee to consider the catering suggestions, it being understood that this Committee would require to retain a portion of the premises, possible at the rear, with garages, for storage purposes.



428d.) Field Lodge – The Sub-Committee had inspected Field Lodge, and recommended that the Gardens Superintendent be allocated one of the flats at 109 Bath Road, with the use of the garage as a temporary measure until the Parks Committee were able to obtain suitable alternative accommodation, and that the Parks Committee be recommended to consider the proposals for the use of Field Lodge for other purposes. RESOLVED, That the reports be approved and adopted.

Despite these damning reports on the condition of Field Lodge, the Gardens Superintendent, James W. Smith, continued to occupy Field Lodge until c.1960, after which he moved to 26 Naunton Crescent. He retired from his job as Director of Parks & Borough Meteorologist in the early 1970s.

1947 Aerial Photos showing Field Lodge (Courtesy of Britain From Above):

The Parks Dept office building can be seen to the left of Field Lodge.


Field Lodge – James W. Smith

Borough of Cheltenham Park, Gardens, Allotments & Meteorological Depts. (office)

(Jas. W. Smith, F.Inst.P.A., Supt. & Boro’ Meteorologist) (Field Lodge, College Road)


Gloucestershire Echo, Wed 26 May 1948 - £25 DAMAGES AGAINST LOCAL MAN

Damages of £25 arising out of an accident were awarded against James W. Smith, of Field Lodge, College Road, at Cheltenham County Court on Tuesday. – The claim was made by Mr Robert Stanley Holmstrom, of3 Moss Side, Moss Lane, Litherland, Liverpool, for whom Mr J. Vaughan, instructed by Mr G.A. Williams of Cheltenham, appeared. Mr Smith was represented by Mr Brian Wellington, of Gloucester.

Mr Vaughan alleged that, without sufficient signal, Mr Smith proceeded towards the offside of the road to enter a car park at Ledbury Road, Tewkesbury. AS a result the plaintiff swerved to the right, striking a lamp post and damaging his hired car on which he had to bear the first £25 of any claim. – “It is clear the defendant deliberately turned across the road under the impression that there were no following motorists”, stated Judge Donald Hurst, in giving his decision in favour of Mr Holmstrom. The Judge found no contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff.


Gloucestershire Echo, Mon 13 Sep 1948 – DEATHS

On September 11th, Edward, beloved husband of Kate James, at 22 Clarence Square, for many years at Field Lodge, College Road.


Gloucestershire Echo, Sat 26 Aug 1950 – MAN (70) ON “TRESPASS” CHARGE

A 70-years-old Cheltenham man, alleged to have been found last night in enclosed premises for an unlawful purpose, was remanded on bail at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court today. – The accused, Christopher Louis Powell, whose address was given as Kennedy Lodge, Keynsham Road, was stated to have been arrested after he was found in the custody of the householder of Field Lodge, College Road. – The charge related to the garden of Field Lodge.

P.C. W.A. Jelf, of the police motor patrol, said that after Powell was charged, he made a statement. – On the application of Inspector S.J. Smith, Powell was remanded until September 4.


Gloucestershire Echo, Tue 5 Sep 1950 – CHARGE AGAINST LOCAL MAN DISMISSED

While expressing the view that the case was one the police had rightly brought, Cheltenham Magistrates yesterday dismissed a charge against a 70-years-old local man, of being found on enclosed premises for an unlawful purpose. – Christopher Louis Powell, of Keynsham Road, pleaded not guilty. He was represented by Mr G.A. Williams.

The magistrates intimated that there was insufficient evidence to convict. – Mr James W. Smith, Parks Superintendent to the Cheltenham Corporation, of Field Lodge, College Road, said that he was aroused from sleep on the night of August 25 by the noise of disturbed poultry near the house. He found a man near the hen run. He appeared to be making for a side door. “We closed and a struggle started, and lasted several minutes”, said Mr Smith. During the struggle the man told him that he had lost his way.

P.C. Jelf said that when he arrested Powell, the latter told him that he went to the garden for his personal convenience. Powell repeated this explanation in court. He had no intention of doing wrong.


1952-1959 KELLY’S DIRECTORY of CHELTENHAM – College Road:

2 College Road – James W. Smith

Borough of Cheltenham Park, Gardens, Allotments & Meteorological Depts. (office)

(Jas. W. Smith, F.Inst.P.A., Supt. & Boro’ Meteorologist) (Field Lodge, College Road)



Borough of Cheltenham Park, Gardens, Allotments & Meteorological Depts. (general office)

(Jas. W. Smith, F.Inst.P.A., Supt. & Boro’ Meteorologist)

Sandford Park Recreation Ground                    (The Parks Superintendent seems to be no longer resident on site)


Birmingham Daily Post, Fri 24 Aug 1962

Raymond Parsons, aged 17, a corporation parks employee, died after a 40ft fall from a tree in College Road, Cheltenham yesterday.



Borough of Cheltenham Park, Gardens, Allotments & Meteorological Depts. (general office)

(Jas. W. Smith, F.Inst.P.A., Supt. & Boro’ Meteorologist)

Sandford Park Recreation Ground

[+ James W. Smith – 26 Naunton Crescent]

Gloucester Citizen, Fri 10 May 1963 – IT’S NO MEAN TASK KEEPING IT A GARDEN TOWN

Does Cheltenham deserve its long standing reputation of being the garden town of the West? Where and when did it acquire this national fame and status? Mr J.W. Smith, the town’s popular Parks Superintendent, attributes it to a long tradition of beautifully kept private gardens which were a predominating feature of the approach roads to Cheltenham along Lansdown Road, Gloucester Road, and Pittville Lawn, at the turn of the century. Although the town has many attractive open parks with bright floral displays, the Parks Department takes no credit for the gardens reputation which was established long before many of the parks were even envisaged. Nevertheless, Mr Smith and his staff have worked to keep Cheltenham “a garden town”. …

Mr J.W. Smith photographed with a fine border of mixed blooms


1965 OS Map:

1969-1973 KELLY’S DIRECTORY of CHELTENHAM – College Road:

Borough of Cheltenham Parks, Recreation Grounds & Allotments Dept. (Parks dept. office)

(Jas. W. Smith, F.Inst.P.A., Supt. & Boro’ Meteorologist)

Sandford Park Recreation Ground

(Corporation – Director of Parks & Borough Meteorologist, James W. Smith, F.Inst.P.A., Sandford Park)

[+ James W. Smith – 26 Naunton Crescent]



Borough of Cheltenham Parks, Recreation Grounds & Allotments Dept. (Parks dept. office)

(Jas. W. Smith, F.Inst.P.A., Supt. & Boro’ Meteorologist)

Sandford Park Recreation Ground

(Corporation – Director of Parks & Borough Meteorologist, C.A. Richardson, F.Inst.P.A. (Dip.), Sandford Park) 


Gloucester Citizen, Fri 30 May 1986 – ADVT.

2006, Extract from The Hamlet of Sandford, Julian Rawes:

THE ORIGINAL CHALYBEATE SPA – The Spa was built in 1802 by the proprietor Mr Barrett. The Spa was situated off College Road in Sandford Park. The spa was short lived, being replaced by Cambray Spa, and became a private residence called (in 1885) ‘Field Lodge’. The site was for many years occupied by the offices of the Parks Department. The present building and nearby public conveniences were erected in the 1960s after a fire destroyed most of the old premises. – (Some of his dates may be wrong, but the site does appear to have been rebuilt – JW)


2022 OS Map: (– – – Site of Chalybeate Cottage / Field Lodge)

2022 Google Earth:


Main Sources: Histories, Guides & Directories of Cheltenham (author’s own); British Newspaper Archive;

Maps – author’s own + Know Your Place; CBC minutes – GA and CLHS