What does Cheltenham's #10YearChallenge look like?
PUBLISHED: 16:40 22 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:21 23 January 2019
If you’re on social media you’ll have seen the 10-Year Challenge taking over the internet in the past few weeks with people showing their friends how they look today compared to back in 2009.
The social media trend has been shared across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the aim of showcasing how much you have or haven’t changed in the past decade.
We’ve given Cheltenham the ‘then-and-now’ treatment and perhaps you won’t be surprised to see the town has had a huge face-lift in the past ten years.
The Odeon was originally built in the Art Deco period in 1933. In 1962 it became the cinema and hosted a number of pop-up shows with both The Beatles and Rolling Stones performing there. The Odeon shut its doors in 2006 and was eventually demolished in the summer of 2014. As you can see, the area where it once stood on Winchcombe Street has now been turned into upmarket apartments. You can find the famous Odeon mermaids over at The Brewery development.
Just around the corner from where the Odeon once stood is Albion Street at the back of the old Beechwood Arcade. The backdoors of what was once Debenhams opened out onto this row of shops that was home to J & B Book’s, Silken Threads and a Vauxhall garage to name a few.
The row of shops was knocked down along with the Odeon in 2014 to make way for apartments. You can now enter the new John Lewis from this street.
Talking of John Lewis, this is what the shop front used to look like when it was the entrance to the Beechwood Arcade with Fresh Crust (previously Häagen-Dazs) on the left and the Disney shop on the right.
The Beechwood Arcade which opened in 1991, shut in 2016 and Debenhams was the last tenancy to close its doors. The site was purchased by John Lewis and the work was completed in autumn 2018 with the store opening just in time for Christmas.
Infamous ‘Boots Corner’ hasn’t changed much over the past decade however Julian Dunkerton’s Cult Clothing rebranded as Superdry in 2012.
The one-way street closed to general traffic in a controversial move last year and the trial is still ongoing. Since then, more than 5,700 people have signed a petition to reopen the town centre route to traffic.
Lower High Street
Whilst Boots Corner has seen little in the way of change, the lower High Street has completely transformed. We may have lost Peacocks, Bonmarché and Ryman’s Stationery, and that rather wonderful place that sold a jacket potato and filling for a quid. But we have gained a lot of fantastic shops, restaurants and bars as part of the ongoing works at the Brewery Quarter in return.
Back of The Brewery
Once a car park and cut through to get to Cineworld and restaurants in the Brewery Quarter, Bennington Street and Oxford Passage have been modernised to facilitate a number of luxury apartments. Who remembers watching gym-goers at ‘Fitness First’ whilst stuffing their faces at Burger Burger?
Parents were chuffed when a new playground opened in Pittville Park in 2016, and there’s barely a weekend that goes by when it isn’t packed to the rafters with families.
Over the last decade we have lost O’Neills which reopened as Harry Cooks Freehouse in 2014 and the Montpellier Rotunda which once housed Lloyds bank, shut in July 2017 and is now The Ivy which opened in December 2017.
Kingsditch Retail Park
Kingsditch Retail Park, along the Tewkesbury Road, boasts Harvey’s, SCS and a 24 hour McDonalds, among many others. Still as busy as ever ten years ago, shoppers could also visit an Argos and Apollo 2000.
Which of your favourite places in Cheltenham have closed down? Get in touch in our Facebook group! Visit www.facebook.com/groups/enjoycheltenhammore/