Living in Cheltenham
Written by Anonymous Visitor and posted in Gloucestershire, South West

I moved to Cheltenham when I was 4, when my parents divorced. I was raised by my mum with my brother. My mum somewhat recently came to the UK from Russia. Her university degree meant nothing here, so we moved where most new immigrants to Cheltenham go. Hesters Way. Hesters Way has a well known reputation around Cheltenham as a problem area. It has the same crime rate as some of the roughest places in Salford and Longsight. It is the stereotypical “chav” area. We lived in a council house next to 9 polish illegal construction immigrants. Our house was commonly stolen from. Around the time we moved the “blocks” in Hesters Way were being demolished. The only blocks in all of Cheltenham. This brought even more housing problems, as once we moved it took 3 years of waiting to get an acceptable council house. I.E not a half destroyed flat next to a crack den.

Next was Charlton kings. If you asked me now which I preferred most I would say Hesters Way. Charlton Kings is the exact opposite to Hesters Way. it was filled with posh, middle class, xenophobic liberals who would always smile and wave at you, but would secretly be calling you a c*nt behind your back. It’s a disgusting place, filled with boring people who have way too much money. The kids wear £120 designer track suits and talk and act like they’re from an estate. It is a truly disgusting place. It’s horrible.

Finally after waiting for a couple years we got a house in Whaddon. The nicest of the council estates in Cheltenham. While being the nicest council estate, it is still an estate. Burglaries, muggings and even shootings are common place.

Cheltenham has over time, gone from a place with a clear middle and lower class, to a tacky town.. The council estates kept to themselves and the posh places kept to themselves. But over time things have come to make a tacky town. The designer stores became poundworlds. The posh kids wear tracksuits and the poor kids where designer clothing. It’s still a horrible place and I would never go back even if you paid me.


  • ILiveHere Bloke

    I’ll reply to the amass of comments which seem to be circling this article and the attention it has gained. I had no idea the article would exploded like it did. I wrote it late at night, half awake just to vent some of my views on Cheltenham. The response has been mixed to say the least… While it seems on Facebook a lot of people who shared the article had the same views with me. I also did get a few angry CK pensioners telling me I’m silly. So I have this message to clear anything not explained in depth or just overall put poorly.

    1. “Why didn’t you move out of Cheltenham if you didn’t like it so much” – I wrote this article for the most part because I was raised in Cheltenham. I may have disliked living in Cheltenham. But I was in no means able to just have my immediate family move out the blue. We had ties in Cheltenham, jobs etc.

    2.”Charlton Kings is a wonderful place etc” – I was expecting comments like this from the start. Mainly from CK pensioners who love walking their dogs in the morning, saluting their statue of Martin Horwood before calling the police because a group of “unruly” teenagers look threatening outside the local Co-op. Charlton Kings appeals to the nice, middle class community that Cheltenham is mostly based around. But the people there highlight everything I see wrong in Cheltenham. That snobbish mentality of I’m better than everyone else, the endless jokes at the expensive of the impoverished people living on the “wrong” side of the town. They will wave at you and smile. But don’t think they won’t be spreading gossip and slagging people off when you don’t expect it. But there are still a lot of decent people living in CK. Great friends and open people. But they are in the few…

    3. “The hole council housing thing”. – It seems many people bringing up this subject have no idea what searching for a council house is actually like. Now days they are few and far between. Sure they’re are plenty of 1 bed flats and 2 bed, unfurnished crack dens the council will throw at you. But a lot of these can hardly support even small families, let alone large ones. And any good ones are taking off the market quick. I heard a statement by Tim Atkins (director for place and economic development at the borough council) on GloucestershireLives crusade against me saying that there are, in fact plenty of public housing in Cheltenham. Well you don’t need to here my view, just ask anyone who has tried to get one…
    In needy times, any housing has to be taking to not live in the streets which brings me on to…

    4.”The whole Polish illegal immigrant thing…” – This was a true event which happened to me. We lived next to 9 Polish construction workers, who spoke little to no English. I’m not complaining about immigration. No, far from it. More the fact that stuff like this is common in parts of Cheltenham. I.E like the lower end of the high street which is basically mini Bradford let’s be honest. Where every store front has some form of illegitimate business going on beneath it. Trust me, it happens.

    5.”You’re not from Cheltenham because I’ve lived here [enter time here] and it’s a wonderful place” – I am from Cheltenham believe it or not… I was not born in Cheltenham but raised here. I’ve seen every part of Cheltenham and know it off the back of my hand. It may be my love of cities. But Cheltenham in my eyes (and that of many people which have shared this article) is boring. What? so it has a few fashions stores, and a few quint little coffee shops, yes. That’s it. It’s nothing special. I know this probably sounds like quite a quick view over the town center. But if it wasn’t we’d be here forever.

    6.”The whole Salford comparison thing” – What I was bringing up is that both area’s (Whaddon, St Pauls, Hesters Way) are very deprived. They are often the dodgy back water from Cheltenham society. Pushed off in the corner to keep this pristine, middle class, dystopian image. You can see this when the races are on, and the council go around shipping off the homeless population to Gloucester in order to keep this image up. This honestly isn’t a lie, check for yourself.

    Crime is still a problem in these area’s. Ask the residences, or even better ask them about these areas 10-20 years ago. The deprivation is still there. And Martin’s sprinkling of speed bumps and CCTV camera’s won’t stop this.

    7. “GloucestershireLive” – I found of this explosion of the article through some GloucestershireLive articles about me. I normally use them for quick news updates. And I was surprised to find multiple articles about me. Often times these articles poorly misquoted my original article. And you can tell that the people/person who wrote this are obviously the “I’m from Pates/St Edwards/some private school and I love Cheltenham and saluting my statue of Martin Horwood everyday” type of person (if i get this completely wrong then sorry). And you can tell this in their (mostly) selection of bitter pensioners who disagree to anyone who wants to put a stain or tarnish on their beloved town. I’m sure the person who works for GloucestershireLive is a good journalist. It’s just in this case I disagree.

    8. “Martin Horwood” – It seems in this article that I have mentioned the “hero” of Cheltenham plenty of times. Martin Horwood in my eyes is Cheltenham, in captivated into one person. More worried about keeping public parks, building speed bumps and helping Uni-Cef than helping the actual poor and downtrodden members of Cheltenham. It’s funny that Alex Chalk, a conservative, seems to be wanting to help the impoverished area’s of Cheltenham more than our Lib-dem hero, Martin.

    If I went into anymore points I reckon I would fall to sleep at this keyboard… This comment wasn’t planned, written well or probably even that much of a great argument. I’m tired and it’s a Monday night. I can already tell/hear the angry CK pensioners frantically typing away with the help of their grandchildren. And some news site finding weakness’s in my arguments and bringing up tiny points to be attacked by their research etc. I honestly just did this to clear some points.

    If anyone wants to email me: ILiveHereBloke@gmail.com

  • Caroline Bishop

    Where on earth do you get such an opinion from????? I was raised in South London, Croydon to be precise and that was a rough town. Cheltenham has it’s difficult areas but on the whole it’s a beautiful town. I would imagine that it’s difficult if you are only experiencing things from a social services perspective as you don’t have a lot of choice in where you go. I lived in Charlton Kings, Ryeworth Road to be precise and found it very friendly and pleasant. I can’t comment on Hester’s Way or Whaddon as I be never lived there. The town is great; good shopping and nice restaraunts. I think it’s safe and quite gentil. Like any place it’s always going to be what you make of it. It sounds as though you might have had a pretty big chip on your shoulder from a young age! Otherwise why would it matter whether people were wearing £120 track suits.
    You’re article is a bit silly, spiteful and blinkered when you have only experienced a VERY small part of the town!!!

  • Helen

    U r talking about three places in Cheltenham… I was born in Cheltenham and I am still here it’s a lovely place to live. I have moved to lots of different areas and loved all of them. I haven’t moved to a council estate as I know EVERY area has its problem areas and I am fortunate to not have to live in a council property or in an troubled area.

  • Clare Bear

    If you lived next to 9 polish illegal construction immigrants – then it’s YOUR duty to report them… how’s that area going to prosper if nothing is done about it?

  • Andrew Paterson

    So you have only negative things to say about Cheltenham.

    1) The council took too long to give you an acceptable council house. Why not do something about it then and get your own property? You didn’t like a property as an immigrant because you were next to immigrants – are you being serious?

    2) Shootings are commonplace. Are you having a laugh. We are on about Cheltenham in Gloucestershire here? You are just making things up to dramatise your fictional account of the town.

    3) Apparently people being friendly to you isn’t any good either because your assumption that this was just for show and were saying things behind your back. How do you know this. Maybe you should accept people being friendly as people being friendly. If you go through life thinking the worst then nowhere will be good enough.

    Not a single positive thing to say about the town at all. You need to have a good hard look at yourself, and you will see the root of your negativity, yourself.

  • JFree

    so you’re a snobby low class whore?