Slow Train Coming


A group of over 30 of us caught a new 197 Class Transport for Wales train at Cardiff Central and headed for Cheltenham, enjoying the misty views over the Severn Estuary. Everybody was brave enough to walk the mile into Cheltenham from the station along the old Honeybourne Line.

Our first stop was the Neptune Fountain closely followed by the nearby statue of Antarctic explorer Edward Wilson who played such a key role in both the Discovery and Terra Nova expeditions but sadly never returned from the later. He was probably the most highly regarded of those on the expedition and became the confidante of many on the trip as well as being an excellent artist.

We then walked down to Imperial Gardens and learnt about composer Gustav Holst before going on to Montpellier Gardens where there was a whole host to talk about: William IV, the oldest bandstand, the first parachute jump, an early  Gormley work and Edward VIII statue.

Crossing the road we saw the caryatids and John Maskelyne birthplace (inventor and magician- pay toilet ‘spend a penny’ fame and levitation). 

Naturally enough people were gagging for a coffee at this stage but those that stayed the course headed back up Promenade and saw Sophie’s Hare and Minotaur before visiting the Wilson museum.  Some were even lucky enough to find some of Wilson’s sketches and the King Penguin eggs.

After a lunch break four of us headed up to see Holst’s birthplace and then onto Pittville Pump Room.  We headed home via the lake in Pittville Park and back west to meet the Honeybourne line and south to the station where we met others from the group.  Another grand day out.

Notes used on the day.