Team Paish Tooth tidies up

A team of seven staff from Paish Tooth were out in force yesterday, volunteering their time to help tidy up one of Cheltenham’s little known hidden gems – the Winston Churchill Memorial Gardens.

These attractive Gardens were created in 1966, one year after Churchill’s death, and this year sees the 50th anniversary of their opening. They started life as one of the town’s burial grounds, and the chapel which served it is still intact today as St Mary’s Mission – an imposing Grade II listed building which is still on the site, and which is now used by Cheltenham Martial Arts.

The surprisingly large walled Gardens are tucked away behind Cheltenham’s Lower High Street, and are now managed by Graham Gage who heads up a community group called Green Space Volunteers. The group has been running for one year, and having started off with only four members, now includes up to 20 volunteers who meet on a monthly basis to maintain both the Winston Churchill Memorial Gardens and the Honeybourne Line (North) which runs alongside them.

Following a short briefing by Graham, the PT volunteers donned their gardening gloves and were put to work. The main focus of the day was to clear and tidy a number of large beds of lavender and rosemary bushes, which were competing for space with a vast number of prolific weeds. Fortunately the weather was kind, and the sun even made an appearance to help spur everyone on. It was very satisfying work being outdoors in the fresh air – the team made great progress and the results were very rewarding. By the end of the day this section of the Gardens was looking neat and well cared for.

Nuala Beardsall from Paish Tooth said, “We had a great day – we really enjoyed it and felt we made a difference”. Sue Guest added, “It was so therapeutic and good to get some fresh air away from the office”, while Paul Cox concluded, “I really enjoyed that!”.

Graham Gage from Green Space Volunteers said, “We really appreciated the extra help from the Paish Tooth team today. Many hands make light work, and they’ve had a very positive impact on our efforts! It’s also great to have corporate volunteers involved, as this helps us to raise the profile of the Gardens.”