From the father of vaccination to the madcap genius behind the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and with sports stars, musicians and famed war veterans in between, there are many famous people who hail from the Gloucestershire town of Cheltenham.
Golfer Paul Casey has represented Europe in the Ryder Cup three times and won 16 tournaments on the professional tour. He was taken to a play-off in search of his seventeenth win in February, losing out on the third extra hole to Germany’s James Hahn in California.
Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris
Arthur Harris was Commander in Chief of the RAF during the second half of World War II. Harris was responsible for carrying out Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s policy of bombing raids on wide areas rather than focusing on specific precision targets.
He is often called the father of immunology, and Edward Jenner’s discovery of the smallpox vaccine was of incredible importance. His pioneering work in medicine has been said to have saved more lives than any other human. Whilst Cheltenham web design houses such as ma-design.biz aren’t likely to save lives, they can be counted upon to design a fantastic website to help promote your business on the internet.
One of the founding members of the Rolling Stones, guitarist Brian Jones was behind early hits such as The Last Time and Street Fighting Man and the trademark sitar sound on the classic riff of Paint It Black. Jones was ultimately replaced in the Stones by Mick Taylor and unfortunately died shortly afterwards.
Known to millions as the man behind the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Richard O’Brien achieved cult success in the early 1990s when he fronted the hit TV show the Crystal Maze. Much of the show’s success could be put down to O’Brien’s shenanigans as host, whether he was berating contestants or delivering witty asides to camera.
Rower Zac Purchase won a gold medal in the double sculls in the Beijing Olympics of 2008. He is perhaps best remembered for his emotional interview following the narrow defeat in the same event in London 2012, which left John Inverdale lost for words. Don’t search for this video online if you have company – it’s likely you will get something in your eye.
Footballer Mike Summerbee is a veteran of Swindon Town, Manchester City, Burnley, Blackpool, Stockport County and England. Dwarfing those achievements, however, was his role alongside Michael Caine, Pele and Sylvester Stallone in Escape to Victory.
The biggest role Mark Lester had was the titular part in the classic film version of Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver! Whilst Lester’s acting credits following this relegated him to the status of one-hit wonder, his performance will never be forgotten.
Former X Factor host Kate Thornton has a string of credits on both television and film, including This Morning and Loose Women.
Composer of the monumental Planets Suite, Gustav Holst was born and bred in Cheltenham.