Public paths signposted in memory of Gloucestershire benefactor

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Footpath off Down Hatherley Lane, west of Cheltenham. Photo: Doug Houston.

Footpath off Down Hatherley Lane, west of Cheltenham. Photo: Doug Houston.

The society and Gloucestershire Ramblers, working with the Gloucestershire County Council public rights of way team, are delighted that the county council is now making use of a 50-year-old fund for signposting footpaths around Cheltenham.

The fund was established in 1959, on the death of Herbert Lucas Bradbury, a far-sighted Cheltenham benefactor.  Mr Bradbury left £1,500 in trust for erecting and maintaining signposts on public paths within a six-mile radius of Cheltenham Post Office.

Known as the Bradbury Bequest, the fund was for the last 54 years administered by the Open Spaces Society, while the Gloucestershire Ramblers, led by the late Tony Drake, arranged for the signposts to be erected.  Now the remaining £7,000 has been transferred to Gloucestershire County Council as a ring-fenced fund for signposting paths around Cheltenham, as Mr Bradbury wished.

The county council has been busy over the summer and has erected a number of signs with emblems bearing the Open Spaces Society’s logo and the words ‘Bradbury Bequest paid for this sign’.

Bradbury Bequest emblem final

Says Doug Houston, footpath secretary of the Ramblers’ Mid Glos Group: ‘We are pleased that money left in trust more than 50 years ago and known as the Bradbury Bequest is still being used to renew and replace signposts indicating public footpaths around Cheltenham.’

Footpath at the lychgates, Down Hatherley, west of Cheltenham. Photo: Doug Houston.

Footpath at the lychgate, Down Hatherley, west of Cheltenham. Photo: Doug Houston.

Says John Lane, , Principal Rights of Way Officer with Gloucestershire County Council: ‘’Gloucestershire County Council’s public rights of way team is delighted to be involved in improving signing in the Cheltenham area.

‘The Bradbury Bequest is enabling us, working with the local Ramblers and the Open Spaces Society, to enhance our rights of way by replacing broken and dilapidated signs within six miles of Cheltenham Post Office, as originally intended when the bequest was made over 50 years ago.’

Adds Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘It was a joy to pass this fund to the county council to spend on improved signposting of paths around Cheltenham.  Mr Bradbury’s name will be remembered by grateful walkers and riders who are able more easily to find their way as a result of his generosity.’

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