CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire

PUBLISHED: 16:16 04 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:34 20 February 2013

Tewkesbury

Tewkesbury

The future's looking rosy for the riverside town of Tewkesbury. Words by Katie Jarvis. Photography by Jules Beresford

When Jack Jennings was looking for a place to set up a new carpet business in 1960, Tewkesbury was a no-brainer. Beautifully placed for travel (and with motorways about to start popping into existence all over the place), the town was expanding its boundaries with new housing estates. Fitted carpets were much in demand.


If Tewkesbury has changed over the years, then so has JW Jennings. Today, it's Afghan not Axminster for which the business is famous, for they diversified: they're now known for their fantastic stock and specialist knowledge of Oriental rugs.


"People are surprised to find us in a town like Tewkesbury," agrees Jack's daughter, Clare, managing partner in the business. "A lot of people say they might have expected to see us in Cheltenham on the Promenade.


"We get people coming from all over to visit us, with quite a number from London. And because people have travelled to get here, we can often recommend other places within the town, perhaps for lunch. The nice thing is that when I go into those shops myself, they always thank me for sending people in."


Interestingly, back in the '60s there would have been far fewer places to recommend. The range of shops Tewkesbury offers is far more varied than 40 years ago. One of its most recent coups was to attract a branch of M&S 'Simply Food' to the High Street. While the arrival of chain stores can be a double-edged sword, few would argue against this specialist outlet that has brought even more people in.


Nickie Philipson-Stowe has run The Orange Pig children's wear store in the High Street for 30 years. As an active member of the town's chamber of commerce and industry (and as a shopper herself), she's delighted a new butcher and a greengrocer have opened in the town recently.


"There's definitely a positive feeling in Tewkesbury," she says. "People are looking on the bright side and smartening up their shops. We did have a very difficult time during the flooding but we are over it and pulling ourselves up again. On the positive side, it showed how people can rally together and, in a way, it did put Tewkesbury on the map.


"What we find is that once people come and shop here, they keep on coming back. We hear time and again from customers: 'I love coming because of the personal service'. They could simply go to one of the big shopping centres, but they don't. They know that we are here to help them, and that's what they value about Tewkesbury."


0 comments

More from Out & about

The Cotswolds are abundant with picture perfect locations ideal for a ramble. Gather loved ones, wrap up warm and blow away the cobwebs with one of these winter walks in the region

Read more
Mon, 13:15

Tracy Spiers takes an impressive, if hypothetical, budget on a shopping spree in Cheltenham’s independent stores

Read more
Mon, 12:23

Get out and enjoy seasonal celebrations with a Cotswold twist

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK are saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket, including a number of venues in the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

“We’re looking forward to lots of festive fun this Christmas festival and hope to welcome lots of people to our town.”

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

“Faringdon upholds old-fashioned values through its traditional shops, personal service and shop owners who go the extra mile to make their customers feel at home.”

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Home to some of the country’s most breathtaking architecture and picturesque gardens, the Cotswolds boasts plenty of beautiful stately homes you need to visit. We pick eight special locations that are made even more magical during Christmas time

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search