By virtue of a shared name, the town of Cheltenham in the State of Pennsylvania in the United States has been Cheltenham ‘s twin town for many years. 1950 records a visit by the then Mayor of Cheltenham UK to Cheltenham Pennsylvania, when a silver salver was presented.
Cheltenham Pennsylvania has a population of over 36,000 and is located on the north west border of the suburbs of Philadelphia. The township of Cheltenham covers an area of only 9 square miles, but is rich in its range of professional and business orientated activities.
Cheltenham is a mixture of elm-lined roads, elegant tranquil streets and sprawling apartment complexes. The township reflects a harmonious combination of many religious faiths and ethnic backgrounds, with over 30 churches of various denominations and faiths.
Cheltenham’s multi-ethnic community dates back to Quaker emigrants who settled in the area around 1690. Two of these newcomers were from Cheltenham UK and thus they named their new township after their English home town. In 1990 a civic party from Cheltenham was invited to Cheltenham Pennsylvania for the tricentenary celebrations of the foundation of the Village of Cheltenham.
The Township of Cheltenham is run by a Board of Commissioners who pride themselves on the community’s lush parks, recreational and arts centres, comprehensive libraries and excellent mandatory recycling programme. Cheltenham is also recognised both locally and nationally for its high quality of education.
Exchange visits are now taking place on a regular basis, and has included a visit in 2000 by a delegation from Cheltenham UK to Cheltenham Pennsylvania for the celebrations of 100 years as a Government Corporation; a visit to Cheltenham UK in 2002 for the Queens Golden Jubilee; and in 2003 to sign a twinning charter between the two towns.
Cheltenham has established a ‘Keep Cheltenham Tidy Group’ and a ‘ Cheltenham in Bloom’ competition after seeing the success of these two ventures in their English sister city.
As well as the name, one other interesting common bond that the two Cheltenhams share is that they both have the same crest and motto – health and education.