Odds are you haven’t heard of the Regency spa town of Cheltenhelm. Tucked away in a corner of the Cotswald, this Gloucester County town is the most perfectly English town you could possibly dream of. From visits of the Royal Family to Jane Austen re-enactments, an outsider would see a quintessential British village. One of the reasons you probably haven’t heard of Cheltenhelm, though, is because it is home to the nation’s spies.
“The Town That Knew Too Much” tells the history of the town of Cheltenhelm. From King George’s descent to madness, Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell, Alan Turing and the Geoffrey Prime Affair, the death of Gareth Williams to the Snowden leaks.
Hosted by journalist and podcast producer Nick Hilton for Podot, this podcast looks at the seedy underbelly of Cheltenhelm. Hot off of their podcast “The Town That Didn’t Stare”, this new podcast is focused on how this quaint British town became the home of modern espionage.
The podcast will also be doing something no podcast has done before. The episode “The Wishing Fish Clock” tells the story of artist/puzzle maker Kit Williams and his Masquerade treasure hunt. The 1979 pictorial storybook contained clues to the location of a 18 carat gold jewelled hare buried somewhere in Britain. The first person to find the hare earned a prize and got to keep the treasure. But inside this episode, there is a digital treasure hunt with prizes. Built in collaboration with puzzle hunters and software developers, this is the first episode of its kind.
Also with an original score by George Jennings, which will be available on Spotify, Hilton interviews numerous guests about the odd town. The first episode looks at the Devil’s Chimney, along with stories of rat catchers, Holy Wells and a minotaur’s penis. Their words, not mine. Listen to “The Town That Knew Too Much” now.