Skip to main content

Driftin', in the grubby end of Cheltenham High Street, was my haven in the 1970s. I was discovering reggae through one of my new friends at Gloucester College of Art and Design, and punk was just kicking off - what a magical time! The owner, and only person I can remember working there, would make a cassette tape of any of his records for £1.50, a boon to us impoverished students. The fact that he also sold good quality bootlegs elevated his status to a godlike level. The love of music that this period of my life fostered has never left me. Comment: notangry.

(Oct 23, 2014) Anonymous said:I used to work there !

(Dec 29, 2013) PeTe said:Remember it fondly Roger and a mixed race kid called James and a girl called carol well into Bowie first real outlet to get punk singles from in Cheltenham I lived in the sticks and this was the main place for bootlegs and fine n
Music later moved to opposite Odeon cinema on winchcombe street

(Sept 9, 2013) Anonymous said:I remember the owner Roger what a cool guy. I wonder what he's doing now

(Feb 19, 2013) Anonymous said:Driftin' ... in Winchcombe Street, Cheltenham was the finest record shop of my youth. Roger, whose shop it was, was just like an encyclopaedia of rock & blues ... & jazz & ambient & &&&&
I never got offered casstette copies, nor boots, but if I wanted something tht no one else had heard of, I could be pretty sure that I would get help from Roger. "Try under ECM" or some such, and there it would be, L Shankar & Jan Garbarek's latest ... or punk or whatever. A couple of large boxes of 2nd hand ... " here, you'll like this" (& you might).
After it was closed, & completely empty, the local constabulary staked out its doorway as a 'known drug haunt' ... twats.
God bless you, Roger, wherever you are.

(Nov 3, 2012) Charlie said:Owner was Roger (Doughty)? He moved to Bristol and Red Rhino I think records. His wife was Stasha.

Name Guy B. Comment:Fondly remember Driftin lurking every Saturday in amongst the vinyl a punk obsessed 14 yr old herbert looking for Crass records . Looked up to Roger he was rumoured to be in a band (Pigbag). He introduced me to Mr Clarinet by the Birthday Party and would play it on request only occasionally on the shop stereo so as not to ruin by over familiarity! It was the only place to buy independent stuff there was only Our Price in the Arcade but this was like a sweet shop for kids for records you'd only read about in NME or heard on John Peel. For the few who now Google search Driftin Cheltenham i salute you! (April 26, 2017)

In 1984 I bought his old stereo with Realistic receiver and Pioneer (I think) turntable, and still have a Driftin LP-sized black carrier bag with (fading) gold lettering
Bill lumley

I had many a fine time digging through the esoteric collection available in the store during my regular visits to Cheltenham. Many thanks for the Ron Geesin tape! I then found Rogers Records in Bristol, but remember Roger's comment the business wasn't easy and then it and Roger disappeared.
John R

Roger is alive and well and living in Herefordshire. He recorded the first Kraftwerk album and Organisation for me on a TDK C-90. He was in a band called “Hardware” which had a change of lineup without him. That band became Pigbag.
Hamstall Ridware

I was a frequent presence in both the Winchcombe Street and then Lower High Street locations of Driftin'in the mid-late 70s. It was a great period of musical discovery and Roger was great to chat to - he used to burst into a brief dance every so often, including to his favourite ECM jazz. He also had something ready that you should be listening to, that you hadn't heard of before. That was the best place, and I can also remember a guy called Graeme (Grahame?) who used to work there too. It used to irritate Roger sometimes that people might think that the shop was called Drift-in, rather than Driftin' LOL. His wife Stasha ran 'The Last Resort' Veggie cafe, in a side street, where you could get a real Kenyan (i.e. not instant) coffee - pretty rare in those days. Carol helped-out there and had a cool, bright pink Ford Consul (or Vauxhall Cresta?) with fins and whitewall tyres, she gave me a lift a couple of times. One of the few alternative highlights of Cheltenham in those days. I was there the other week and took a photo of the Winchcombe St branch, sad looking, now a closed-down takeway. I was just thinking, behind those blocked-up dark windows is a scene of modern hauntology...inside, not a pin was heard to drop...but..wait...was that a brief screech of some Albert Ayler sax..?
Richard S

I first went in Driftin’ in late 1976 and met Roger for the first time. Through him Tim Buckley and 70’s Reggae were soon on my turntable. Years later when he relocated to Winchcombe Street I worked in the shop so he got time off on a Wednesday. The best record shop Cheltenham ever had, plus vintage clothes upstairs and bands rehearsing ( The Screaming Dead amongst others) in the basement. Then after moving to The Triangle in Clifton and taking on Revolver Records retail in 84/85 I worked a week day and some Saturdays with Roger travelling down from Cheltenham. What a shop and what a musical maestro Roger was, as a lot of people will remember. Good on you Roger I hope you’re well.
Steve Fisher


Caroline Cornell
07 Jun 2023 at 02:49
I used to buy my Siouxsie and Kate Bush records from Driftin. I would go in with my father who was a jazz collector so he and Roger would get into serious discussions about rare LPs while I browsed.

Next in Gloucestershire: Gloster Disco Centre
Prev in Gloucestershire: Cavendish House
A-Z prev: Drift
A-Z next: Drumbeat