Lights/Willams and Griffin window
Colchester gets under way on Sunday 29th November
with the switch on of the town's Christmas light
displays at 4.30pm by Hayley Tammadon who played
Delilah Dingle in Emmerdale and Andrea Beckett in
Coronation Street. There will be lots going on
around Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard shopping
precincts including singing, dancing. Events run
from 12 noon until 17.00 - for more information
please visit http://www.christmasincolchester.co.uk/christmas-lights-switch-on.html
Also on Sunday is the unveiling of
the Williams & Griffin Christmas window with
guest appearance by Fr Christmas and his Elf at
Christmas Market, Winter
Wonderland, Castle Open Evening
On Sunday 6th
December the High Street will be closed to
traffic to make way for the annual Christmas
Market from 11am until 5pm. Pop along for
traditional and exotic hot food, drinks, lots of
presents and fun.
27th November until 3rd January 2016 is your
chance to visit Colchester Winter Wonderland
complete with Ice Skating Rink, fair-ground
rides, local choirs singing carols, and a winter
market selling local crafts and produce. Entrance
is free but there is a charged for the Ice Rink
Colchester Castle Museum
opens for FREE on Wednesday 9th December. You can
visit Santas Grotto and meet Father
Christmas (£3.50 per child including a small
gift), soak up the Christmas atmosphere listening
to traditional carol singing and browse around
the Christmas Market outside. Drop-in for free
any time between 3pm 8.30pm (free entry
during these times only).
You can even park for
nothing as there is free parking in Colchester
surface car parks at Vineyard Street, Britannia,
Priory Street, Butt Road, Napier Road, Sheepen
Road after 3pm on Christmas late night shopping
Wednesdays right up until Christmas.
Famous Supplies closes for the last time Another
piece of Colchester's unique past will soon be gone
forever as Jack's Famous Supplies closes its doors for
the last time on 2nd February 2013. The store, which sold
a combination of household items, camping gear, hardware,
tools, clothes and shoes, has been struggling for some
time and was only saved from closure last year when the
owner made a plea for customers to support the store.
However the reprieve was sadly short-lived and the store
went into administration in mid-January in the hope that
a buyer could be found to save the store. Sadly no buyer
emerged for the store which announced it would close for
the last time on Saturday.
has been popular with the residents of Colchester shop
for many years and has a reputation for selling goods at
bargain basement prices long before the advent of stores
such as Poundland and it is with sadness that we say
goodbye to yet another iconic and unique Colchester
Visitor Information Centre has moved The Visit Colchester Information Centre has
relocated to Hollytrees Museum. The Visit Colchester team look forward to
welcoming you to their new home, where not only can you
pop in for the best advice on where to go, eat, drink and
stay, but you'll also get the opportunity to see three
centuries of fascinating toys, costume and decorative
arts as well as clocks and watches from the Bernard Mason
The new postal address for the
Visitor Information Centre, Hollytrees Museum, Castle
Park, Colchester, CO1 1UG
The telephone number (01206) 282920 and email firstname.lastname@example.org both remain the same.
The new location
is situated just off the High Street in Castle Park
almost opposite the old Queen Street location. The centre
will be open Monday to Saturday from 10am until 5pm.
Castle closed for refurbishment
Colchester Castle and museum is currently closed to the
public until May 2014 for a major refurbishment
programme. The Museum displays is to be updated and
modernised and repairs made to the fabric of the ancient
building soon to be one-thousand years old!
It is promised the project will
reveal more of the Castles historic interior and
new displays will tell the 2,000-year story of Colchester
in a fresh and exciting new way with a new interactive
hub and a full-size burial reconstruction, more audio
character stories, video projections, and replica objects
Other improvements are planned to
the museum shop and the toilets; the Castle roof will be
insulated, and under-floor heating will boost energy
efficiency plus a new glass lift to improve disabled
access to the Castle.
stores open in Colchester town centre The opening of two new
clothes stores by major retailers has revitalised an area
of Colchester town centre that was hit by the loss of
Woolworths and Zavvi last year. H & M opened their
new store in March on the site formerly occupied by
Woolworths in the Culver Square area with a further
entrance to the store in Head Street while Republic
opened for the first time in June having taken over the
former Zavvi site next door. The arrival of these two
well-known names in this prestigious area of town is
great news for Colchester and will hopefully attract
shoppers back into the town.
Roman Chariot Circus is saved The battle to save the
remains of the only Roman Chariot Racing arena known in
Britain from being lost forever looks to have been won. A
consortium of the Colchester Archaeological Trust,
Colchester and Essex Councils needed to raise £200,000
by the end of February 2010 in order to buy the
ex-sergeants mess building from developers Taylor
Wimpey, under which lie the remains of the arena starting
gates. They managed to meet their target with days to
spare and therefore ensured this unique site was saved
for future generations. The consortium now plan to set up
a heritage centre on the site. You can read more about
the site and help to support the cause by visiting http://www.romancircus.org.
Colchester's Castle Park named
Best in Britain
Castle Park has been named the Best Park in
Britain by garden machinery firm Briggs and
Stratton. The competition has been running for 6
years and this year over 60 parks from all over
the UK took part. Castle Park now goes forward
into a best of Europe competition where it will
come up against other winning parks from France,
Germany, Italy, Poland and Sweden. And if you
want to see why Castle Park proved so popular
here is a short video clip.
Frankie & Benny come to town
American/Italian 50s Style
chain Frankie & Benny's have opened a new restaurant
in Colchester at Tollgate on the west side of the town.
The restaurant has it's own large car park and is only a
short distance from the A12 junction at Stanway.
shuts it's doors in Colchester
After trading in the town for almost 100 years the
Colchester branch of Woolworths in Culver Square - fondly
known thoughout the UK as 'woolies' shut it's doors for
the last time on Saturday 3rd January after the firm went
into liquidation. The firm had been trading in Colchester
for 94 years and almost everything was sold off - even
the shop fittings. Sadly 75 staff members lost their
Colchester Utd stadium opens at Cuckoo Farm Colchester United's
new 10,000 seater stadium at Cuckoo Farm to the north of
Colchester has opened for business in time for the
2009/10 season. The new £14m ground replaces Layer Road,
the clubs former home since they were formed in 1937 and
which had a capacity of just 6,180 (2014 seating, 4166
standing). Supporters are encouraged to use a bus link
from North Station to and from the ground as parking is
limited and access to the ground is not easy until a new
link road to the nearby A12 has been completed.
The first home game at the new
stadium saw Colchester United take on Huddersfield Town
in Division 1 - the result 0-0.
on the Monopoly Map! Colchester and it's
castle are to be featured on a new UK edition of the
famous Monopoly board game. Along with London &
Manchester the town is one of the Crimson coloured areas
which were Pall Mall, Whitehall & Northumberland
Avenue on the original classic layout.
Colchester, which came 17th in a
public poll, is in the position formerly occupied by Pall
Mall but with a price tag of £1.4m in the new edition
against the original Pall Mall value of £140!
Parks win Top Awards. Castle Park and High
Woods Country Park have both received Green Flag and
Green Heritage awards. Castle Park won its 6th Green Flag
and 5th Green Heritage award, while High Woods Country
Park wins a 5th Green Flag award. The awards are designed
to recognise the best parks in the United Kingdom.
stage of Western by-pass opens. The first stage of the
new Colchester West by-pass was officially opened on 20th
July 2007 - a full 20 years after it's initial concept.
The new section of road links Tollgate retail park with
Essex Yeomanry Way and the A12 interchange and has been
designed to relieve traffic at Tollgate roundabout.
Construction of the second stage of
the by-pass, between Tollgate and Warren Lane, is due to
begin in autumn 2007. This is designed to divert traffic
away from Stanway completely.