Colchester Favorites

  • Say it with flowers...
    Say it with flowers...
    by arturowan
  • Favorites
    by arturowan
  • Jumbo dominates the Colchester skyline...
    Jumbo dominates the Colchester...
    by arturowan

Most Recent Favorites in Colchester

  • arturowan's Profile Photo

    A centre for education...

    by arturowan Written Sep 4, 2014

    Favorite thing: With a growing population that has passed a million people, it should come as no surprise that Colchester is the locus of local education, with a catchment area of students to its schools & colleges, of 20+miles...
    Being within easy distance of Parkeston, by rail, Colchester can be considered an international location for providing education, with the ferry link to the Netherlands...
    Students come from as faraway as Denmark to study at Colchester Institute, & from all over the world to attend the Colchester English Study Centre, & nearby University 0f Essex...
    There are 4 fee-paying schools in the town, as well as Colchester Royal Grammar School, & Colchester County High School, which provide selective secondary education, while Colchester Academy, Alderman Blaxhill School, Philip Morant School, Gilberd School, Thomas Lord Audley School, Saint Benedict's Catholic College, & Saint Helens Media Arts College, provide the comprehensive curriculum...
    Many of the names of these schools remember important citizens in the history of the town, & there was once a Sir Charles Lucas School, but this has now closed...

    Fondest memory: I spent all 5 years of my secondary education at Saint Benedicts R.C.Comprehensive, as it was known at the time...
    This school is located in the Lexden area of the town, on a complex which also includes the Philip Morant School & College, & is next door to what was then the Colchester Girls' High School...
    I must admit with some wonder, in all the time I was at school, there was never any attempt by any of the boys to stage an invasion into the rather exclusive Girls' High, which would only have meant scaling the hedge, to enter their grounds...
    Just what on earth were we thinking of instead?
    My memories seem to recall going around with magnifying glasses, attempting to refract the sunrays, in order to set things on fire...
    0ur school was occasionally invaded by the pupils at Philip Morant, who would hide in the small wood, separating the playing fields between our 2 schools!
    Philip Morant uniform is green, so we called them "bogeys"!
    A group of boys would emerge from the wood & 'duff-up' any unsuspecting pupils from our school, then run back to their school, with our head master in hot pursuit in his Morris 1100
    We called him 'Sinbad' because of his chinbeard, but he always reminded me of Mister Fairbrother, the incompetent holiday camp host manager, in the locally filmed sitcom; Hi-De-Hi!

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • School Holidays
    • Study Abroad

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  • arturowan's Profile Photo


    by arturowan Updated Aug 29, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Jumbo is the name for the giant water tower built at Colchester's Balkerne Gate, which marks the town centre from faraway...
    The tower took 20 months in order to build, & was completed in 1883
    The 4-legged main structure of the tower supporting the cast iron tank, required 1 200 000 bricks, with 819 tons of cement & stone, in order to hold it together...
    The central brick access tower contains 157 steps, leading through the cavernous (1069 cubic metres) tank, to a rooftop cupola, from where there is a panoramic view of the Colne Valley...
    In terms of Victorian red brick engineering, the architectural concept & ambition is comparable with the nearby Chappel railway viaduct (see separate article...)
    Jumbo is Colchester's obvious skyline landmark, & marks the Balkerne area of town from faraway, hence in 'general directions' for my tips about places to visit in that area, I advise, just head towards Jumbo...

    Fondest memory: Not everybody was impressed when the tower rose above the Colchester skyline - Reverend John Irvine, who lived in the nearby rectory, at Saint Mary-at-the-Walls, detested living in the shadow of the mammoth construction, nicknaming it "Jumbo", after a famous London Zoo elephant!
    The insult stuck, but has since become a name of affection for what is arguably the most characteristic building in all Colchester...
    Jumbo served the town for a century, before Anglian Water sold the redundant water tower in 1987
    Ever sine, controversy has centred on the buildings future, which seems jinxed as to evolving a new use, because all the plans to convert it, into penthouse apartments, or a restaurant, have comer to nothing...
    Auction value of Jumbo has fallen from £330 00 - 2006 to £190 000 - 2014
    I would have thought the obvious future for Jumbo, is to allow for paid public access, for the view from the top...

    Jumbo dominates the Colchester skyline...
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Photography

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  • arturowan's Profile Photo

    Castle Park...

    by arturowan Updated Aug 28, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Colchester's Castle Park is the town's best feature - carefully laid-out gardens around the Norman keep, with extensive grounds leading into Lower Castle Park, which incorporate trees & flowing water, as well as a model boating lake...
    A Victorian-era park, it has 2 levels, Upper Castle Park - Avignon Gardens to 0ld Roman Wall, covering an area of excavation which has revealed where the Roman town houses once were, so this part of the park was not then green...
    Representing the Norman contribution to the central feature of the town, is of course, the castle, marking the foundations where the Romans had their central temple...
    The Rotunda & Summerhouse are the architecture of Gray, built in 1747 & 1731, respectively...
    Duncan's Gate marks the north-east entrance to the fortified area, & has stood since the Romans constructed it, though the pillboxes that were part of Eastern Command Line, built to withstand a tank invasion, appear as old, though only date to the Second World War...
    The Lucas-Lisle memorial stands on the spot where 2 Royalist officers of those names, are believed to have fallen in combat, during the Siege of Colchester in 1648

    Fondest memory: I have memories of life in Castle Park from when I was attending Colchester Institute, passing through it on the way to the town's records shops; Andy's, & Time Records, now there no more...
    This is rather a nostalgic tip, because Colchester would seem to have become a nastier location since then - it was a perfect place to spend unhurried moments, whenever the sun was shining...
    Nowadays, whenever I read the local newspaper in regard to Colchester, somebody seems to have been stabbed, or arrested for carrying a knife...

    Say it with flowers...
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

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  • Nmurfet's Profile Photo


    by Nmurfet Updated Feb 20, 2007

    Favorite thing: Colchester is rammed full of historical places of interest, the Roman Castle being the obvious one, for all the information you need on the attractions and sites to see in Colchester use this or try this one for some photos: The latter site also has plenty of unofficial info. and pics of the rest of the UK too!

    Fondest memory: Graduation 2003: Spent at the University of Essex on a beautiful summer's day in Wivenhoe park. Then a meal with all my family at the George Hotel in Colchester High Street before a late night stroll in Castle park to see Colchester Castle lit up in spotlights. Fantastic!

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

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  • Paolo-Italy's Profile Photo

    So important to have friends.

    by Paolo-Italy Written Jan 7, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Colchester is a 100.000 people town, so it's not so big and not too small... If you are a Colchesterian it happens often that you meet people you already know wherever you go. Colchester is even a very active town, and there are too many strangers coming here... Some others go (london is just a hour away), is a town in "Movement"... Depeche Mode, Jamiroquai, Prodigee, Sade they all come from Colchester...

    I think that in this town is very important to have friends; more than in other tpwns... I mean, if you come here and you have friends you should really try to care about them, because my impression is that in Colchester you could risk to have the fault of a big town, where sometimes people is in isolation... Uhmmmm... Maybe my arguing is a bit complicated... Sorry.

    Anyway, have friends, wherever you are... ;)

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  • joanj's Profile Photo

    Colchester Zoo

    by joanj Updated Sep 27, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Although I have not been to the zoo myself, my daughter-in-law has, and has voted it a great day out for children.
    You can get a Gold Card Annual Pass before you visit, free entry to the zoo for a full year, complimentary entry to Marwell, Paington, Rotterdam, Bristol and Edinburgh Zoos, 10% discount in all the zoo shops and garden centre on presentation of your Gold Card (on selected items) copies of "Zoo Matters" Colchester Zoo's Card holders newsletter.

    There is free car parking.

    for information:-


    Telephone -1206 331292

    Related to:
    • Zoo

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