Colchester’s High Street Heroes

PUBLISHED: 10:32 25 August 2015 | UPDATED: 10:32 25 August 2015




Famed for its Roman heritage, Colchester is also a modern and vibrant town that has much to look forward to as well as a past to be proud of. Emily Talbut tells us more

When most people think of Colchester, they may recall family trips to the popular zoo, Saturday afternoons at Colchester United Football Club or picture the stunning 11th century Norman keep which is Colchester Castle. Delving a little deeper into this town’s historic past, St John’s Abbey and St Botolph’s Priory can also still be found here, while many of the town’s parish churches also date back to the medieval period.

However, within this historic setting and keeping in line with a desire to preserve the town’s heritage, the people of Colchester are equally passionate about supporting and growing the town as a centre for local trade.

Found along the high street, nestled among a generous smattering of national chain stores, you can find a traditional sweet shop, stationery suppliers, a furniture store and even a specialist rubber stamp shop, all ran by Colchester residents who are dedicated to keeping the vibrant spirit of the local high street alive.

In April this year, the town also saw the reintroduction of its long-standing market back on the high street, with a well attended grand opening. The stalls are now supplied with electricity and have access to a specialised waste management service when they take place, every Friday and Saturday.

Speaking at the launch, Anne Turrell, Colchester borough councillor for economic development and regeneration, said: ‘We know people have wanted to see the market back on the High Street for a long time and I am proud that we have made it happen.’

To further sustain this sector, there is also an annual Colchester Country and Town Show where local traders can showcase their products, whether they be delicious foods, arts and crafts or unique gifts.

The combined efforts of locals who persist in their trading while other towns succumb to the pressures of larger and more well known brands will hopefully allow Colchester to remain known as a town that is both rich in history, but also dedicated to preserving long-standing values.

Here Essex Life introduces you to just some of the friendly faces you might come across on a visit to Colchester…

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