Civic Society Visit to Colchester Arts Centre – Saturday 1st October 2022

As part of our Social Program ten Civic Society members took the opportunity to be shown around Colchester Arts Centre by  Anthony Roberts.

Anthony, who has been director The  Arts Centre Director since 1991, ran through the history of the building from it’s inauguration as St. Mary The Virgin in 1286, it’s part in the siege of Colchester and the Humpty Dumpty myth through to it’s present incarnation as a venue for music, theatre and comedy. Some of us climbed the tower to enjoy the expansive views across Colchester. To the south east we could even see the sails of wind turbines off the Jaywick and Clacton coast!

We went back stage to the dressing room, the backstage storage, the office and even the toilet and shower room, where a surprise was in store for us. We knew that there had been a recent and genuinely spectacular renovation of the venues public toilets. But the same treatment has been given to the backstage area too; where the twin cubicle toilet has been converted into disabled standard wet room and toilet, complete with the same striking blue tiles and beautiful broken pottery mosaics that adorn the walls of the main venue toilets.

The toilets have become a major feature in themselves and have merited a page on the Arts Centre website. As is explained on the page a special open day was held in May this year to celebrate their opening. This was titled THE CISTERN CHAPEL – THANK YOU AFTERNOON

As is explained on the page “For those of you who haven’t yet seen the new toilets at Colchester Arts Centre, you are in for a treat as they have been transformed into the new Cistern Chapel.

Working with Architects Inkpen Downie and Artist Anne Schwegmann-Fielding, the Arts Centre have created what is becoming known as the best toilets in town.”

For the full account follow this link, which will take you to the Cistern Chapel page on Colchester Arts Centre website. The Cistern Chapel – Thank You Afternoon at Colchester Arts Centre

Its well worth a look. But before you go we have a few photos  of our own to show you first. Thanks to Richard Arnopp for allowing us to use some of his photos from our visit.

John Salmon

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