The Social Programme for 2022


This is not the complete programme for the year, I’m afraid. Other events are still at the planning stage and will appear in the next Newsletter, due later in the summer. Please keep an eye on the Society’s website for updates too. I have given you information  about two events that might have to be rescheduled for reasons beyond our control. One is the unveiling of the new blue plaques on the erstwhile Sergeants’ Mess building and the other is the celebration of the completion of our restoration of the grave of  Jesse Jones at St Botolph’s. If you are interested in attending these events, PLEASE complete the appropriate booking slips and send them to me ASAP. I can then contact you if we are forced to change our plans.

Jo Edwards

Please note : you need to be a member of the society to take part in the outings. But everyone is welcome to attend our coffee mornings.

Please print and complete a reply slip for each outing you wish to attend.

  • Tuesday 7th June Monthly Coffee Morning - First Tuesday of Every Month

    Tuesday 7th June 2022 Meet on the Terrace at Grey Friars at 10am for our June Coffee Morning/Discussion Group

    For those who have never been to a Civic Society Coffee Morning, this is something of a misnomer. Yes, we have coffee and tea but the morning is really an opportunity to discuss what is happening in our town – planning, highways, public transport, heritage,  cleanliness, open spaces, the environment and whatever else takes your fancy! We have no agenda apart from a bit of feedback at the beginning of the meeting and the occasionalguest speaker talking for a few minutes about a particular issue.

    It is your chance to ask about things that are affecting the town, to suggest a ‘plan of action’ for the Executive Committee to consider, perhaps to offer your knowledge or expertise or  simply to listen. It is our chance, as committee members, to hear your views. We normally finish about noon. We are hoping for fine weather but please bring a mac or an umbrella, just in case! IF THE WEATHER IS AWFUL, PLEASE TELEPHONE ME BY 9.30am ON  THE DAY TO SEE WHETHER WE ARE GOING AHEAD Tel No 07771626561.


    Cost? Free but donations towards the cost of coffee always welcomed.

  • Thursday 16th June Meet at Colchester’s Mercury Theatre at 3pm for a tour of the building

    It seems absolutely ages since we met at the Mercury to find out what the plans were for extending and refurbishing the building but it is actually not that long ago. You will remember, too, that we raised a good sum towards the Mercury Rising Appeal.  This is your chance to see what has been done. Hopefully, you will be impressed. Apart from the front of house area and the auditorium itself, there will also be the opportunity to see what has happened backstage. Please bring a mask with you as it may make  those who feel a little uncomfortable more confident if they know that people will wear masks if asked. Please complete and return the booking slip if you would like to join us.


    Cost? Free BUT contributions towards a donation to the Mercury Theatre gratefully received. Like all theatres, COVID has knocked them for six!

  • Friday 24th June Meet at the Town Hall at 4pm for a further update about the progress of projects funded by the Town Deal Funding

    Great progress has been made since we last had a briefing and so we have been invited to another. It is a great opportunity to discover more about the schemes to improve the town using the huge Government grant that was awarded last year. I do have to  tell  the Town Hall staff how many to expect so please return the reply slip if you wish to attend.


    Cost? Free

  • Tuesday 28th June Meet in the Cloisters Restaurant at Grey Friars Hotel at 6.50pm for our AGM




    To: All Members of Colchester Civic Society


    of the Society will be held on:

    Tuesday 28th June 2022 at 7.00pm prompt

    at the Cloisters Restaurant, Greyfriars, High Street, Colchester.



    1. Apologies for absence
    2. Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 11th June 2019
    3. Matters arising from the Minutes
    4. The Chairman will present the Report for 2022


    1. Financial Report and Accounts

    The Treasurer,  Paul Weston, will present the Financial Report and Accounts for 2021 (Copies will be available at the Meeting).

    Appointment of Auditor/Independent Examiner

    1. Election of Officers and Executive Committee

    Nominations please – to be sent to the Secretary, Michael Fitt, 31, Roman Road, Colchester CO1 1UR before the meeting.  Nomination papers for posts on the committee are available on request.

    If necessary, nominations will be accepted from the floor.

    1. a) Chairman: Currently Mrs Jo Edwards
    2. b) Vice-Chairman: Currently Ann Turner
    3. c) Hon Secretary: Currently Michael Fitt
    4. d) Hon Treasurer: Currently Paul Weston.
    5. e) Executive Committee: Up to 14 members may be elected.

    Current members

    Sheila Anderton,  Howard Davies, Peter Evans, Robert Mercer, John Salmon


    The Executive Committee have nominated the following, who have been co-opted to the Committee since the previous AGM


    Pamela Bradley, John Collett, Ann Larkin, Paul Larkin


    1. Any Other Business

    Please note that under our constitution, the President and Vice-Presidents are appointed by the Executive Committee.

    Please do your best to come! Lifts can be arranged.


    After the meeting there will be a talk by Sam Good, Manager, Colchester Business Improvement District (BID)

  • Tuesday 5th July Meet in the Cloisters Restaurant Grey Friars at 10am for our monthly Coffee Morning

    Grey Friars have a number of upcoming bookings for sole use of the hotel from Friday evening until Monday lunchtime (how the other half live!). As a consequence, I have agreed to move our monthly Coffee Mornings from  Monday to Tuesday in future. I do hope this does not cause you any difficulties. 


    It was agreed at our May Coffee Morning that we would go back indoors from July. Again, I hope you all feel comfortable about doing so.


    Cost? Free but donations welcomed.

  • Wednesday 13th July. Meet at the jetty on Coast Road, West Mersea (CO5 5PA) at 11.45am for a boat trip to Bradwell with time for a pub lunch.

    We cross the Blackwell Estuary from West Mersea to the Bradwell Marina on the other side of the river in the lovely little boat, the Lady Grace. Once at Bradwell, there will be time for you to have lunch, either at the Green Man or at the Bradwell Marina  Bar, or, of course, you can bring your own picnic. The Green Man, a short walk from the waterfront, offers a good variety of main courses priced between £8 and £10 or baguettes between £5 and £6. The Marina Bar on the waterfront has wonderful, panoramic views,  but is more expensive with main courses around £14 and paninis about £9.75. Numbers are very limited for this event but I can always arrange another on a different day if the demand warrants it. For this reason, please apply as soon as possible if you would  like to go.

    Unfortunately, this trip does not allow enough time to walk to St Peter’s Chapel, but I would be more than happy to arrange a longer trip next year if anyone is interested. It is quite a long walk from the Marina to St Peter’s, though. Please let  me know if you would like this. There is a public car park by the jetty in Mersea but it is not very big, so please allow enough time to find roadside parking elsewhere if necessary. If you would like or can offer a lift to Mersea, please let me know. Please  bring suitable clothing and wear flat shoes. I am happy to book tables for you if you decide to have lunch at the Marina Bar or the Green Man (remember, food and drinks are not included in the price of this trip). Please tell me on the booking slip whether  you want me to book, and, if so, which venue you would prefer. I have menus for both if required. Please let me know if you would like me to email them to you. My email address is


    Cost? £22 (Boat only)

  • Tuesday 9th August Meet in the Cloisters Restaurant at Grey Friars at 10am for our monthly Coffee Morning

    Cost? Free but donations welcomed.

  • Friday 26th August Meet at the erstwhile Sergeants’ Mess next to Roman Circus House at 10am for the unveiling of TWO Blue Plaques.

    The Society has been supporting member Paul Knappett in his efforts to interpret and commemorate the old Royal Artillery Barracks (renamed Le Cateau Barracks after the First World War). He is planning a superb tactile map of the area on a beautiful plinth,  but that is work in progress as funds have to be raised (if anyone can help, he would be hugely grateful!). However, the first part of the project will soon be complete; two blue plaques to be sited on the building that became known to us all as the Sergeants’  Mess. This building started life as the Officers’ Quarters before becoming the Mess for Warrant Officers and Sergeants. Plaque One gives this information and will be sited on the wall facing Roman Circus House.

    Plaque Two, to be erected at the other end of  the building, is unbelievably poignant. It commemorates Major Raymond England, Battery Commander 88th Battery, who would have lived in this building, and the men of the 39th 68th and 88th Batteries XIVth Brigade Royal Field Artillery killed at the Battle of  Le Cateau 26th August 1914. We will be unveiling these two plaques on the anniversary of that terrible battle.

    The Garrison Commander will unveil the plaques and we hope that members of Raymond England’s family will be present. The ceremony will be followed by morning coffee (and cakes!) in the Roman Circus House marquee. If you need a map showing how to get there,  please let me know.


    Cost? Free but donations to the Tactile Map Fund gratefully received.

  • Tuesday 6th September Meet in the Cloisters Restaurant at Grey Friars at 10am for our monthly Coffee Morning

    Cost? Free but donations welcomed.

  • Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September Heritage Open Days

    Thank you to all those who have volunteered to act as stewards. We are very grateful to you. Details of all the properties open to the public will be on our website as soon as we have them. Do take the opportunity to visit as many as possible, particularly  as some are not normally open to the public.

  • Tuesday 4th October Meet in the Cloisters Restaurant at Grey Friars at 10am for our monthly Coffee Morning

    Cost? Free but donations welcomed

  • Friday 21st October Meet by the grave of Captain Jesse Jones at St Botolph’s Church at 2.30pm

    If all goes to plan, this will be the culmination of a Civic Society project that has been incredibly challenging, the restoration of the grave of Captain Jesse Jones, who served with the First Foot Guards (renamed the Grenadier Guards after the Battle  of Waterloo) and the East Essex Militia. Captain Jones was awarded the Peninsular Medal with the Barossa Bar and the Waterloo Medal. Captain Jones’ grave was in quite a state when we embarked on the project. It has now been cleaned and repaired and a small  plaque giving details of the inscription on the stone, now barely readable, will shortly be added. Part of the project involved the erection of a very well read interpretation board nearby, unveiled last year. This gives information about three important citizens  buried in the churchyard, Captain Jones, Dr Roger Nunn MD and William Warwick Hawkins MP. More information is available on the Civic Society Website under the Conservation heading. After a short ceremony at the graveside, there will be much needed warm drinks  and cake at the St Botolph’s Church Hall.

    It would be wonderful if you could bake a cake for the occasion. Please can you let me know if this would be possible.

    Please complete the booking slip if you would like to come as we need numbers for catering purposes.


    Cost? Free, but donations always welcomed.

  • Wednesday 26th October Meet in the Salon at Greyfriars at 7pm for our Burning Issues Meeting

    I am very much aware of the fact that members who are working are generally unable to attend our Coffee Mornings, so this is an opportunity for those people who feel left out! Come and find out what we are up to, raise matters of concern  that you would like us to tackle (we will do our best!) or simply chat about the town – or city as we will be by then.


    Cost? Free but donations welcomed.

  • Tuesday 1st November Meet in the Cloisters Restaurant at Grey Friars at 10am for our monthly Coffee Morning

    Cost? Free but donations welcomed.

  • Tuesday 6th December Meet in the Cloisters Restaurant at Grey Friars at 10am for our monthly Coffee Morning

    Cost? Free but donations welcomed