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Colchester Events

cbc-logoColchester Events

Colchester Borough Council run numerous events throughout the year, some upcoming events are:

Bandstand Concerts in Castle Park

The concerts take place on Sunday afternoons (and the occasional Saturday) through the summer from May to September. Highlights areThe Band of the Parachute Regiment, The Colchester Band and Sweeting Swing Band.
Find out more here

Half term activities at Colchester Museums & Leisure World

Colchester Museums: live animal encounters, Roman food, puppets, kites and more!
Fine out more here

Leisure World Colchester: badminton, short tennis, swimming, arts, crafts, dance and more! 
Find out more here

Celebrate the Moot Hall Organ restoration

Celebrate the restoration of the Moot Hall Organ with a mix of great events at firstsite and Colchester Town Hall. Meet the Organist,  make your own organ pipe, join the Big Pipe Busk, Organs in the Archives and Organs in the Movies. Don’t miss the inaugural recital on 24 May!  Find out more here


There are lots of great events taking place in Colchester – why not take a look at the Visit Colchester website


Trees for Years 2015

Blossom of the Bird Cherry – one of the varieties on offer

Trees for Years 2015

Colchester Borough Council have 2015 free trees and fruit bushes to give away as the popular annual Trees for Years initiative returns for the ninth year in a row. The free plants are available to Colchester Borough residents, community groups and parish councils. Residents can collect up to three plants per household and up to 15 per community group, school or parish council. This year’s initiative includes a variety of fruit bushes, decorative shrubs and trees to help create a greener Colchester for all.  Species available this year are:

  • Raspberry Canes
  • Gooseberry Bush
  • Acer campestre – Field Maple
  • Betulapendula – Silver Birch
  • Cornusalba ‘Siberica’ – Red Stem Dogwood
  • Cornusstolonifera ‘Flaviramea’ – Yellow Stem Dogwood
  • Blackcurrant Canes
  • Forsythia x intermedia ‘Spectabilis’
  • Prunuspadus – Bird Cherry
  • Corylusavellana – Hazel Cob Nut

The 2015 bare root trees and fruit bushes will be available on a first come first served basis. Cultivation guidance will be available so that trees can be selected, taking into account the ultimate size and form of mature trees. People collecting trees need to bring their own bags to put them in. Trees must be planted on private property. Postcodes will be recorded to monitor the distribution. The event, which is funded through sponsorship by officeis takes place on Saturday 7 February, from 10am to 1pm, in the car park of Colchester Borough Council’s offices at Rowan House, in Sheepen Road, Colchester.


New Baby?

ne-essex-ccgThe NE Essex CCG, which is responsible for planning and buying local healthcare services for the Colchester and Tendring areas of Essex is always keen to obtain feedback from users of NHS Healthcare services in their area.  They are now asking recent parents in North East Essex to help with a local survey about maternity services.  They have issued the following:

If you or your partner has given birth recently – how was your experience of pregnancy and birthing services? North East Essex MSLC (Maternity Services Liaison Committee) wants to hear from recent parents about their experience of having a baby in Colchester, Clacton or Harwich hospitals or at home. Please help us by responding to the online survey at:

… or go to the news section of the CCG website at This news release is issued on behalf of the MSLC, which is made up of local parents and health professionals and advises the local NHS about the care they provide to women, their partners and their babies during pregnancy, birth and in the weeks after the baby’s arrival. Their role is to help the NHS listen to and take account of the views and experiences of people who use their maternity services. The MSLC is hoping for a significant number of responses by the end of July.


Best place to have a stroke

The local NHS CCG has issued the following news update reporting on the success rate of Colchester General Hospital, which has one of the largest stroke units in the East of England, with stroke patients, admitting over 70% of patients within 4 hours compared to the national average of below 60%:

Local stroke patients get best care in country, latest figures show

The quality of stroke care coordinated locally by Colchester Hospital is again in the top two hospital trusts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, according to the Royal College of Physicians (RCP). This makes us the best over the last six months, nowhere else having been in the top two consistently. The RCP clinical audit of stroke patients who were admitted to hospital in the three months from October last year shows Colchester was the second best-performing out of the 175 hospital trusts that admit stroke patients directly for acute stroke care. Dr Shane Gordon, Clinical Chief Officer at NHS NE Essex CCG said:

This result is a credit to several organisations, including voluntary organisations who work together to provide not only emergency and acute care at the hospital, but also vital recovery care in the community when patients are safe to leave the hospital. Specially-trained nurses from ACE, the NHS community organisation, help patients to recover as much function as they can in the days, weeks and months after a stroke.

The figures show that whereas on average nationally 58% of people who have had a stroke were admitted to a stroke unit within four hours, in NE Essex it is over 70%.  Perhaps most remarkable is that locally over three-quarters of people are helped by the dedicated Early Discharge Team to get quick, dedicated support to go home or to rehabilitation out of the acute hospital, whereas nationally on average just one quarter of patients are helped in this way. Dr Gordon added:

These figures are the results of a shared determination to get higher standards of care for our patients resulting in less death, disability and better quality of life. But we are very far from having a perfect service, there is much more we can do together to give stroke patients here even better treatment and recovery. Rapid and thorough treatment and recovery for patients can make all the difference to otherwise more serious outcomes for patients and families.

Recently published by the RCP, the audit was welcomed by Dr Ramachandran Sivakumar, consultant stroke physician at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust and its clinical lead for stroke. He said the aim of the comparative information is to improve the quality of stroke care by auditing stroke services against evidence-based standards. Dr Sivakumar said:

Stroke care is very much teamwork and our success is down to a multidisciplinary approach that involves therapy staff, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and dietitians, besides doctors and nurses. While these figures show we are performing extremely strongly, we are certain we can do even better and that is what we are focusing on.

Moira Keating, nurse consultant for stroke services, said:

In my opinion, the entire Colchester stroke team takes ownership of each and every patient and pulls out all the stops to ensure that patients receive the best possible care and achieve their goals.


New blood test service going well

The local NHS CCG has issued the following news update following changes to their phlebotomy service intended to increase capacity from 2,900 to 4,600 tests per week:

New blood tests (phlebotomy) service working well, according to patients

Comments made by patients, on feedback forms and informally to staff show universal approval of the new expanded and more convenient service in NE Essex. The new service is provided by GP Primary Choice, a new organisation set up jointly by all the GP practices in our area. Around 11,500 blood tests have been carried out in May, but in a month with the full service now operating in all areas we expect that around 17,000 tests will be carried out. Comments on feedback forms include:

With three children would have found it difficult to go to a local hospital, as we live in a village.

One woman from Tiptree wrote:

Brilliant service, if I had to go to Colchester I would need to arrange child care and pay for car parking etc. Excellent service.

A woman from Colchester wrote:

Very positive change. Surgery is closer to home and offer an all-round excellent service.

Of feedback survey responses received so far, asked to rate their experience, 244 people said excellent; 53 good; 6 adequate, and no-one said poor or very poor. * Patients needing a blood test advised by their GP can have their blood taken at their own GP surgery, or by arrangement at any other GP surgery throughout the area. Surgeries normally do blood test five days a week, Mondays to Fridays (please check with staff for times) but of the 40 local GP practices, 1 offers tests 4 days a week and 2 practices offer tests on 3 days per week. Dr Andrew Lennard-Jones, the Medical Director of GP Primary Choice said:

We have only been running these new services for a few weeks, but already patients are telling us this is much better. Blood tests, taken promptly, are a key tool for diagnosing and treating peoples’ health conditions, and when you consider that there are around 240,000 tests carried out each year in just Colchester and Tendring, then these tests have a major effect on health in the area. We will keep learning from how these services are used, and what patients tell us, so that we can use that experience in designing other health service improvements in future.

Tests are now more conveniently available for GP-referred patients on the Clacton Hospital site in the Reckitts Lodge building, where blood tests are available from Monday to Friday between 8am and 2pm. This service is provided mainly for patients of East Lynne surgery, though patients from other surgeries can make an appointment or just walk in if that is more convenient. The maximum wait that patients are seeing there is about ten minutes, less for booked appointments. This compares favourably with the queueing that used to sometimes take much longer at the hospital before tests were available at all GP surgeries. For patients at St. James surgery, there is a service provided at Old Road Surgery in Clacton, where again appointments can be made, or patients can walk in. There is a free car park there, and as everywhere this service is available for patients from any other surgery. (Old Road Surgery’s own staff do the tests for their patients). For patients who might need to have a test early in the morning, perhaps because of work commitments, they can book an appointment or walk in at the Mayflower Centre at Harwich (Fryatt) Hospital from 7:00am on Wednesdays and 7:45am 4 days a week, or in Colchester attend the Walk-in Centre in Turner Road from 7am, 5 days a week. Walk in clinics are also being offered at the following GP Practices: Ambrose Avenue 9:30 till 1pm, Tollgate 9:30 till 1pm, Tiptree 8:00 till 10am and Winstree (formerly Stanway) 8:00 till 12pm. Dr Hasan Chowhan, clinical lead for the CCG, said:

I am delighted that patients are so pleased, particularly with the convenience of the expanded service. I am greatly encouraged at this key example of GPs and all staff at Practices working together to make improvements for patients. It won’t be as easy as that in all our local health services, but it is a powerful example of what can be done together.


Support East Anglian Children’s Hospices

Colchester Abseil 13th July 2014

This is just one of many events that East Anglian Children’s Hospices (EACH) are organizing to support their work supporting families and providing care for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk. They provide care and support wherever the family wishes – in families’ own homes, in the community or at one of their hospices in Ipswich, Milton and Quidenham.  Their care teams help children and their families with the emotional and physical challenges they face, helping them to make the most of life.

EACH had already arranged an abseil at Colchester Town Hall in June and that has already sold out so they are now organizing this extra date to Abseil approx 100ft from the roof of Colchester Town Hall!

Entry fees £15 per person, plus minimum sponsorship of £85 for participants aged 17 yrs and over, and £30 for those aged 16 yrs and under (payable on the day or via an online fundraising page).

Event managed by Creation Climbing Centre.

Minimum age 14 years.

For more information please contact the Essex fundraising team on 01206 848450 or email [email protected] or, if you are already convinced, enter with their online entry form.

If abseiling is not for you then to find other events visit the EACH events pages.


Attended Freighter for Household Items

Colchester Borough CouncilColchester Borough Council have advised that they will collect household items from a number of locations throughout 2014 as part of the Attended Freighter Service.  For Winstred Hundred the Freighter will be situated in the Plough car park, Peldon between 08:00 – 09:15 on 12th April, 7th June & 2nd August; for other locations click the link –

You can use this service to dispose of small loads of household items which are not  collected as part of your regular kerbside collection. Please don’t use this service to dispose of items which can be recycled, although you can bring garden waste separately which will be composted.

Please note that the attendants will not accept any of the following items:

  • large loads, fridges, freezers or other electrical goods – these items can be collected as part of the Special Collection Service or taken to your local tip,
  • hazardous waste such as asbestos, batteries, liquids or gas bottles – for information on how to dispose of your hazardous items, please click here,
  • commercial refuse – the Council operates a trade recycling and rubbish collection service, details of which can be found here.

For more information please email [email protected] or phone 01206 282700.


Colchester’s Archaeological Heritage

Poster for Peldon History LectureThe Friends of St Mary’s, Peldon will be presenting the first in the 2013 series of Peldon History Lectures on Wednesday 13th March, 7.30pm in the church. Entitled ‘Asset or Liability – Colchester’s Archaeological Heritage’, this talk by Mark Davies promises an interesting insight into Colchester’s Roman history and how this might be preserved in the future.

Following on from the talk, the Colchester Archaeological Society will present their recent findings from excavations at St Mary’s.

Tickets £8.00, including a glass of wine, available from Bill Tamblyn 01206 735770 or on the door. All proceeds to the Friends of St Mary’s Peldon.


PAWS – January Zoo report

rebecca-perryOur January meeting was on 10th January 2012 (earlier than usual due to the Pantomime) when Rebecca Perry from Colchester Zoo came to talk to us.  Rebecca is Director of Conservation and actually works for “Action for the Wild” which is the charity side of the Zoo.  She explained all about how Zoo’s came into being with the earliest recorded menageries dating back as far as 4000 years ago.  London Zoo opened in 1828 to Fellows only and to the public in 1847.  Colchester Zoo (or Stanway Hall Park as it was originally known as) opened in 1963 by Frank Farrar and his wife Helena before being sold to his niece in 1983.  At the time there were 5 keepers and 5 other staff, no running water or electrics.  Now it’s the largest privately owned Zoo in the U.K. with award winning enclosures, over 60 acres of land, 270 species and a successful captive breeding programme. Action for the Wild now owns a Nature Reserve in South Africa – Umphafa Private Nature Reserve – which has seen the release of many animals including White Rhino, Impala, Antelope, Wildebeest, Zebra and Rock Pythons to name but a few.  It was a very interesting and very enjoyable evening.

Our next meeting is on 28th February when Ann Hardy will reveal the “Secrets of the Royal Jewels.”  Details of all our meetings and speakers can we found on the diary on the home page of the Winstred 100 website.