Colchester in old picture postcards volume 1

Colchester in old picture postcards volume 1

:   George Pluckwell
:   Essex
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2531-4
:   112
:   EUR 16.95 Including VAT *

Delivery time: 2 - 3 working days ((subject too). The illustrated cover may differ.


Fragments from the book 'Colchester in old picture postcards volume 1'

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29. Colchester High Street in 1905 was vastly contrasting from the previous era or scene. Trams were the kings of the road. The flags and banners decorating the High Street were probably for the yearly pageant held in Castie Park. There is a good view of the George Hotel, once a coaching inn, on the right. The Town Hall now dominates this section of the High Street like Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London. It would become a very familiar town landmark to local people.

30. The Public Library in West Stockwell Street in the old Dutch Quarter of Colchester was the first of its kind here. It was built in 1894 on a foundation bequest of LI,OOO, left in 1890 by Robert Catchpool to start a Public Library. This Victorian mock Gothic style structure has a certain grace and character. The Library later moved to Shewell Road in the centre of Town and eventua11y quite recent1y to its modern building in Trinity Square. Famous authors, like Defoe of 'Robinson Crusoe', visited Colchester. Defoe looked at the massive Cast1e and remarked 'It has not fallen yet, nor will another 120 years, I believe, make it look one jot older.' (1899.)

31. Tudor Houses in the Stockwell area of Colchester. There are two Stockwell Streets East and West situated between the Town Hall and Castle Park location or district. This old Dutch Quarter, as it is called, is associated with the sixteenth century Flemish and Dutch refugees who set up a woollen industry there. The most important of these light woollen type of serge fabrics was the 'Bay or Say', Today it is a well preserved attractive tourists attraction.


32. In 1884 there was a startJing earthquake in Essex. This was severely felt in the district between Colchester and the Blackwater. Damage shown here is to houses in the StockweIl Street vicinity (Old Dutch Quarter). It was the worse of its kind in the British Isles for about four centuries. Among the 1,200 buildings damaged in the neighbourhood were 20 churches and 11 chapels (1884).

33. This picture shows more devastation by the earthquake in the Old Dutch Quarter. The Lord Mayor of London set up a Mansion House Relief Fund and over 8,906 pounds were subscribed and distributed among 381 private owners who required help for restoration of their property. They say Queen Victoria was so touched at Her subjects sad plight that Her Majesty donated a goodly sum to get the Relief Fund started (1884).

34. Postcard makers could occasionally muddle things up and give wrong information. This one, entitled Trinity Street, is in fact a view of West Stockwell Street in the Old Dutch Quarter of Colchester. We are looking down from the High Street at the side of the Town Hall. One of the most beau tiful domestic buildings in Town stands in the foreground of the picture. Originally part of the Angellnn, built in 1450. A few years ago it was lovingly restored and is now occupied as offices by a firm of solicitors. Behind the trees also right is Saint Martin's Church and opposite on the left is Saint Martin's Reetory (which can not be seen). There have been great changes here and new skyscraper office blocks of Telecom Limited rise up into into the local skyline or townscape behind Saint Martin's Georgian Rectory, now Telecom offices (1930).

35. A close-up of the bottom of West StockweIl Street where it joins or meets 'StockweIl' (a lane). One can behold the previous homes of the Dutch and Flemish weavers. All these buildings are wonderfully preserved. The Colchester Borough Arms are on the left of this 1906 postcard and the Essex County Coat of Arms proudly displayed on the right. There were two public houses opposite each other on this corner of West Stockwell Street. One can just see the StockweIl Arms on the right while left was the Nelson's Head, now a private residence. Jane Taylor, the famous poetess who composed 'Twinkle twinkle litt1e star', once resided in West StockweIl Street. Her house is a tourists delight.


.ft/I 5a;nts Caurcr, Colchester

36. All Saint's Church is in the eastern part of the High Street opposite Castle Park Gates. It has or had a fifteenth century flint tower with a somewhat earlier nave, south ais1e and chance1, restored in 1861. They say Colchester 'the Town of Churchs, Inns and So1diers'. WeIl, we seem to have a variety of all three. All Saint's became a redundant church some years previously and is now transformed into an interesting Natural History Museum (1902).


37. Saint James' Church further along on East Hill is a different kettle of fish and still open for worship in this present age, It was thoroughly restored and partly rebuilt in 1871. There is much Roman brick and brasses to Alderman Maynard, alderman and clothier, and wife 1569 and 1584. There is a Iocal story that Oliver Cromwell held a thanksgiving service here after the Civil War Siege, that he tied his horse up outside to an iron ring that can be viewed to this day (1910).

38. Theatre Royal was situated in Queen Street in 1907. This Street leads off from the junction of East Hili and the High Street. Colchester had many Variety Theatres but Theatre Royal, in the centre of this photograph, was rather special. Erected by the three Nunn brothers in Victoria's reign, it boasted of the D'Qyly Carte Company doing the popular light opera 'H. M. S. Pinafore'. In 1845 Charles Macready played there and other famous stars were Lily Langtry and Gladys Cooper in 1905. There was a dress circle and stalls besides a large number of upper boxes. Also spacious refreshment bars. It was built on the site of a mansion where Edward Clay of Greenstead lived. And near the last old gates of the Town called Saint Botolph's. The Theatre was unfortunately destroyed by fire and today the Police Station and Eastern National Bus Company Garage stand on the site of the old Royal.

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