Digs at Jacks & the Mercury Theatre

Adam Wightman Reporting on the Digs & Jacks & the Mercury

Following the success of their last meeting, Adam Wightman (Senior Project Manager of The Colchester Archaeological Trust), is going to update the Local History Group on these digs this Wednesday. Both digs were possible because of refurbishment works.

In the case of Jacks, just off the High Street, builders dug six shafts to create foundations to stabilise this 17th century building. This gave the Trust 6 windows on the past; find out what they found in Shaft C at Jacks.

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History of Essex County Hospital

Essex County Hospital

Essex County HospitalHistory of Essex County Hospital

Essex County Hospital is the subject of the Local History Group‘s next meeting in the Orpen Hall on October 11th.  The Group is hoping for another large audience for the meeting which starts at 7.30 pm.  Dr. Fabrizio Casale, a retired consultant, will be talking about “The History of the Essex County Hospital”.  Over recent years the facilities Continue reading “History of Essex County Hospital”

Camp 186 – The Lost Town at Berechurch

Camp 186 – The Lost Town at Berechurch

Cover to Ken Free's book Camp 186 The Lost Town at Berechurch
The Cover to Ken Free’s Book

Following their final summer visit, to Frinton on Sea’s “Cottage, Garden and Railway Museum” adjacent to the railway crossing gates as you enter Frinton:

Once occupied by the keepers of Frinton’s iconic railway gates, today Frinton’s Crossing Cottage houses an impressive selection of artefacts and archive material that tell the story of the local area in surprising detail. Situated in a well-maintained cottage garden, the grounds also include a wildlife area and information board.  In 2009, the railway signal box was moved into the Garden and became another exhibit housing a snapshot of railway technology in a bygone age.

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Janie Pirie – Botanical Artist – Talk & Demonstration

Janie Pirie

Janie PirieJanie Pirie – Botanical Artist

Janie Pirie SBA, Botanical Artist, is giving a talk and demonstration of her work to West Bergholt Gardeners on Monday 21st November.  The talk takes place in the Orpen Hall starting at 7:30pm.  There will also be a raffle and tea/coffee available (50p).

Janie specialises in floral and botanical art using coloured pencils. Her meticulously drawn and striking compositions have immensely accurate detail and great depth and intensity of colour.

Janie is a member of the Society of Botanical Artists and is also a tutor on their Distance Learning Course.  In 2008 Janie won a Silver-Gilt Medal by the Royal Horticultural Society and Gold in 2009 and 2014.  She is also a member of the UKCPS and shows her work at their annual exhibitions.  Recently she has been awarded Best In Show, Runner-up Best in Show and Best Botanical.

If you would like to find out more about Janie and the course she runs, many in the Colchester area, visit her website.

Membership and Entry to Talks

Members can renew their membership, which runs from September to August each year, for £10.  Non-members are welcome to attend the talk on Monday for £3.  Any enquiries to [antibot mailto-“[email protected]”] or call 241256.

St Mary’s Old Church – History & Concert

St Mary’s Old Church – History & Concert

The Friends of St Mary’s have two upcoming events that might prove of interest, one a visit from an expert on church history and the other an afternoon concert:

Tour of Historic Churches

On Wednesday, 29 June, respected historian John Vigar will be including St Mary’s Old Church on his Tour of Historic Churches.  The coach tour will arrive to look around and at about 2.30pm John will give Continue reading “St Mary’s Old Church – History & Concert”

Gardeners February Newsletter

RHS AffiliatedWest Bergholt Gardeners Association – February Newsletter

Some fifty members attended the first meeting in 2014 and enjoyed an informative talk by Eddie Harris upon his search for plants in South Africa.

Eddie appeared to have visited the area around Cape Town several times and was in no doubt of its attractiveness although Cape Town itself is prone to rain.  He covered both the geography of the area as well as illustrating the plants that flourished in the climate, and undercover in one of the largest conservatories in Cape Town itself.

The local population considered the plant collector as mad as they viewed many of the plants as weeds. Exploring further inland and the mountainous regions to the west was always difficult as only dirt tracks existed off the main roads.  Palms and Aloes grow to considerable size while more minute pebble flowers are to be found on the ground.  (Such pebbles plants can be purchased in the UK).  When visiting Worcester he discovered a Reptile Farm and “enjoyed” seeing snakes of all sizes, from a respectable distance.   All in all a wide ranging talk on his subject.

Club News:

Summer Coach Trip to Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, Bucks.

19th June . Depart Orpen Hall, West Bergholt 8.30am.  Visiting the House, Gardens (Including the Aviary garden, and the water garden) and the wine cellars.  Over 300,000 visitors come to Waddesdon every year to see the house, shops, restaurant café, wine cellars and plant centre.

TICKETS £25  (National Trust Members £12.50) deposit £12.50. phone 01206 241256

Next Months Speaker

Geoff Hodge who will talk to the Club on the subject of  LUSCIOUS LAWNS – LAWN CARE FOR PERFECT LAWNS.

In view of the affect of the last two months wet weather the Association is sure that Geoff’s talk will be well received by members who suffer from moss and mud on their lawns at this time of the year.

17th March 7.00 for 7.30

All are welcome to the Association’s meetings – small charge for non-members.

Friends of Hillhouse Wood – AGM

Friends of Hillhouse Wood AGM Flyer 2012The 18th Annual General Meeting of The Friends of Hillhouse Wood will be held on Wednesday 12th December 2012 at 7.30pm in the Orpen Hall, Lexden Rd.

Refreshments will be served from 7.00pm. Members and Non-members welcome.

Following formal business, there will be an illustrated talk entitled:

The Woodland Trust Today

Tony Chadwick, our newly appointed Site Manager talks about the Trust’s plans for 2013, Ash Die-back and other hot topics.

M.R. Pluck
Honorary Secretary
Telephone 01206 514173