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About Colchester

Colchester

 

 

 

 

Colchester  is a historic town and the largest settlement within the borough of Colchester in Essex, England.

At the time of the census in 2011, it had a population of 121,859, marking a considerable rise from the previous census and with considerable development since 2001 and ongoing building plans; it has been named as one of Britain's fastest growing towns. As the oldest recorded Roman town in Britain, Colchester is claimed to be the oldest town in Britain. It was for a time the capital of Roman Britain, and is a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network.

Colchester is 51.2 miles (82.4 km) northeast of London and is connected to the capital by the A12 road and the Great Eastern Main Line. It is seen as a popular town for commuters, and is less than 30 miles (48 km) away fromStansted Airport and 20 miles (32 km) from the passenger ferry port ofHarwich.

Colchester is home to Colchester Castle and Colchester United Football Club. It has a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament - Bob Russell. The correct demonym is Colcestrian. The River Colne runs through the town.






Colchester town center.jpg
Colchester High Street





Garrison 

 


The military corrective training centre

Colchester has been an important military garrison since the Roman era. TheColchester Garrison is currently home to the 16th Air Assault Brigade. The Army's only military corrective training centre, known colloquially within the forces and locally as "The Glasshouse" after the original military prison in Aldershot, is in Berechurch Hall Road, on the outskirts of Colchester. The centre holds servicemen and women from all three services who are sentenced to serve periods of detention.

From 1998 to 2008, the garrison area of the town underwent massive redevelopment. A lot of the Ministry of Defence land was sold for private housing development and parts of the garrison were moved. Many parts of the garrison now stand empty awaiting the second phase of the development.

Since 2006, Colchester has been one of 12 places in the UK where Royal Salutes are fired to mark Royal anniversaries and visits by foreign heads of state. From 2009, these salutes have taken place in Castle Park.

BFBS Radio broadcasts from studios on the base on 107.0FM as part of its UK Bases network



Transport

 

 


Colchester has a bus system (run by First Essex, Network Colchester, Hedingham Omnibuses, Constable Coaches (Beeston's) Carters Coach Services, New Horizon Travel, H.C. Chambers & Son and Regal Busways which mainly centres on bus station opened in November 2012, located in Osborne Street on the southern edge of the town centre.

Colchester is also located on the Great Eastern Main Line operated by Abellio Greater Anglia, with intercity services servingChelmsford, Ipswich, Norwich, Shenfield, Stratford and London Liverpool Street. These are all from the town's main railway station. Trains also go to Clacton on Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze all week from the main station and Monday to Saturday from Colchester Town railway station, located on the Sunshine Coast Line. Hythe station is also on this line and serves the eastern areas of Colchester.

Colchester is linked to London via the A12.





In popular culture

 

Colchester is reputed to be the home of three of the best known English nursery rhymes: 'Old King Cole', 'Humpty Dumpty' and 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star'. The legitimacy of the claims for the first two of these is disputed.

Local legend places Colchester as the seat of King Cole (or Coel) of the rhyme Old King Cole, a legendary ancient king of Britain. The name Colchester is from Latin: the place-name suffixes chestercester, and caster derive from the Latin wordcastrum (fortified place). In folk etymology the name Colchester was thought of as meaning Cole's Castle, though it actually means the Roman fort 'Colonia'. In the legend Helena, the daughter of Cole, married the Roman senator Constantius Chlorus, who had been sent by Rome as an ambassador and was named as Cole's successor. Helena's son became Emperor Constantine I. Helena was canonised as Saint Helena of Constantinople and is credited with finding the true crossand the remains of the Magi. She is now the patron saint of Colchester. This is recognised in the emblem of Colchester: a cross and three crowns. The Mayor's medallion contains a Byzantine style icon of Saint Helena. A local secondary school – St Helena's – is named after her, and her statue is atop the town hall, although local legend is that it was originally a statue of Blessed Virgin Mary which was later fitted with a cross.

Colchester is also the most widely credited source of the rhyme Humpty Dumpty. During the siege of Colchester in the Civil War, a Royalist sniper known as One-Eyed Thompson sat in the belfry of the church of St Mary-at-the-Walls (Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall) and was given the nickname Humpty Dumpty, most likely because of his size, Humpty Dumpty being a common insult for the overweight. Thompson was shot down (Humpty Dumpty had a great fall) and, shortly after, the town was lost to the Parliamentarians (all the king's horses and all the king's men / couldn't put Humpty together again.) Another version says that Humpty Dumpty was a cannon on the top of the church. The church of St Mary-at-the-Walls still retains its Norman tower until the top few feet, which are a Georgian repair.

The third rhyme to come from Colchester is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, which was written by Jane Taylor in the town's Dutch Quarter, and published in 1806 with the title "The Star".

Colchester has also been suggested as one of the potential sites of Camelot, on account of having been the capital of Roman Britain and its ancient name of Camulodunum.

The first part of Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders was set in Colchester.

In George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, the main character, Winston Smith, thinks back to his childhood and his first memories of war, recalling: "Perhaps it was the time when the atomic bomb had fallen on Colchester." (Part 1, Chapter 3). Colchester was also a named line of lathe machinery.

The opening credits for the British TV comedy show Blackadder Goes Forth and a scene from the film Monty Python and the Meaning of Life were both filmed at Colchester's former cavalry barracks.

The Doctor Who episodes The Lodger and Closing Time are set in Colchester, although they were filmed in Cardiff.

In the Asterix comic book Asterix in Britain the Camulodunum rugby team wins a game against Durovernum (Roman name for Canterbury). The uniforms worn during the match in the book are similar to the modern kit of Colchester United.

Prominent members of Blur, a popular 1990s music group met at school in Colchester.

 

 

 Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colchester


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