Monday, 20 August 2007

Return to the past...


I went to Colchester today, to look at some development sites and get used to the town again after many years. (One of the biggest building jobs I ever did happened there at the R.E.M.E., and my bonus commission was £350). That was in 1983 before everyone chortles with mirth… (WATCH IT…the war wound pictures still have a few pixels to daunt the fearless – even you Kevin…)!

What a place! Buzzing with good friendly people, and at last I managed to appreciate a Local Authority actually taking charge of the change from enforced garrison town and leading the redevelopment process into respectable residential/university/retail/business oriented development. The sort we all like.

The High Street was impeccable, and although I did all of the regeneration areas to the South on foot – both feet actually – I felt the place really deserves some recognition and a few folding pictures of Elgar! Worn out streets attract investors, and these places are ripe for new growth.

Also, as a bonus and on a whim, I’d rung an old work colleague and good friend from the seventies on the train up from Liverpool Street, and we had a glorious reunion and lots of old fart’s chats about who’s retired, gone, missed-out etc.

I really rate the place, and expect to go back if the investors say so. Even if they don’t, I’ll bash them to submission…

There is so much to do there, and there is a collective will to contribute to a huge hearted city, some splendid old buildings and a bucket load of history.

And it only cost me way under twenty quid to get there with my ‘Old Tarfs Card’!

8 comments:

Tuscan Tony said...

When in Engerlund I always make sure I get a takeaway from China City, the takeaway in Colchester's High Street - really excellent stuff.

Chris said...

We last visited Colchester in the late '60s, a bit of a 'sentimental journey' for my husband who was there for a short time whilst doing his National Service. Seem to remember it as a bleak sort of place; we certainly never got the urge to return. However, because of your illuminating description, Scroblene, perhaps we'll give it another go!

My son has recently bought a house in Aldershot. Again a military town on the 'up' and with much potential.

hatfield girl said...

Colchester has some fine schools too; the boys grammar goes incredibly far back. Hertford did too, but lost its nerve.

Towns with really good schools, regardless of their pupils' background but determined to teach responsive students, are going to be the Grail of those who choose to stand and enjoy their country, rather than flee and enjoy something wonderful but different and never English.

Scroblene said...

TT; I'll be there next time - promise! How much for a flied lice...

Chris; National Service was abolished just as I became used to adultery... Check out the High St now; absolute pleasure and abounding with people, (and the usual flakes, but you get them everywhere...)!

Aldershot scares me, the history just envelops all the limbs every time I go there. I 'feel' war there.

Hats; Good point, they seem to do education very seriously there. Were you ever near there I ask myself, and everyone else for that matter...? I reckon the place will bound upwards because of what you say. Tribalism in a city like Colchester can really make a difference, like it did in Cardiff for instance.

This point you have made is something well worthy of more analysis; because you may not be able to say the same about - say Nottingham (with all due respects to the Trent Valley of course...)!

The Hitch said...

funnily enough the hitchs( fuck it! Nicks) builder is moving to Colchester, he has finaly had enough of london.
A real character, ex para , never seen without a hat (he's bald and hates it)Great bloke to have a really good moan with.

electro-kevin said...

'Old Tarf' does that mean 'Dlo Frat' ? I don't suppose ... Dlo Traf ? Or even Traf Dlo ?

Yes, Colchester is beautiful. So are the women apparently. There are some lovelies around here too - well, they look good compared to the fat slags which are becoming ever more ubiquitous. The architecture is shit though, nothing is straight and the local 16th century pub will look a lot better when they get round to doing it up - the beams look a bit igledy pigledy. All that scrumpy and interbreeding in these parts:

Of west country boys, often it's said - strong in the arm and thick in the 'ed.

(Hitch's para friend sounds like me. I wish I'd been a soldier)

Ed said...

Of west country boys, often it's said - strong in the arm and thick in the 'ed.

I thought that was "Bucks boys, born and bred" who are "strong in arm and thick in head"...

electro-kevin said...

Thems too, Ed. Thems too.