Town square celebrates Colchester's engineering past

Gazette: Town square celebrates Colchester's engineering past Town square celebrates Colchester's engineering past

A PUBLIC square next to Colchester Town train station has finally been unveiled.

It was originally due to open at the same time as the town’s £25million magistrates’ court in April last year.

It was unveiled yesterday by Nick Barlow, councillor responsible for regeneration.

The £260,000 square celebrates Colchester’s engineering history and features a Paxman engine crankshaft. The firm had a base nearby during the Second World War.

The words of a poem, written by Wivenhoe’s Martin Newell, have been laid into cast iron plates at the square, designed by artist Jo Fairfax. Mr Barlow said: “Town Station Square is a really important development for Colchester, making an attractive gateway to the town.

“We felt creating the right mood was really important.

“The square celebrates the town’s engineering heritage and complements the existing transformation taking place in the St Botolph’s Quarter.”

The square, which includes bicycle racks and seats, has been created by Colchester Council, Greater Anglia and the court service.

It was funded by developer contributions, largely from the court.

Comments (9)

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10:47am Fri 13 Dec 13

Bert_Stimpson says...

£260,000?

They've put down a load of brick paving. I wonder if contractors automatically treble their quotes when they know they are dealing with Colchester Council. It is completely uninspiring and bland.
£260,000? They've put down a load of brick paving. I wonder if contractors automatically treble their quotes when they know they are dealing with Colchester Council. It is completely uninspiring and bland. Bert_Stimpson

10:51am Fri 13 Dec 13

Morant says...

Bert_Stimpson wrote:
£260,000?

They've put down a load of brick paving. I wonder if contractors automatically treble their quotes when they know they are dealing with Colchester Council. It is completely uninspiring and bland.
So, it looked better before did it ? The whole thing was funded from developer contributions, the article says, so that means no cost to the Council, doesn't it. Celebrating the engineering past of Colchesters heritage is great well done
[quote][p][bold]Bert_Stimpson[/bold] wrote: £260,000? They've put down a load of brick paving. I wonder if contractors automatically treble their quotes when they know they are dealing with Colchester Council. It is completely uninspiring and bland.[/p][/quote]So, it looked better before did it ? The whole thing was funded from developer contributions, the article says, so that means no cost to the Council, doesn't it. Celebrating the engineering past of Colchesters heritage is great well done Morant

11:09am Fri 13 Dec 13

stevedawson says...

The crankshaft would have looked better going into a new engine still being produced by a vibrante paxmans eh?
The crankshaft would have looked better going into a new engine still being produced by a vibrante paxmans eh? stevedawson

4:09pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Dazza2009 says...

Is that the same crank shaft that was down in the St. Botolphs area????
Is that the same crank shaft that was down in the St. Botolphs area???? Dazza2009

9:32pm Fri 13 Dec 13

talllboy says...

Yes, the crankshaft used to sit by the entrance to the Britannia car park. I'm glad that it has a better home now and delighted Martin Newell was selected for the words.

I'm sure that this new space it will contribute to welcoming new visitors to the town and give them a good initial impression - although I doubt this will last long as they marvel at the size of the court building wedged in by the station, and the beauty that is the crumbling St Botolph's roundabout.

So ... good start ... keep going!
Yes, the crankshaft used to sit by the entrance to the Britannia car park. I'm glad that it has a better home now and delighted Martin Newell was selected for the words. I'm sure that this new space it will contribute to welcoming new visitors to the town and give them a good initial impression - although I doubt this will last long as they marvel at the size of the court building wedged in by the station, and the beauty that is the crumbling St Botolph's roundabout. So ... good start ... keep going! talllboy

6:51am Sat 14 Dec 13

Ozzie says...

It would be good if the town considered the wealth of engineering companies that have disappeared into almost total oblivion. When I was a young person looking to leave school, there were companies in Colchester such as Paxman Diesels, Woods of Colchester and Colchester Lathe Company that were available to offer potential interested apprentice applicants. It is so sad that with the exception of Paxmans, the other two leading companies no longer exist. We used to have a wealth of talented local engineers that plied their trade in Colchester and it would be a suggestion that we maybe celebrated the links that Colchester had in the past with the growth of industrialisation in this area. Let us hope the council continue to honour our significant engineering base history, which seems to have been overlooked. These companies employed thousands of men and women across the town who in some cases had produced local families that had worked in Colchester for many generations. I was one of them. I am proud to say that my father was a raw 16 year old when his family arrived in Colchester and he adapted his life around the role of an apprentice at the Colchester Lathe Company and until the 90s when the factory closed at the Hythe to make way for a large retail establishment to acquire the land and develop it, he had enjoyed over 30 years of employment there. His colleagues had grown up there, with him, and several generations of work history suddenly literally became history overnight. Some of the employees were able to gain suitable employment but my father, being in his late 50s by this time, had to travel further afield into mid Suffolk for employment. I think it would be a good idea for the Gazette to celebrate some of the town's engineering past as a testament to the hard work and endearing loyalty of those families that were and still live locally, contributing to the town's history and future..
It would be good if the town considered the wealth of engineering companies that have disappeared into almost total oblivion. When I was a young person looking to leave school, there were companies in Colchester such as Paxman Diesels, Woods of Colchester and Colchester Lathe Company that were available to offer potential interested apprentice applicants. It is so sad that with the exception of Paxmans, the other two leading companies no longer exist. We used to have a wealth of talented local engineers that plied their trade in Colchester and it would be a suggestion that we maybe celebrated the links that Colchester had in the past with the growth of industrialisation in this area. Let us hope the council continue to honour our significant engineering base history, which seems to have been overlooked. These companies employed thousands of men and women across the town who in some cases had produced local families that had worked in Colchester for many generations. I was one of them. I am proud to say that my father was a raw 16 year old when his family arrived in Colchester and he adapted his life around the role of an apprentice at the Colchester Lathe Company and until the 90s when the factory closed at the Hythe to make way for a large retail establishment to acquire the land and develop it, he had enjoyed over 30 years of employment there. His colleagues had grown up there, with him, and several generations of work history suddenly literally became history overnight. Some of the employees were able to gain suitable employment but my father, being in his late 50s by this time, had to travel further afield into mid Suffolk for employment. I think it would be a good idea for the Gazette to celebrate some of the town's engineering past as a testament to the hard work and endearing loyalty of those families that were and still live locally, contributing to the town's history and future.. Ozzie

11:22pm Sat 14 Dec 13

25414nora says...

It's nice that town square, and the gazette is celebrating Colchester's engineering history. Pity the gazette reporters never seem to do their research before reporting.. "The Firm Had A Base Nearby during the second world war".. For goodness sake'.. It was The PAXMAN BRITANNIA WORKS Manufacturing Diesel Engines until closure in 1982. Not just a 'base nearby'.
Three generations of my family worked there, and also the main factory in Port Lane..
It's nice that town square, and the gazette is celebrating Colchester's engineering history. Pity the gazette reporters never seem to do their research before reporting.. "The Firm Had A Base Nearby during the second world war".. For goodness sake'.. It was The PAXMAN BRITANNIA WORKS Manufacturing Diesel Engines until closure in 1982. Not just a 'base nearby'. Three generations of my family worked there, and also the main factory in Port Lane.. 25414nora

4:26pm Sun 15 Dec 13

Jess Jephcott says...

Oh dear! Just been in to town to have a look at our new town square. They have moved the Britannia crankshaft to a new position and block paved an area in front of the courts. This has then been provided with car parking spaces and some irrelevant poetry from an irrelevant local poet. Hardly celebrating our industry at all. One would expect a town square to be for pedestrians only, instead of this new car park and access throughway for the courts. Having said that, it looks nice. But there is nowhere to sit for people to meet friends and enjoy a safe space that this should rightly be. The good old motorist wins every time in this town. The people and our heritage lose. Ha!
Oh dear! Just been in to town to have a look at our new town square. They have moved the Britannia crankshaft to a new position and block paved an area in front of the courts. This has then been provided with car parking spaces and some irrelevant poetry from an irrelevant local poet. Hardly celebrating our industry at all. One would expect a town square to be for pedestrians only, instead of this new car park and access throughway for the courts. Having said that, it looks nice. But there is nowhere to sit for people to meet friends and enjoy a safe space that this should rightly be. The good old motorist wins every time in this town. The people and our heritage lose. Ha! Jess Jephcott

1:38am Mon 16 Dec 13

Assimilation says...

Should be re-named "The on the edge-of-town-square" And why have they stole the crankshaft from where it rightfully belonged, at the entrance to the old Britannia Works. And what a sight to greet visitors, people waiting for their court cases, drinking beer from cans and smoking.
Should be re-named "The on the edge-of-town-square" And why have they stole the crankshaft from where it rightfully belonged, at the entrance to the old Britannia Works. And what a sight to greet visitors, people waiting for their court cases, drinking beer from cans and smoking. Assimilation

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