Tymperleys' time is coming again

Gazette: Alice Charrington outside Tymperleys Alice Charrington outside Tymperleys

IT’s taken more than three years and plenty of debate, false starts and speculation, but this week the public were finally allowed back into Tymperleys.

The new proprietors of the historic house in the heart of Colchester – once the home of Tudor physician, physicist and natural philosopher William Gilberd – invited in visitors to explain their plans to turn it into a cafe and function room.

The 500-year-old listed building was bequeathed to the town in 1979, along with a historic collection of clocks by businessman and philanthropist Bernard Mason.

The Tymperleys Clock Museum, was closed by Colchester Council in October 2010 to save money.

Attempts to find someone to reopen the building floundered until the Charrington family, which runs Layer Marney Tower, stepped in last summer.

The Charringtons were given planning permission to alter an extension, which was added to the building in the Eighties, and last month signed a £310,000 deal to take on a 125-year lease.

For two days this week, the public was invited through the arch, which gives access to Tymperleys from Trinity Street.

Nicholas Charrington said: “I’m excited and I’m terrified.

We’ll struggle a bit to get visitors through the archway, but I’m sure we can do it.

“I think we’ll make it work, and there’s nothing quite like it in Colchester.”

The ground floor is to be largely set aside for a cafe, selling tea and cakes in the morning, salads and other meals at lunchtimes, followed by afternoon tea.

Most of the physical changes will be to the extension, which is to be converted into a kitchen and main entrance to the building.

The extension’s roof is being replaced with a flat roof, and a new flight of steps will give direct access to the first floor, which will become a private function room.

Mr Charrington envisages it being used for business lunches, meetings, weddings and receptions.

He said: “We’re not going to be having dancing or music in there, so I think it will appeal to older couples and second or later marriages.

“I want it to be busy, but we don’t want it to be noisy. It should retain the atmosphere. I think we can do that.”

Mr Charrington’s daughter, Alice, will run the venue, and live on the second floor.

The gardens, described by Ms Charrington as an oasis of peace in a crowded town centre, will be open to the public for much of the year.

The clocks which used to be housed at Tymperleys, were moved to Hollytrees Museum and museums service storage after it closed. Mr Charrington hopes some of them will return to the house.

He also plans to put up displays, telling the story of William Gilberd, who was physician to Queen Elizabeth I and is credited with coining the word, electricity.

Mr Charrington plans to have Tymperleys open for real in time for Easter – at roughly the same time as the revamped Colchester Castle.

He promises it will add a new dimension to the town’s appeal.

He explained: “There’s a lot going on in Colchester – the Firstsite art galley, Williams & Griffin expanding its department store and the changes to Lion Walk.

“There are some quite positive moves in the town centre and we want to be part of that.”

Comments (11)

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5:30pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Dak1956 says...

Sorry Mr. Charrington! Yes Marney Towers are an Excellent Venue for Weddings and Tymperlys like Marney Have a Shed load of History!
But what is with Williams and Griffin expanding? You are now hand in hand with modern commerce or is it that you need to say it? Almost sold History by proclaiming or perhaps you needed to do that to get support? Shame!!
Sorry Mr. Charrington! Yes Marney Towers are an Excellent Venue for Weddings and Tymperlys like Marney Have a Shed load of History! But what is with Williams and Griffin expanding? You are now hand in hand with modern commerce or is it that you need to say it? Almost sold History by proclaiming or perhaps you needed to do that to get support? Shame!! Dak1956

6:08pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Ontheball says...

Best of luck with the venture. At least it brings back into use a building that was dumped by this useless council.
Best of luck with the venture. At least it brings back into use a building that was dumped by this useless council. Ontheball

9:48pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Hamiltonandy says...

Very interesting to be permitted to see the whole building when Colchester Council had only allowed the public to access the ground floor. Somewhat petty of the council to keep the garden closed for four years during the sale process.
.
Hopefully the new owner will have deep pockets to pay for the extensive renovation required. Colchester Council were determined a commercial bidder would win and presumably agreed we needed another tea room. It would be nice if the Art Café voluntarily removed the junk they keep near the entrance to Tymperleys.
Very interesting to be permitted to see the whole building when Colchester Council had only allowed the public to access the ground floor. Somewhat petty of the council to keep the garden closed for four years during the sale process. . Hopefully the new owner will have deep pockets to pay for the extensive renovation required. Colchester Council were determined a commercial bidder would win and presumably agreed we needed another tea room. It would be nice if the Art Café voluntarily removed the junk they keep near the entrance to Tymperleys. Hamiltonandy

10:48pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

That's unfair Andy, The Art Cafe is a direct competitor to the new venture and why should they remove, what you call, junk? It's now a done deal and I'm sure market forces will dictate if there is room enough for both cafe's because competition between them should be good for the customer.
That's unfair Andy, The Art Cafe is a direct competitor to the new venture and why should they remove, what you call, junk? It's now a done deal and I'm sure market forces will dictate if there is room enough for both cafe's because competition between them should be good for the customer. Say It As It Is OK?

12:48am Sat 11 Jan 14

Boris says...

Dak1956 wrote:
Sorry Mr. Charrington! Yes Marney Towers are an Excellent Venue for Weddings and Tymperlys like Marney Have a Shed load of History!
But what is with Williams and Griffin expanding? You are now hand in hand with modern commerce or is it that you need to say it? Almost sold History by proclaiming or perhaps you needed to do that to get support? Shame!!
Williams and Griffin is obviously irrelevant to Tymperleys, but I think Mr Charrington was only trying to say Colchester is changing. In a report last summer, he was also looking forward to the absurd development that was proposed for Jumbo, but luckily we have a good planning committee which saw off that threat.
[quote][p][bold]Dak1956[/bold] wrote: Sorry Mr. Charrington! Yes Marney Towers are an Excellent Venue for Weddings and Tymperlys like Marney Have a Shed load of History! But what is with Williams and Griffin expanding? You are now hand in hand with modern commerce or is it that you need to say it? Almost sold History by proclaiming or perhaps you needed to do that to get support? Shame!![/p][/quote]Williams and Griffin is obviously irrelevant to Tymperleys, but I think Mr Charrington was only trying to say Colchester is changing. In a report last summer, he was also looking forward to the absurd development that was proposed for Jumbo, but luckily we have a good planning committee which saw off that threat. Boris

12:57am Sat 11 Jan 14

Boris says...

Hamiltonandy wrote:
Very interesting to be permitted to see the whole building when Colchester Council had only allowed the public to access the ground floor. Somewhat petty of the council to keep the garden closed for four years during the sale process.
.
Hopefully the new owner will have deep pockets to pay for the extensive renovation required. Colchester Council were determined a commercial bidder would win and presumably agreed we needed another tea room. It would be nice if the Art Café voluntarily removed the junk they keep near the entrance to Tymperleys.
Like Andy, I also visited Tymperleys and was able to see the vast cellar and the two upper floors. It was indeed shameful that CBC kept these for its own use, just as administrative rooms, when they could have been shown off to visitors. Latterly, they did not even open them up on Heritage Weekends.
CBC, who remain the owners, will surely have agreed suitable terms with the new tenants regarding renovation and maintenance.
[quote][p][bold]Hamiltonandy[/bold] wrote: Very interesting to be permitted to see the whole building when Colchester Council had only allowed the public to access the ground floor. Somewhat petty of the council to keep the garden closed for four years during the sale process. . Hopefully the new owner will have deep pockets to pay for the extensive renovation required. Colchester Council were determined a commercial bidder would win and presumably agreed we needed another tea room. It would be nice if the Art Café voluntarily removed the junk they keep near the entrance to Tymperleys.[/p][/quote]Like Andy, I also visited Tymperleys and was able to see the vast cellar and the two upper floors. It was indeed shameful that CBC kept these for its own use, just as administrative rooms, when they could have been shown off to visitors. Latterly, they did not even open them up on Heritage Weekends. CBC, who remain the owners, will surely have agreed suitable terms with the new tenants regarding renovation and maintenance. Boris

8:40am Sat 11 Jan 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

Boris wrote:
Dak1956 wrote:
Sorry Mr. Charrington! Yes Marney Towers are an Excellent Venue for Weddings and Tymperlys like Marney Have a Shed load of History!
But what is with Williams and Griffin expanding? You are now hand in hand with modern commerce or is it that you need to say it? Almost sold History by proclaiming or perhaps you needed to do that to get support? Shame!!
Williams and Griffin is obviously irrelevant to Tymperleys, but I think Mr Charrington was only trying to say Colchester is changing. In a report last summer, he was also looking forward to the absurd development that was proposed for Jumbo, but luckily we have a good planning committee which saw off that threat.
What the very same Good? planning committee that pushed through an outline approval for a 1600/1800 housing development on green fields in Mile End, without any provision on improving the roads infrastructure around the station and without ensuring there is adequate funding in place for education. On top of that development 1500 houses are going up on the Severalls hospital site that will only add to the congestion.

But as long as an old disused redundant Water Tower is left to crumble into oblivion then that's okay.

Without proof nobody can say the planning committee or officers are corrupt because that would be wrong without evidence and most of us don't know what goes on behind those closed doors or who is pulling the strings! What I can say is a packed audience at Moot Hall witnessed the planning committee in action when they approved the Mile End development and certain members of that committee spoke up so strongly in support of the developer it was clear from the start they were not being objective in their decision making process. That one session told me a lot about the workings of this committee and the facts remain there are far too many people questioning suspect planning decisions, particularly during recent years for this to be coincidental.
[quote][p][bold]Boris[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dak1956[/bold] wrote: Sorry Mr. Charrington! Yes Marney Towers are an Excellent Venue for Weddings and Tymperlys like Marney Have a Shed load of History! But what is with Williams and Griffin expanding? You are now hand in hand with modern commerce or is it that you need to say it? Almost sold History by proclaiming or perhaps you needed to do that to get support? Shame!![/p][/quote]Williams and Griffin is obviously irrelevant to Tymperleys, but I think Mr Charrington was only trying to say Colchester is changing. In a report last summer, he was also looking forward to the absurd development that was proposed for Jumbo, but luckily we have a good planning committee which saw off that threat.[/p][/quote]What the very same Good? planning committee that pushed through an outline approval for a 1600/1800 housing development on green fields in Mile End, without any provision on improving the roads infrastructure around the station and without ensuring there is adequate funding in place for education. On top of that development 1500 houses are going up on the Severalls hospital site that will only add to the congestion. But as long as an old disused redundant Water Tower is left to crumble into oblivion then that's okay. Without proof nobody can say the planning committee or officers are corrupt because that would be wrong without evidence and most of us don't know what goes on behind those closed doors or who is pulling the strings! What I can say is a packed audience at Moot Hall witnessed the planning committee in action when they approved the Mile End development and certain members of that committee spoke up so strongly in support of the developer it was clear from the start they were not being objective in their decision making process. That one session told me a lot about the workings of this committee and the facts remain there are far too many people questioning suspect planning decisions, particularly during recent years for this to be coincidental. Say It As It Is OK?

7:20pm Sat 11 Jan 14

Boris says...

Say It As It Is OK? wrote:
Boris wrote:
Dak1956 wrote:
Sorry Mr. Charrington! Yes Marney Towers are an Excellent Venue for Weddings and Tymperlys like Marney Have a Shed load of History!
But what is with Williams and Griffin expanding? You are now hand in hand with modern commerce or is it that you need to say it? Almost sold History by proclaiming or perhaps you needed to do that to get support? Shame!!
Williams and Griffin is obviously irrelevant to Tymperleys, but I think Mr Charrington was only trying to say Colchester is changing. In a report last summer, he was also looking forward to the absurd development that was proposed for Jumbo, but luckily we have a good planning committee which saw off that threat.
What the very same Good? planning committee that pushed through an outline approval for a 1600/1800 housing development on green fields in Mile End, without any provision on improving the roads infrastructure around the station and without ensuring there is adequate funding in place for education. On top of that development 1500 houses are going up on the Severalls hospital site that will only add to the congestion.

But as long as an old disused redundant Water Tower is left to crumble into oblivion then that's okay.

Without proof nobody can say the planning committee or officers are corrupt because that would be wrong without evidence and most of us don't know what goes on behind those closed doors or who is pulling the strings! What I can say is a packed audience at Moot Hall witnessed the planning committee in action when they approved the Mile End development and certain members of that committee spoke up so strongly in support of the developer it was clear from the start they were not being objective in their decision making process. That one session told me a lot about the workings of this committee and the facts remain there are far too many people questioning suspect planning decisions, particularly during recent years for this to be coincidental.
Certainly the planning committee dropped the ball in a big way on the Mile End development. But were the committee really free to refuse that development? What pressure were they under from government edicts about every town having to accept so many new homes? You live up that way so you will know the history better.
Brown envelopes are very difficult to prove, and if you ever dare to mention them, you will be in trouble, as I found out to my cost not long ago.
I'm sorry we don't agree about Jumbo, but I was there in the Moot Hall for that one and was able to see that the committee took their responsibilities very seriously and reached the right decision.
[quote][p][bold]Say It As It Is OK?[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Boris[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dak1956[/bold] wrote: Sorry Mr. Charrington! Yes Marney Towers are an Excellent Venue for Weddings and Tymperlys like Marney Have a Shed load of History! But what is with Williams and Griffin expanding? You are now hand in hand with modern commerce or is it that you need to say it? Almost sold History by proclaiming or perhaps you needed to do that to get support? Shame!![/p][/quote]Williams and Griffin is obviously irrelevant to Tymperleys, but I think Mr Charrington was only trying to say Colchester is changing. In a report last summer, he was also looking forward to the absurd development that was proposed for Jumbo, but luckily we have a good planning committee which saw off that threat.[/p][/quote]What the very same Good? planning committee that pushed through an outline approval for a 1600/1800 housing development on green fields in Mile End, without any provision on improving the roads infrastructure around the station and without ensuring there is adequate funding in place for education. On top of that development 1500 houses are going up on the Severalls hospital site that will only add to the congestion. But as long as an old disused redundant Water Tower is left to crumble into oblivion then that's okay. Without proof nobody can say the planning committee or officers are corrupt because that would be wrong without evidence and most of us don't know what goes on behind those closed doors or who is pulling the strings! What I can say is a packed audience at Moot Hall witnessed the planning committee in action when they approved the Mile End development and certain members of that committee spoke up so strongly in support of the developer it was clear from the start they were not being objective in their decision making process. That one session told me a lot about the workings of this committee and the facts remain there are far too many people questioning suspect planning decisions, particularly during recent years for this to be coincidental.[/p][/quote]Certainly the planning committee dropped the ball in a big way on the Mile End development. But were the committee really free to refuse that development? What pressure were they under from government edicts about every town having to accept so many new homes? You live up that way so you will know the history better. Brown envelopes are very difficult to prove, and if you ever dare to mention them, you will be in trouble, as I found out to my cost not long ago. I'm sorry we don't agree about Jumbo, but I was there in the Moot Hall for that one and was able to see that the committee took their responsibilities very seriously and reached the right decision. Boris

8:49pm Sat 11 Jan 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

Fair comment Boris but trust in our borough, county and national representatives is so important and few are truly trustworthy.

Think they call it politics!
Fair comment Boris but trust in our borough, county and national representatives is so important and few are truly trustworthy. Think they call it politics! Say It As It Is OK?

9:37pm Sat 11 Jan 14

Boris says...

Say It As It Is OK? wrote:
Fair comment Boris but trust in our borough, county and national representatives is so important and few are truly trustworthy.

Think they call it politics!
Agreed. Paul Goggins, the MP who died a few days ago, seems to have been one of those very few.good people in politics. But he wasn't from round here, and you could say he was an exception who proved the rule.
[quote][p][bold]Say It As It Is OK?[/bold] wrote: Fair comment Boris but trust in our borough, county and national representatives is so important and few are truly trustworthy. Think they call it politics![/p][/quote]Agreed. Paul Goggins, the MP who died a few days ago, seems to have been one of those very few.good people in politics. But he wasn't from round here, and you could say he was an exception who proved the rule. Boris

4:51pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Jess Jephcott says...

Good luck to the Charringtons and let us all hope that both Tymperleys and the Art Cafe thrive alongside the many other excellent tea rooms in the town.
Good luck to the Charringtons and let us all hope that both Tymperleys and the Art Cafe thrive alongside the many other excellent tea rooms in the town. Jess Jephcott

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