IT is not every day dishes like pottage are on the menu in Colchester.

But the traditional delicacy will be among those served up as part of the annual Colchester Medieval Festival and Oyster Fayre Market next month.

Organiser Donn Quinn, who is also behind the Colchester Food and Drink Festival which takes place later in June, has been involved in the two day extravaganza for a number of years and this year fully takes the reigns.

He says pottage is just one of the tasty treats people can expect to enjoy along with the oysters and a myriad of other options.

"Pottage is almost bordering on a stew and it is quite a heavy dish but it is a good opportunity for people to try and I think that is what makes this so special.

"There is a real atmosphere on the day and we have have so much going on and so much lovely food.

"The oysters are obviously a draw but we do have a pie man, hog roast, and also vegetarian options as well.

"The lovely people from the Olive in Colchester will be coming to provide that," says Don.

The event has built up quite a following in the past 15 years, which is as long as Don has been actually involved.

Originally set up by the History Trust in a bid to celebrate the town's ancient links, it has been masterminded during that time by the group's chairman Ted Lloyd.

Gazette: Don Quinn with his biscuits at home in Colchester..

Despite still being involved and on hand to deliver his knowledge and expertise, Ted has now decided to stand down as chairman which is where Don and his team has stepped in.

"We have got all the aspects that everyone would expect but some new ideas too.

"For instance, we have produced a commemorative medieval coin which can be used as currency throughout the event," he says.

The special coin has the town's coat of arms minted on copper using traditional methods and can be purchased for a £1 and then will be spent at the market, worth that same amount.

For each coin sold 10p will be donated to charity.

As well as food and drink, the event will see more than 50 archers taking part in a competitive event.

Don adds : "More than 50 archers will be competing over what will be Britain's most complex and authentic bow shoots over the nine and half acres of town centre parkland.

"We have organised new targets as well for it and there will also be many, many stalls of medieval character and some of the stall holders dress up," he says.

In fact, there will even be a medieval lady demonstrating how she would put on the many layers of clothing involved in getting dressed at that time.

Gazette: Medieval Festival in Castle Park, Colchester..Fool's Theatre puppet show..

"We have also got a lot of musicians coming as that is a really important part of the event so there are also always wandering hurdy gurdy, bagpipe, recorder players, drummers and fiddlers mingling with everyone.

"We have a Celtic folk band coming and there will be craftsmen, swordsmen, birds of prey demonstrations and a storyteller for children.

"Reading stories to youngsters is so important and they really bring the tales to life, with Saxon, Viking and Tudor tales."

And following a successful appeal for a long-lost recipe, the popular Colchester biscuit is also making a return for the festival and market along with the Colchester cordial.

"We put an appeal in the Gazette and a lady came forward straight away - in fact she thought she had got it from the newspaper in the first place."

The biscuit may well have been a front runner for the hob nob and Abbey Crunch bisuits as it was oat-based.

"I think they only difference would have been the addition of syrup or sugar.

"We really wanted to be able to let people try theme again but needed a recipe."

Using the basis of that recipe, they have combined it with gin to create the Colchester Gin Biscuit which along with Colchester Cordial will be on sale at the event.

Gazette: Medieval Festival in Castle Park, Colchester..Sward fightling training demo.

The Colchester medieval Festival and Oyster Fayre Market takes place in Colchester's Castle Park on Saturday June 2 and Sunday June 3 between 10am and 5pm.

Tickets, costing £7 for adults and £3 for children under £14 are already on sale, with the option of a weekend ticket for both days at £12.