What excellent news Colchester has decided to adopt Destination Colchester's descriptive strapline Britain's First City.

To be clear, we are certainly not trying to claim Colchester has official city status now, it stopped being one in about 1542.

But it undoubtedly deserves the title. There is all kinds of historical evidence to back that up.

Under the Romans it was the first place in Britain where there was anything like it with its straight streets, forum and permanent buildings. They certainly described it as a “Civitas".

It was the provincial capital of Britannia, a hugely important place, the place that other places like Anglesea were measured from.

Here in Colchester was the place where the Emperor Claudius received 11 kings to swear allegiance including the King of Orkney, it is said.

It was the capital of Britain under Cunobelin (better known as Old King Coel) too, but to be fair it wasn't exactly what we might describe as a city nowadays.

And under the Normans for a short while too until they moved it to London for the sake of its bigger river.

It is worth pointing out Colchester measured by population is still the largest settlement in Essex.

This title is just part of what we are imagining to be very much wider campaign to tell everybody about what an astonishing place Colchester is, steeped in not just Roman but Norman, Saxon, and Victorian history.

For example, we have the largest most intact hugely imposing Victorian water tower in Britain, dominating the countryside in the same way our Norman Castle, the largest castle keep in Britain once did.

We have a nearly-intact Roman wall, two Roman theatres, absolutely unique in Britain, and most important the only Roman chariot track that has been found.

You cannot dig anywhere without finding something wonderful, if only the layer of ash that Boudica left when she came to visit.

But Colchester is so much more. Three theatres, two major and six minor galleries, four orchestras, a festival a week in the park and the town and a band in every pub. That just scratches the surface of what we have now.

Dorian Kelly

Gladstone Road, Colchester