THE recent moon landing anniversary has brought to light its connection with Colchester.

Bob Cross, who lives in Tollesbury now, remembers rocks from the moon arriving in Colchester via a former NASA employee.

Now he is appealing for anyone who also remembers this to come forward.

Bob met German-born Horst Mueller while on a photography course at the North East Essex College and School of Art in Colchester in the 1960s.

Horst Mueller had settled in Great Horkesley having been a prisoner of war during the Second World War.

This was because he later married a local girl and was working as a steward at the college, helping set up and look after the equipment.

He and his wife Brenda had a son and daughter, Bob recalls, who would often visit him at work

Before his military posting, and incarceration, Horst had been a technician on the V2 rocket sites in Germany and had even shown Bob and other students old images of his time there - including a picture of a visit by Adolf Hitler.

“He worked under Werner Von Braun, the man behind these missiles, and after the war he was taken on by the American government to help run the NASA space programme.”

Bob says Horst had kept in touch with his former boss at NASA and they would regularly send him things in the post which fed his continued interest in astronomy.

“From time to time large cardboard tubes, postmarked Cape Kennedy, and marked for his attention would arrive at the college,” recalled Bob.

“Not long after the actual landing had taken place, a package arrived.

“Included was a small, transparent, plastic container with a message attached.

“It contained some pieces of rock, brought back from the actual moon landing.

“Horst proudly showed us his amazing gift; little brown pieces, with small pin-prick like holes, as I recall.”

Bob has since heard Horst passed away, but discovered the moon rock has subsequently been exhibited since, including in Norwich, and hopes there are others who remember seeing it too.

“Just by chance I was relating my memories from all those years back to friend, and former lecturer at Braintree College.

“I was amazed to discover he knew about the moon rock at Colchester through a teaching acquaintance at that establishment.

“The lady in question, a former fine art student from the Colchester School of Art had seen, and handled the Moon Rock herself.”

And she even remembered it being exhibited in Norwich, adds Bob.

Following on from the recent events marking the 50th anniversary of the landings and Neil Armstrong’s now famous speech as he stepped out onto the surface of the moon, Bob is keen to hear from anybody else who saw the moon rock, or knows where it now is.

He also hopes Horst’s children still live in the area and may be able to help with more information.

l If you can help with or know where the moon rock is contact us on 01206 508186.