A UNIQUE part of Colchester’s industrial history dating back 200 years could be lost forever if an exhibition fails to find a new home.

Colchester Engineering Society has long housed its historic exhibits at the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket.

The collection of engines, fans, pumps and lathes combine with information boards charting the extensive engineering history of Colchester.

The town saw the production of more than one million of these hefty pieces of equipment across two centuries.

The collection includes engines and lathes from the Paxman factory, off Hythe Hill, which is set to close after 150 years leading to the loss of up to 80 jobs.

The society has now been given notice to move the exhibition out of the museum by Christmas.

Unless the group can find the exhibits a new home, they could be lost forever.

John Pyle, the society’s secretary, said: “If we cannot bring the exhibition back to Colchester, then a valuable part of our heritage will be lost.

“The demise of Paxman adds to the situation.

“Flakt-Woods will soon be the only producer still represented in the town.”

Fellow society member Keith Middleton said: “We have small exhibits from about a foot high, to full-sized diesel engine, some of which are quite valuable.

“What we have is the last remnants of 200 years of this town’s industrial history, which has taken a lot of hard work for people to bring together.

“Although we don’t know what will happen to the Paxman site, our hope is that perhaps a small building could be placed there which could serve as a museum for these artifacts.”

Tina Bourne, leader of Colchester’s Labour group, had launched an unsuccessful campaign to try to save the Paxman factory.

She has now added her voice to the society’s plea for space to house the last vestige of the factory’s history.

“When you think about what Colchester has done in terms of saving heritage, for example saving the clocks at Tymperleys, I would like to see something done here,” she said

“When the company decides what to do with the land, I would like to see some space given over to house a community centre, which could include a museum.

“If it is possible for money to be left as part of any future planning arrangements, this could help to fund the upkeep of the building.

“These are not small things which could be housed at Colchester Castle or Hollytrees Museum, and like many local authorities the council doesn’t have the money to put them in a purpose-built place.”

The Gazette approached MAN Energy Solutions, but the firm said it is currently "too early" to comment.