OUR nostalgic tour of former Colchester pubs is proving popular with Gazette readers.

This is our third helping of pictures, reflecting back on the proud and illustrious history of many of the town’s old watering holes.

One of those to make contact is former long-serving MP, and current High Steward of Colchester, Sir Bob Russell.

He said: “I’m learning things about my home town for the first time.

“I was aware of quite a few of the former pubs - some in my lifetime, some before - but there are several you have featured which I was not aware of.

“With reference to last week’s spread, after The Gaiety, in Mersea Road, closed it later became Colchester Working Men’s Club.


Reigning supreme - The Queens Head was on 80 Hythe Hill. This former Ind Coope pub was established by 1765 and closed in 1982 Picture: STEPHEN HARRIS

“There was a hall with an entrance from Fairfax Road, which was a music hall with live entertainment (so I’m told as it was long before my time).

“However, the hall was still there in my time. It used to be used as a polling station.

“One year it was used as a sleepover place for striking Yorkshire miners who came to Colchester to picket the ports at The Hythe, Rowhedge and Wivenhoe.

“They were protesting against the import of coal from the then Communist Poland.

“The hall has since been converted into three houses and the pub on the corner into flats.”


King of pubs - The Royal Standard was on Mersea Road. It was present by 1863 and closed in 1994 for conversion to flats. It had been a Truman’s pub

Sir Bob also has memories of The Globe, in North Station Road.

He says it was one of two pubs in Colchester known as The Globe.

The other was on the corner of Military Road and Golden Noble Hill. Sir Bob added: “There was a second Castle pub, in North Station Road, locally referred to as the North Castle, to distinguish it from the other Castle pub.

“I look forward to seeing more photographs of our lost pubs.”

All of the pictures have been reproduced with permission of the The Lost Pubs Project (www.closedpubs.co.uk)


Rich history - The Robin Hood was on Osborne Street. This pub was established in the late 19th century and closed around 2007 Picture: STEPHEN HARRIS


Ray of light - The Rising Sun was on Hythe Station Road. It was present by 1789 and closed in 1995. The pub had passed from the Colchester Brewing Company to Ind Coope in the 1930s, although it ended as a Greene King house


On the right lines - The Railway Tavern was in Magdalen Street. This former Truman’s pub was present in the late 19th century and closed in around 1909. It is now in private residential use Picture: STEPHEN HARRIS


Touch of class - The Prince of Wales was in Magdalen Street. It was established before 1764 and had been for much of its history a Truman’s house. It closed in 1990 Picture: STEPHEN HARRIS


Family affair - The Nelsons Head was in West Stockwell Street. Now in private residential use, it was established by 1799 and closed in 1959. Publican William Wade, publican (1925-1933) is pictured outside with his family Picture: MARY FELGATE


Popular watering hole - The Marlborough Head was in St Botolphs Street. This former Truman’s pub was established before 1764 and rebuilt in around 1914. The licence was given up in 1956 Picture: STEPHEN HARRIS


Full steam ahead – here’s a picture of a different Railway Tavern, submitted by reader Brian Squirrell. It was known as the Colchester Arms when demolished to make way for the new roundabout at the junction of Mile End and Bergholt Roads