A councillor has organised an alternative to the traditional Oyster Feast so the elderly and vulnerable can get together for their own celebration.

The Labour councillor for Maypole, Councillor Dave Harris, will be at Greenstead Social Club on Friday October 29, where pensioners who find themselves lonely or isolated will be able to congregate for bingo, fish and chips, and entertainment.

It’s an occasion that has now run for 40 years alongside the traditional Oyster Feast, which is held at Colchester Town Hall on the last Friday of October.

Councillor Harris said that although the numbers had to be reduced this year, he was looking forward to the occasion that he has helped organise for the past 20 years.

He said: “We raised the money so that we can invite local pensioners and have people come along who are most in need, or people who are isolated.

“We’ll give them a fish and chip supper, a raffle, and a bit of entertainment – then we’ll have a sweet afterwards.

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Anthony Roberts, Director of Colchester Arts Centre, will also be in attendance at Greenstead Social Club next Friday.

Although the afternoon normally has 120 invitees, it has had to be scaled down to protect anyone who will be vulnerable to Covid-19.

“There are some who are a bit worried about Covid, and we need to protect who needs protecting,” Councillor Harris added.

Beginning at midday, there will be the culmination of generosity from numerous parties, with Greenstead Social Club letting the hall for free, and Willows Fish and Chips delivering the meals to the venue themselves.

“The Oyster Feast is a great tradition, but so is this,” Councillor Harris said.

“The man in the street is as important as the mayor.”