More than 100 years ago the Hythe in Colchester was part of the bustling, industrial hub of the town and over the river Greenstead was all fields with farmhouses dotted around.

Colchester's Hythe back in 1896 would have been a less-than-fragrant place.

Limekilns and coal yards lined the muddy Colne next door to a disused tar distillery. Over the river, Paxman's brickfields and ironworks, Owen Parry's oil mill and a gasworks stood cheek-by-jowl with a timber dock, maltings and yet more limekilns.

The Hythe, although undoubtedly the poorer end of town, was certainly the powerbase for Colchester's early entrepreneurs, among them William Warwick Hawkins, who, with his brother Charles, ran many portside businesses, and farther north Wilson Marriage oversaw his ambitious East Mills.

James Paxman's Standard Works began making agricultural machinery, but soon diversified into engines and boilers. It was a move which soon gained him an international reputation, and by the late 1890s he had 600 employees. By 1903 it stood at more than 1,000.

The Hythe port was a colourful cosmopolitan centre, with timber being imported from Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and several hundred bargeloads of coal arriving annually from the industrial north.

Tynesiders racing their whippets along the quay was a common Sunday morning sight.

The Army's influence in the town was widespread, not least at the Hythe, where streets took on military names and its Barrack Field - a camping ground for 2,000 troops in 1856 - became Recreation Ground in 1885.

Until last year, Hythe Hill, was home to MAN Energy Solutions.

Although run by the German firm for the last decade, the site is still popularly known as Paxman Diesel and had been there for more than 150 years.

However, the firm announced last year the facility would close.

There is also a railway station, with services running towards Clacton, Walton-on-the-Naze, Colchester and London, while the Church of St Leonard is located at the Hythe.