In a break with tradition, this year’s Colchester Oyster Feast was held away from Moot Hall for the first time in more than a century.

The annual event, held on the last day of October each year following the official opening of the oyster season at the start of September, sees the Mayor of Colchester host a grand civic oyster feast. Since 1906, the celebration has been held in the Grade-I listed Moot Hall, in Colchester Town Hall. However, with the hall closed for extensive repair work, this year’s banquet was relocated to the Talbooth restaurant in Dedham.

The Mayor of Colchester, councillor John Jowers, said: “I am enormously grateful to everyone who worked so hard to make this year’s Oyster Feast such a wonderful event.

“Though the Moot Hall, our traditional home for the Oyster Feast, is under repair, Talbooth proved to be a most worthy substitute. Its elegant facilities and stunning views of the river Stour provided a perfect backdrop for this auspicious occasion.”

Among this year’s invited guests were Bernard Jenkin, MP for Harwich and North Essex, Crown Court judge and novelist His Honour Judge Charles Gratwicke and BBC Essex broadcaster Sadie Nine.

Representatives from Colchester’s twin towns, Avignon, Wetzler and Imola, were also on the guest list, as were the Lord Lieutenant of Essex Jennifer Tolhurst, the High Sherriff of Essex Charles Bishop, High Steward of Colchester Sir Bob Russell and Garrison Commander Lieutenant Colonel Ed Rankin.

“My thanks also go to the distinguished guest speakers and gifted musicians who enlivened the occasion so magnificently. Their contributions made this ancient annual tradition truly unforgettable, even in a new and unfamiliar setting,” said John Jowers.

“I am certain that this year’s Oyster Feast will be remembered as one of the most memorable in its long and storied history.”

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

Sign up to Fishing News’ FREE e-newsletter here


Subscribe to Fishing News magazine today; never miss an issue and save 55%!