Thank you to all our customers!

A big thank you to all our wonderful customers. We have enjoyed sharing our enthusiasm for books with you and been overwhelmed by the expressions of support and congratulations we’ve received. We’re so pleased now just to be ‘in the mix’ for the National Award along with the other regional winners all of them fantastic, dedicated, characterful shops serving their communities with passion and creativity.  

Winner: Independent Bookshop of the Year – South East Region.

We’ve just heard that we are the winning shop in the South East region for the 2018 Independent Bookshop of the Year Award and we’re thrilled! – thanks to all our wonderful customers, the support from some great authors and the publishers who have worked with us so helpfully.


You can find out more about the award and all the regional winners here


Shortlisted for Independent Bookshop of the Year Award – South East Region!

We are thrilled to be on the short list for the Independent Bookshop of the Year Award 2018, South East region. We are proud to have served the booklovers of the area for another year. Now, you, our customers, have the chance to say what you think of us!
Comments about the shop will be taken into account by the judging panel for the award and if you wish to add your comment then here is the link to the British Book Awards website  :



Allan Price: Art Exhibition

We are delighted to be displaying pictures by Alan Price in our gallery area for the month of March.

Allan Price was born in Cheshunt and grew up in Birmingham where he embarked on his career as an engineer.

He had always enjoyed art (both seeing and doing), but only recently has he picked up his brushes and pencils as a committed, if part-time, artist. He prefers to work with acrylic or watercolours.

Allan has lived in Colchester since 2015, and is married to local journalist and broadcaster, Liz Mullen.  The proximity of Mersea Island has proved an inspiration, as have other watery locations from Norfolk to Northern Ireland to The Firth of Clyde.

Some of these works are featured here, including “Abandoned – Reclaimed”. The old boat was spotted at Blakeney, but reminds many people of a similar wreck in The Essex Serpent.

Allan enjoys the support of Colchester’s CO3 Gallery, and artists Angella Horner and Wendy Bailey. “Their classes have given me encouragement to improve my techniques and expand my horizons,” he says.

As Engineering Maintenance Manager of a very large recycling factory in Basildon, Allan brings an engineer’s eye to his more draughtsman-like fantasies, which he has nicknamed “Geo-Doodles.”

This is Allan’s first exhibition. He is enormously grateful to Jo Coldwell and Red Lion Books for offering him this opportunity.














Prostitution in Victorian Colchester

In the mid nineteenth century the army camp was built just outside Colchester and soon it was the largest garrison in the country. The town benefitted from an economic boom but with It came problems. There was drunkenness, brawling and, with only 7% of soldiers allowed to marry, prostitution rocketed.  Colchester’s existing red-light district could not cope. The ladies of the night spread all over town.  Records show that half the pubs and beer houses were associated with prostitution. And outside town into the countryside –  the expression police had for those activities in places like Abbey Field was ‘flattening the corn’!

A report in 1857 recorded the number of soldiers incapacitated by an ‘insanitary condition’ across the country. Colchester Garrison came bottom of the table with almost half soldiers at some time hospitalised – the equivalent of the loss of two regiments.

This fascinating and well researched book looks in detail at the lives of some of the 350 women working as prostitutes at the time and explores the medical, religious and social impact on the life of Victorian Colchester.

University of Hertfordshire Press paperback £18.99.