Virus update. We are still open.

As the Covid-19 situation escalates here is an update to let you know how Red Lion Books is approaching the many and rapidly changing challenges posed by the virus.

Of primary concern is, of course, the health of our customers and our booksellers as well as the wider community. Like everyone, we’ve stepped up all of our internal cleaning procedures, regularly sanitising surfaces such as counters, computer keyboards, doors and payment equipment.    

As long as it is possible, we will keep our doors open and welcome customers to our shop.  Face to face contact with our customers and personal service is so important to our independent bookselling style, and so, with these extra precautions in place, for now we remain open as usual for you to come for advice, recommendations and to browse and (we hope) buy!

Our event space downstairs is small and enclosed and so reluctantly, we have had to cancel events scheduled for March including our ‘Local Authors Evening’ on Wednesday 18th which we know many people were looking forward to.

 If you are self-isolating at home, because you are unwell yourself or out of concern for others, we are able to deliver books to your home. If you live in or close to Colchester we are setting up a bicycle courier service to hand deliver your orders. And we have a ‘direct from the warehouse’ home delivery system which can send books to anywhere in the country quickly and cheaply.

Our website includes descriptions of many books including small scale local interest titles. It does not currently include a complete searchable database. But we do have quick access to around half a million titles so please ring or email with your requests.

We thank all our customers for the amazing support you have given us through the 40 plus years we have been selling books in Colchester. And we thank you for your continuing support which will help see us through these difficult and confusing times.

Secret Colchester

It is so easy to overlook the interesting things we walk past every day,

For instance, the pillar box just outside our shop is really a rather special large capacity, double aperture George V model!  One of a good many rare pillar boxes amongst the 107 located around Colchester.

During the last war London’s first line of defence against a possible invasion force centred on Colchester. Known as the Colchester Stop Line, the town became a heavily fortified anti-tank ‘island’. Many of the defences can still be seen. There are concrete blocks peeping from the shrubbery of front gardens in Old Heath Road and others clearly visible beneath the trees in Castle Park.

Look up at Jumbo and see 15 bricks carved with the initials of the Water Works Committee members. They are 30 feet high as a result of a badly organised and much delayed foundation stone laying ceremony!

In the rocks of the roman wall there are some ammonite fossils dating from the Jurassic period 100 million years ago.

Packed with pictures, this book highlights Colchester’s fascinating hidden secrets and should set you off on a fresh exploration of our town’ s rich history.

Amberley paperback, £14.99

Colchester’s Secret Roman River

From its source in Willow Wood, Great Tey to Fingringhoe where it joins the River Colne, Roman River flows through 12 miles of flatlands, carving a narrow, deep sided valley. Stone age axe heads and tools show how long the area has been inhabited. Later, fortified with earthen dykes, it became the stronghold of Cunobelin and the most significant settlement in pre-Roman Britain.

The book is wide ranging. How otters, once almost extinct, have returned to the river, helped by habitat improvements. How local Civil engineer, Peter Bruff built the monumental Chappell Viaduct – with 32 arches and over 7 million bricks.

Ken Rickwood has been exploring Roman River for over 50 years. He is the perfect guide, always exploring to rediscover some long overgrown boundary stone or carved OS bench mark. He brings great love for our local countryside and enormous historical knowledge to describe the course of this small but important river.

David Cleveland paperback £10.00

Inspired by Colour

an exhibition by Jo McGilloway

We are delighted to be showing this wonderful collection of paintings, collage and monopints from Colchester artist, Jo McGilloway.

The Blue Shed, collage and monoprintGiclée print

Artist’s Statement 

Jo McGilloway is an artist and printmaker. She lives in Colchester and draws her inspiration from the countryside, everyday objects, plants and flowers as well as her garden and allotment. She has always loved drawing and painting from a very young age with some of her earliest memories being of painting. Over the years she has worked in various mediums, but always seems to come back to watercolour and pastels, loving the freshness of watercolour and the texture of pastels. However, she enjoys experimenting with a variety of media to create whatever effect she is trying to achieve in her work. More recently she has developed a passion for monoprinting, a one-off printing technique often favoured by painters. She sometimes includes collage to her monoprints, using textured papers that she prepares herself. Sketching outside and direct observation from real life is very important to her, feeling that it giver a vitality and energy to her work.

Meet the Artist

There will be an informal ‘Meet the Artist’ private view on Saturday 8th February 2pm – 3pm

The exhibition runs from 1st – 29th February.