Monthly Archives: March 2018

‘Out of the Hedgerow’ – an exhibition of paintings by Emma Wren


Quirky seagulls, flamboyant hummingbirds, charismatic hares and stunning meadow flowers make up the latest collection from Essex Artist Emma Wren, now showing in our gallery space downstairs. Created with inks and vivid watercolours, Emma’s contemporary vibrant paintings and Giclée prints capture these wild characters in their natural surroundings.

Growing up in Norfolk, Emma spent hours sketching on her Dad’s fruit farm, capturing the colours of the hedgerows and flowers in the fields. This passion for drawing stayed with her and led her to pursue Textile design at Winchester school of art. Colour, experimental textures and drawing were always the watch words in her collections. Upon obtaining her degree, Emma began her career in a London studio, designing printed textiles, cards and giftware. After several years of producing purely handcrafted work, Emma retrained using CAD programs and worked as a freelance Magazine designer on various glossy titles.

After a short career break to bring up her 2 children, Emma has returned to her first love of drawing and painting. She now lives with her family in Colchester and paints from her home studio.

The exhibition can be viewed throughout April.

Colchester’s Historic High Street

Walking down the High Street, it is the enticing displays in the shop windows and the colourful cafes and restaurants that tend to attract our attention. But look up and you will see some really characterful architecture. In fact, hidden behind some of the rebuilt frontages are centuries old timber framed buildings. This little book peels away the modern facades and allows a glimpse back through the centuries to see what the High Street would have been like a few hundred years ago. The Red Lion Hotel and the George are the most well-known survivors from the period but this book draws on old documents and maps to recreate some lost buildings such as the ancient Moot Hall, and St Runwald’s Church that once stood in the middle of the High Street surrounded by stalls.  Focussing on the period 1100 to 1700 it recreates a High Street that was ‘much more than a thoroughfare; more an external room full of a wide range of activities’. With artisans, merchants and market traders it would have been busy, noisy and, yes, smelly – records show that traders needed regular reminders to clear the dung heaps!

Colchester Civic Society, paperback £4.99

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  :