16 Things Over 25s Will Remember If You Grew Up In Colchester


Ah Colchester.

This little town has seen an abundance of changes over the years.

When reminded of the ‘old’ days it makes me feel a little fuzzy and nostalgic (it also reminds me how rubbish town is now)

Lets look back at some classic events that changed our town.

1. We used to have a Woolworths.
Just where H&M stands today was a glorious Woolworths where every pre teen used to spend their Saturdays scooping up the pick n mix and buying the latest CD single (yep single) that was out that week.

2. Before it was Woolworths it was Spoils…now thats a blast from the past. Ahh Spoils…that weird shop that sold most things (mostly kitchen things) that your mum would drag you round. Fun times.

3. There was a walkway where Spoils was that took you from Head St through to Culver Sq…magical.

4. 2 letters… C&A.
Gah. Time would literally stand still in this shop. Why is it mums would congregate in this shop..always stop for 20 mins for a chat about the price of schoolwear then continue to hold up rank clothes against you. Oh and don’t forget the shouting at you for not seeming interested. Yeah soz mum.

5. Hippodrome.
Before the days of Liquid, were the classy old days of the ‘Hippo’.
THE place to be on a Saturday night..everyone ended up here…swaying away to ‘Ive Had The Time Of My Life’ while slurping down another WKD blue or Smirnoff Ice…vom.

6. Before you were old enough to experience Hippo there was Laristos.
With their weird teen alcohol free night, which was a haven for horny boys to try and cop off with your mate. I decided to wear white trousers one night not realising they would use UV lights that evening. What a treat for the eyes i was.

7. Impressions appeared in our lives.
The budget clothes shop was IDEAL when you were 16 and needed a quick house party outfit. Now…its just chavvy and you wouldnt been caught dead in there. Or fit in anything…sigh.

8. That time when the Tollgate McDonalds moved like 5 ft behind the existing one. I never did quite understand this….just build boots behind it (but on another note..thank god for that Boots)

9. When the Odeon was in Crouch st.
Why was it so much better then?
Why did it move?
Why has nothing ever gone in there?
All the questions.

10. When the Co-Op was next to BHS.
Going to see Father Christmas every year in the co-op was a highlight of many childhoods…how dare they steal that from us! (Although 3 floors of co-op…come on now).

11. Swag Shop.

12. Colchester Carnival.
I don’t mean the type they attempt to put on now…i mean the ones where you would get SGR Radio boiled sweets thrown at your head and balloon animals and glo-stix were the things to have while queued along the road near abbey fields.

13. When Argos was on the High St.
Because all the Elizabeth Duke jewellery was a dream when you were 12.

14. When the W&G christmas window displays used to be awesome.
They went right through the walkway to the car park and were full of magical moving creatures. Now theres about 3…. if your lucky.

15. When poundland opened and everyone thought it was megs hilarious to go…’how much dya reckon this is’…HAHA….no. oh and half the people in your year got jobs there…wtf was that secret society?!

16. Key West was the mothership of Queen Street and all school uniform trousers and most of your wardrobe came from there. 


  1. chickywiggle (@chickywiggle)
    March 6, 2015 / 10:16 pm

    yes yes yes to pretty much all of those. (I even worked in Woolworths one Christmas)

  2. Samantha Phillips
    March 7, 2015 / 9:47 am

    The hippo was once a bingo hall in my day and Woolworths was in the high street and don’t forget cheap jacks and savers used to be caters supermarket oh my days

    • March 7, 2015 / 9:50 am

      Haha! I never knew that! It’s amazing the things you remember when you start thinking about it isn’t it!!

  3. March 7, 2015 / 2:01 pm

    very true ,what has happen to Colchester ???? bring back the COLCHESTER that i new

  4. March 7, 2015 / 8:29 pm

    I remember when woolies was where Pizza Hut was and when through to the pound shop the other side.. and i am sub 40!

  5. Aaron Riseborough
    March 7, 2015 / 8:33 pm

    And when the market ran the length of the High Street on a Saturday

  6. Lyndis Reynolds
    March 7, 2015 / 9:36 pm

    Maddox ‘Fashions’ in the high street back in the 80/90’s !

  7. Matthew Card
    March 9, 2015 / 3:14 pm

    I remember when the high street had tram tracks, was NOT one way and had 3 lanes of traffic!
    Market all the way down on a Saturday!!
    Don’t forget Pizzaland where Cafe Rouge is now! The post office was where the banks are, and McDonalds had the train in the kids area!

  8. Gavin Radcliffe
    March 11, 2015 / 11:47 am

    I used to spend much of my youth shopping for CDs. John Menzies, Woolies, Virgin Megastore, Our Price Music, Our Price Video, Andy’s Records – all gone. I used to see the punk rock poet John Cooper Clarke browsing all of the places.

  9. March 23, 2015 / 1:07 pm

    Key West used to take up pretty much the whole of Queen Street! And Peacocks had a restaurant!

  10. December 31, 2015 / 10:07 am

    Reblogged this on 40somethin.

  11. jacobsdad79
    December 31, 2015 / 10:30 am

    Reblogged this on Ritchie Hicks.

  12. December 31, 2015 / 11:17 pm

    I’ve lived in Colchester since I was 10 (I’m now 29) and remember the majority of this list! Swag shop came back for a while but flopped so now it’s some other toy shop. That will always baffle me. Swag shop was incredible!!

    • January 1, 2016 / 12:55 am

      The original Swag shop was awesome wasn’t it! Used to always spend my pocket money in there! Key West was another classic shop on Queen St!

  13. January 1, 2016 / 12:40 am

    I’m a 40-something (just!) but I remember most of this πŸ™‚ Do you remember Beads Galore on Crouch Street? And Vagabonds on St Johns St?

    • January 1, 2016 / 12:53 am

      Definitely remember vagabonds! I think most people over 25 will remember these πŸ™‚ those were the days!

  14. Denise
    March 22, 2018 / 11:06 am

    What about hot peanuts in Woolworths, Lyons cafe for hot buttered toast. The Wimpy on Head st, on the corner, people watching !
    Shows how old I am !
    That lovely shop can’t reme the name, where the Lemon Tree restaurant is or was ?

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