Keep Colchester Cool invited one of our very own local heroes, Marc De’ath, to tell us more about his involvement in a project that has become a proud staple in Colchester’s event diary, and how we can help raise funds towards it.

Civic pride, citizen empowerment, shared heritage and local identity are all things that float my boat. Couple that with with grassroots action, fine grain subculture and urbanism and you have truly tickled my pickle.

Since I first moved to here in 2003, with brief stop gaps in Weimar and London, I have always considered Colchester my home town – and like many around me, I care deeply about understanding and appreciating our history and pay a keen interest in the changes and exponential growth that will impact our future.

Over the last few weeks I have been helping Rowena Macaulay to organise a fundraising supper for Jane’s Walk Colchester (details below) – my all time favourite local celebration that ticks all of the above boxes. However, without funding to properly cover marketing efforts, we will fail to make the most of our opportunity, engage the maximum possible audience or continue to increase participation.

So what’s Jane’s Walk all about…

Jane’s Walk takes place in hundreds of cities around the world over the first weekend of May (this year May 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th) aiming to activate the ideas of an American-Canadian hero of mine, Jane Jacobs – a writer, urbanist and activist who championed the voices of everyday people in neighbourhood planning and city-building. A woman after my own heart.

What I love about Jane’s Walk is that it both allows Colchester to participate in an international movement while encouraging local residents to share stories about their neighbourhoods, helping us to discover unseen aspects of our community and make use of walking as a way to connect with our neighbours.

From Carl Allen’s and the Bens’ (Benedetti and Howard) Music Scene Stories, Dorian Kelly’s Celebration of Colchester Remarkables, Nick Oakley’s cheekily snuck in Jane’s Cycle to Kath Wood’s walk around the recently restored stunning murals of Henry Collins and Joyce Pallot and the uber cool Street Photography Guide by Jonathan Doyle  – the weekend is shaping up to be the best yet and truly put Colchester on the map.

In order for Jane’s Walk to be a success, we need to raise just £1000 to cover the events marketing costs. When I was told it was only £1000 for all that impact – I said surely we can manage to raise that between us!?

Luckily plenty of other people feel the same. The idea is simple…

On Saturday the 14th April we are organising a pop up dinner, similar to those we used to organise at the Waiting Room, week in, week out. To raise our target we need to sell just 50 tickets – no problem he said nervously..

To enable the supper to go ahead and maximise fundraising efforts, we have pulled in favours and support from all sorts of directions all over the local community. We hope you’ll do your bit by joining us for supper on the night.

From Sharon at East of England Coop who has donated us Chef’s ingredients, Sally and Stuart at Firstsite who have donated us the Venue, Caroline (Unique Bakes), Jess (The Game Keepers Daughter) and Emma (Good Souls Bakery) who have designed the menu (below) and are cheffing on the night, and finally, our esteemed guest, environmentalist and author, not to mention Deputy Vice Chancellor of Essex University, Jules Pretty, who is providing us with an after dinner talk – it’s a real team effort in order to make sure this fantastic initiative reaches its full potential.

The Menu (including tasty Vegan options) is below, you can register an interest and follow progress on facebook and purchase tickets via Eventbrite. A full programme of walks and events will be announced on social media and Keep Colchester Cool in the next fortnight.

Your menu options for the evening are as follows…

Option 1: Wood Pigeon and Pistachio Terrine with Pickled Beetroot and Seasonal Leaves.
Option 2: Smoked Carrot Lox with Pickled Beetroot and Seasonal Leaves (Vegan)

Option 1: Braised Local Venison with Balsamic Onions and Thyme
Option 2: Smoky BBQ Seitan with Balsamic Onions (Vegan)
Both served with Winter Seasonal Mash with a side order of Braised Kale

Local Apple Crumble Cake with Ginger cream (Vegan ginger oat cream)

The price of your ticket (£21) includes all three course and entertainment. There will be paid bar available throughout the entire evening. You can book online here:

I hope to see you there.

Marc De’ath


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