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Colchester Castle
Colchester is a town in Essex, said to be the oldest town in Britain, dating from before the the Roman invasion in AD 43. As Camulodunum it was for a time the capital of Roman Britain, and its castle is built on the foundations of the Roman temple of Claudius.

The University of Essex is located in Wivenhoe Park, near the town.

LGBT History

Colchester CHE Group, founded 1972, soon switched to become a GLF group. A gay disco was started in the Recreation Hotel in 1977 by John Marshall, Gregg Blachford and others in 1977 [1].

Colchester Gay Switchboard, founded 1979, is now called Outhouse East.[2]

Colchester Pride has been held from 2018 onwards.


  1. Notes from Gregg Blachford in September 2020: when I was studying at Essex University in 77-78, I, along with John Marshall and others from the local CHE and Gaysoc, worked with the Recreation Hotel in Colchester to organize the first gay disco there in late 77. It was lots of fun. I did hear it went on for quite a few years. Just after I left, those friends started up the local Gay Switchboard in their front room!