The historic Oyster Feast: celebrating the best of Colchester

PUBLISHED: 14 October 2021

Colchester’s traditional Oyster Feast returns to Moot Hall on Friday, 29 October 2021.

Since it was first held in 1845, the Oyster Feast has celebrated Colchester’s rich heritage and community ties and established itself as a major event in the town’s civic calendar.

Due to Covid restrictions, last year’s Oyster Feast was postponed and instead marked with a virtual celebration of the event’s history. It was the first time the event had to be postponed in its 175-year history, other than in wartime.

This year, with the celebrations returning to normal, the Mayor and Mayoress of Colchester, Cllr Robert Davidson and Mayoress Liz Davidson, will be joined in the Moot Hall by just over two hundred guests and an illustrious line-up of guest speakers including: Firstsite Director, Sally Shaw MBE; former international footballer and campaigner Peter Shilton OBE; Dr Thomas Cameron PhD, FHEA, (Hons), FBNA, Senior Lecturer in Ecology (Associate Professor) and Deputy Director of Impact at Essex University; and Nigel Hildreth MBE Musical Director of the Colne Valley Youth Orchestra.

Among the Mayor’s other guests will be representatives from Colchester’s twin town, Wetzlar; the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst; the High Sheriff of Essex, Mr Simon Brice; High Steward of Colchester Sir Bob Russell; the Chairman of Essex County Council, Cllr Eddie Johnson; Garrison Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Ed Rankin; and Garrison Chief of Staff, Major Leighton Snook.

The Town Watch will greet arriving guests and, in time-honoured tradition, the mayor will join guests in sampling the borough’s famous oysters. Grace will be said by the Mayor’s Chaplain, Reverend Dr Amanda Elmes.

The Mayor and Mayoress said: “The world-renowned Oyster Feast is a wonderful occasion to celebrate the borough’s rich past and heritage.

“It is our great honour and privilege to be hosting this year’s event, and we look forward to sharing with our guests another celebration of the best of Colchester.”
Dinner at the Oyster Feast will be provided by Milsoms Catering. Music will be performed by organist Dr Ian Ray, The Hoolies Shanty Crew, The Caledonian Reelers, and Ariori Strings.

For more information on civic events in the mayor’s calendar, visit: 

Page last reviewed: 14 October 2021


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