Jumbo water tower: Colchester’s not-so-hidden heritage gem

Jumbo Summer community events planned for 2019

The rescue of Colchester’s unique Jumbo water tower is North Essex Heritage’s biggest project, in every sense of the word! Standing 34-metres tall and dominating the Colchester skyline for 136 years, Jumbo is hard to miss, but the Victorian Grade ll* listed landmark has fallen into disrepair and North Essex Heritage is working with partners, including the building’s owner Paul Flatman, towards preserving Jumbo and bringing it back into sustainable use. Now, as work continues behind the scenes to secure grant funding for the project, we have launched Jumbo Summer, a series of community events to illuminate Jumbo’s little-known history.

Supported through a grant award of £10,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Jumbo Summer will include talks, the making of an animated film, children’s art projects and local heritage and design workshops. Activities have also received support from Colchester Borough Council, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and local history experts including Andrew Phillips and Patrick Denny.

The Balkerne Water Tower, affectionately known as Jumbo, is recognised as the most important municipal water tower in the country and is testament to the skills of the Victorian engineers who built it in 1883.

One of the first events will be a course of ten weekly evening local heritage research workshops for adults, starting on May 13. Places are strictly limited. To apply, please email kettlecomms@gmail.com

Please use the form below to find out how you can join an event.