Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Station Square, Colchester

The newly revamped Station Square Colchester was formally opened last week. The design was inspired by the history of Colchester. Engineering and in particular the Britannia Works played a significant role in the local history. The laser cut out patterns in the fence are taken from blueprint drawings of engines created at the Works. 

The finials on the fence are a reproduction of the most significant engine manufactured in Britannia Works. This 12TPM engine was used in Landing crafts in the second world war.

The poem is by Martin Newell and is made from cast iron like an arced railway track leading from the platform to the street.

Many thanks to Colchester Borough Council and in particular Neil Hopkins and Howard Davies, the architect Lindsay White, Martin Newell for his poem and as ever, a massive thanks to Seb Boyesen for making everything.

The full poem:

Ancient Lights
By ruined Roman brickwork
In cold October air
Past Michaelmas, on Beryfield
They held St Dennis Fair
Now damsels dance down Queen St
And meet their modern knights
While trains come into Colchester
Beneath these ancient lights

On early Norman arches
The blue-eyed jackdaws perch
Above those cloistered shadows
Behind the Gothic church
A greensward for their carpet
They gaze down from the heights
For alms the tourists leave them
Beneath these ancient lights

Below St Botolph's Circus
Under the traffic's roar
The souls of nameless soldiers
Go back and forth to war
In court each winter morning
The sun reads out his rights
The prisoner stands there, yawning
And longs for ancient lights

While medieval rooftops
Stare up at steel and glass
The past reminds the future 
To let the present pass
When August flirts with autumn
And starry are the nights
And Colchester lies twinkling
Among the ancient lights