'You want to give a shout-out to Colchester!' - city praised on national radio

·2-min read
Praise – Darius Laws was keen to tell everyone about everything happening in Colchester this summer <i>(Image: Newsquest / Pixabay)</i>
Praise – Darius Laws was keen to tell everyone about everything happening in Colchester this summer (Image: Newsquest / Pixabay)

COLCHESTER’S vibrant cultural scene was shared with thousands of radio listeners after a councillor rang into BBC Radio 5 Live to extol the city’s tourist attractions and ancient heritage.

Darius Laws, the Colchester Conservative group leader, joined the BBC's Nicky Campbell who was discussing how UK visitor attractions were suffering from ‘long Covid’ – a term used to describe a long-term slump in the tourism industry since the pandemic.

Although UK tourist attractions have rebounded in terms of the number of visitors from British tourists over the past two years, the international tourism trade has struggled to recover.

It is estimated international visitors to UK tourist attractions has declined by a quarter since March 2020.

When asking listeners to phone in and talk about the best tourist attractions and museums in Britain, Mr Laws decided to have his say.

Mr Campbell said: “You want to give a shout-out to Colchester – so what have the Romans ever done for us?”

Mr Laws said: “Colchester is packed full of Roman goodies – we’ve got the oldest and longest city walls in the country, we’ve got Europe’s largest Norman castle keep built on the foundations of a Roman temple, and the artefacts inside that castle are just exquisite.

“We are going to have a gladiator exhibition in the castle, so there’s going to be a real focus on everything Roman in 2023.”

Discussing his urge to phone into the radio show, Mr Laws said: “I just espoused the virtues of our historical attractions and gave a positive, upbeat outlook of what you might experience as a visitor.

“[Camphell] gave me a platform to pitch Colchester and I managed to plug our Roman history.

“The next time Nicky is talking about Essex, maybe he will think about staying in the George Hotel – it’s all positive stuff.”

Mr Laws also had praise for the development of the city centre.

“What shouldn’t be dismissed is the transformative stuff happening in the city centre.

“The biggest price of them all is Jumbo, the elephant in the room – it’s all happening and people can be proud we’ve got a far more positive sight of years to come.”