Colchester Opening of the Oyster Fishery

Where: Colchester, Essex at the Hard or at Cudmore Grove Country Park on the River Colne ( 11 miles southeast of town) when it's read from dry land or at the Hard at Brightlingsea when it's read from the boat
When: First Friday in September
Time: 10.30 for Proclamation reading at noon




The Colne Oyster Fishery at Colchester dates back many hundreds of years and it is officially opened by the Mayor and Dignitaries on the first friday in September each year. The opening ceremony dates back to the mid sixteenth century and involves the reading of a tongue-twisting proclamation and the consumption of gin and gingerbread with toasts to the Queen, followed by an oyster lunch for invited guests. Depending on a range of circumstances including the seaworthiness of the Mayor, the officials in their regalia usually take to the sea aboard an oyster dredger followed by a flotilla of  guests in smaller craft, or occasionally the ceremony may take place on dry land. The boat may need to be some distance out to sea if the tide is low, in which case you can watch the arrival of the dignitaries at the Hard and their embarkation but you won’t be able to hear the Proclamation from dry land; the best view of the boat when we attended was from the end of the row of beach huts.

Helpful Hints

In 2018 it will take place on Friday September 7th (location to be confirmed).

Click here for the Civic website and Mayor’s Office :

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