Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP made a surprise visit to join in a 175th anniversary celebration day for East Anglian builders merchant Kent Blaxill last week (March 28th).
Directors were already planning to commemorate the event with a horse and cart trip through Colchester, past the company’s numerous former high street premises to the Town hall for tea with the Mayor.
But the unexpected visit of the Deputy Prime Minister was the icing on the cake, according to Kent Blaxill managing director Simon Blaxill.
“It is a very good day for us. One-hundred-and-seventy-five is a big birthday. Our MP for Colchester, Sir Bob Russell, has always been a big supporter of our company and it was a nice anniversary surprise to have Nick Clegg with us today.”
Clegg met both young and long serving employees, including assistant showroom manager Laura Downing, 23, who began her Kent Blaxill career as an apprentice. He also watched a high-tech glass cutting demonstration by Robin Coe.
During its long history, the company has been closely entwined with the commercial, civic and social growth of the town, with two members of the company having been mayor of Colchester, one of them twice.
In the evening the company held a reception at Colchester’s new firstsite arts centre where there was also an exhibition of historic photographs and artefacts.