PUB punters helped raise more than £500 towards installing a commemorative bench to honour Gurkha soldiers.

Peter Gibbons, landlord of The Grapes, in Mersea Road, was convinced to get behind the scheme by New Town and Christ Church Lib Dem campaigner Catherine Spindler.

After hearing all about Mrs Spindler's project, the pub hosted a beach party themed evening, which raised a total of £525 for the scheme.

Mr Gibbons said: "It was a great to have an opportunity to give appreciation, even in this small way, to the amazing years the Gurkhas have given not only in service to our country but here in Colchester.

"Everyone really got in the spirit of the occasion from dressing up to the bar maid raising £150 by having her face painted."

Mrs Spindler is working on siting a bench in St John's Green, where several members of the Gurkha community live.

She said: "The Gurkha community at St John’s Green already takes great care of the area so I know they will be proud to have a special bench in their honour.

"I am arranging a meeting with Colchester Council planners and Gurkha representatives to discuss the best location for this bench.”

If you would like to donate, email or call 01206 544035.