The Town Sign was erected to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of H M Queen Elizabeth II and to mark the 50th anniversary of the Rotary Club in 2002.
The sign shows one of the Cressing Temple Barns to remind us of our links to Cressing, the foundation of Newland Street 'la newelande' by the Knights Templar. It then shows the stone and flint 1333 Church of St. Nicolas built at the time of the Knights Hospitaller towering above Chipping Hill Forge and surrounding buildings. The head of a grey shire horse on the White Horse pub sign is similar to one photographed being shod in front of the forge and sent to the town of Waldbrol. The view of the green where the first market took place also shows cottages now demolished. Overlooking the green is Barnardiston House. A view of the three arched red brick bridge at the bottom of Moat Farm Chase reminds us of the River Brain meandering along the River Walk towards Newland Street.
The bottom section of the montage shows the Town Hall. To the right part of Mondy's shop which was originally an 18th century timber frame and plastered house with a cart way to the rear and bow windows each side of the doorway. Finally the montage shows a mail coach delivering its passengers to the Spread Eagle.
Witham has been an important stopping place, situated as it is between London and Harwich and six miles from Maldon, second by importance to Colchester in Essex. The stage coach business flourished in Witham with stabling for up to 200 horses around the inns in Newland Street until the coming of the railway in 1843. London then became accessible in two hours as against six by coach.
The shield below, shows the town motto. 'Stage by Stage' which emphasises the importance attached to the stage coach in the prosperity of Witham in the previous centuries and the town badge illustrating the rivers, pasture farming, wool trade industry, history, religions and connections with Cressing Temple.
The sign was designed by Rotarian Roy Belsham, a retired architect and AMD structural engineer Peter Ferns of the Butcher Partnership. The contractor, Motif of Redhill, Surrey.
Sources: Roy Belsham; Witham & Countryside Society