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Listening Bench


This listening bench plays recordings about Witham from the Essex Sound and Video Archive. Enjoy memories of long-time residents and imagine how the town has changed. The bench has been installed as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded project, 'You Are Hear: sound and a sense of place'.



The bench was unveiled by the Mayor of Witham on 18th November 2017 in Witham Town Park but it was soon vandalised. After repairs it was decided to move the location to a path close to the River Walk. The bench was installed on the path between the River Walk and the Guithavon Valley junction with Mill Lane, in September 2018.


The clips have been chosen and put together by local volunteers. The project is supported by Witham Town Council and Braintree District Council and has been installed by the Essex Record Office in collaboration with Witham Town Council and the Witham & Countryside Society.

In the first recording, Edie Brown recalls working at Pinkham’s glove factory and Cooper Taber’s seed warehouse in the 1910s. Next, Gerald Palmer describes the saddler’s shop of his father, Basil Palmer, as it was in the early twentieth century.  Then Lucy Croxall, who started teaching at Bramston School, now Maltings Academy, when it first opened in 1937, describes the early days of the school. In the next two clips, Edie Brown describes two jobs in domestic service in the 1900s, first at the White Hart, then for the Round family at Avenue House in Newland Street. Finally, Mabel Nicol, who was born in 1895, describes the clothing she used to wear as a child, including her Sunday best clothes.

These interviews were recorded by Janet Gyford and are held by the Essex Sound and Video Archive.


Follow the instructions on the bench panel to hear the recordings.

Sources: Essex Record Office; Witham & Countryside Society.

Timber framing of Witham Town Hall.
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