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Line drawing of Witham Town Hall.

This shop with the low pitched roof on the corner of Lockram Lane is typically Georgian. It has seen many different businesses over the past 150 years or so.  In the second half of the nineteenth century it was an ironmonger and tinsmiths, first George Jones up to about 1874 followed by William Reed until 1906.


From then until the start of the First World War it was W Saville and Company, selling boots and shoes, and trading under the name of the "Great Eastern Stores".  After that war, Alice Brockes had it for a few years as a fruit, poultry and fishmongers, closing down in 1922.  There were then two other fruiterers in the shop, W J Hyde followed by David Sams.


In 1930 the shop was divided into two separate premises. The part on the corner became James Winches sweet shop, where he stayed for nearly thirty years before closing in 1959.  Mick Horsely is quoted in Witham Voices ‘… Mr Winch kept a high-class sweet shop where Lisa Marie is now. It was a narrow shop with a long counter, with quality sweets in front and ordinary ones behind. He weighed the sweets on silver scales and put them in paper bags. I would go home and count mine out and I then arranged them on the sideboard in the kitchen – so many for each day’. For the following seven years it was a bookshop, run by Kenneth Bibby.


 The other part of the building had various uses for short periods before Miss Legerton started the "Marina" ladies hairdressers here.  She was to stay for thirty years, closing in 1968.  For about four years after that Christine Dewdney and Dianne Ketley ran the hairdressers, calling it "Salon Chris-Dianne".


 Judy Bonnet opened her boutique in 1967 in the corner shop, and called it "Lisa Marie" after her daughter.  Seven years later she expanded into the part next door, so that the whole building became a single shop once again. However in 2008 Braintree & Witham Times reported ‘Women's fashion in Witham will not be the same once Judy Bonnett steps down from running Lisa Marie in Newland Street. Mrs Bonnett has  put the shop she has run for more than 40 years up for let as she wants to spend more time with her  two grandchildren’. In 2009 the photographic processing and services “Picturesque” moved in from their previous shop at No.63a. The shop has been an estate agent since 2014.


The building is dominant in this very prominent town centre position, and therefore forms an important place in the town’s streetscape. Although the properties further along Newland Street were redeveloped in the 1960s their placing back from the street lessens their impact making No 40 more important for the integrity of the town centre.


Sources: Mary Flynn & Diane Watson (Witham Voices); Braintree & Witham Times; Cyril Taylor; Witham & Countryside Society.

Timber framing of Witham Town Hall.
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