Witham listening bench

Site of the bench in Witham

Welcome to the information page for the listening bench installed in Witham, Essex. Unfortunately this bench has been vandalised and removed to storage. We will try to replace it as soon as we can. Please keep checking this page for updates.

The bench features clips from oral history interviews with local residents, recorded by Janet Gyford. They cover different types of work in the town, the opening of the new Witham Secondary Modern School, and clothing worn in the early twentieth century. You can explore more of the collection of interviews on the History of Witham website.

Location of the bench in Witham

The bench is situated in Maldon Road Park, in the children’s playground area.

The bench has been put together by a group of volunteers and is supported by Witham Town Council and the Witham and Countryside Society. It is part of the Witham Town Trail – click here to explore the rest of the trail.

Audio clips on this bench

Work at Pinkham's glove factory and the Cooper Tabor seed warehouse (Button A Clip 1)

Edie Brown describes getting sacked from her job at Pinkham’s, and almost getting sacked from Cooper Tabor (SA 59/1/5/1).

The old harness maker's shop (Button A Clip 2)

Gerald Palmer describes his father’s harness maker’s shop, which used to be on Newland Street, and his father’s daily routine (SA 59/1/102/1).

The opening of Witham Secondary Modern School (Button A Clip 3)

Lucy Croxall recalls being invited to join the teaching staff when Witham Secondary Modern School first opened in 1937 (SA 59/1/23/1). It later became Bramston School, and was recently replaced by Maltings Academy.

Doing domestic service for the White Hart Hotel (Button B Clip 1)

Edie Brown recalls the hard work of domestic service at the White Hart Hotel in the early twentieth century (SA 59/1/5/1).

Domestic service for the Round family (Button B Clip 2)

Edie Brown also did domestic service for the eminent Round family. Here she describes her battle to get the fire lit one morning (SA 59/1/5/1).

A schoolgirl's clothing in the early twentieth century (Button B Clip 3)

Mabel Nicol describes the clothes she made and wore in the early twentieth century, including her ‘Sunday best’ clothes (SA 59/1/12/1).

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