IS there more to shopping than a leisurely stroll round our favourite stores and counters?

For many the state of the economy and mood of the population is reflected in our High Streets.

But during the last 50 years of the 20th century Brightlingsea’s shopping landscape changed.

There was once a shop on every corner selling basic provisions, you didn’t have to go to the High Street for your sugar or the children’s sweets. However, in the1960s, the first of the major shipyards were to close, the oyster trade came to an end, and the train, which had at one time brought people into the town to work, became a victim of cuts.

More and more Brightlingsea residents travelled out of the town to earn their living and by the mid-1980s the last of the shipyards closed.

In the side roads, what were once small shops became sitting rooms and to go shopping was a trip to the High Street or Victoria Place. With more mobility and the advent of the supermarket, there have been more changes, inasmuch that the High Street shops don’t go quite so far up the road.

Instead of a time when there was at least four bakers and five butchers, there are now more hairdressers, beauticians and coffee shops.

But Brightlingsea is lucky to have a range of shops that still include a butchers and bakers. No candle-stick maker, but certainly many others that provide excellent services.