AS we all get to grips with our festive shopping and await our pay packets, it is a chance to look at how the town once operated.

And these images from our archives show how the shops, staff and businesses have changed over the years.

Familiar names include Kent Blaxill, seen here alongside a number of others in a turn of the century ad campaign which seems to have been designed to encourage shoppers to the High Street and others many may not remember such as Clamp & Sons who sold furnishings.

Factory workers, postmen from Marks Tey and also employees who would mainly have worked outside including for the fisheries on Mersea Island are also seen here.