WITH plans for a fourth store in the Colchester district well under way these photographs show J Sainsbury's has a connection with the area which dates back further than a century.

It first arrived in the town in 1905 and opened up for business at 41 High Street.

Historian Andrew Philips explains the company in those days sold hams, cooked meats, pies and sausages from a long narrow counter at one side of the shops and cheese, butter and eggs on the other side.

In those early days they also used wooden butter pats and wire cheese cutters and customers paid at a special counter near the door.

"I know they would not employ local people. They liked new assistant to work in a different town and they all lived in lodging upstairs above the shop," he explains.

These upstairs rooms can be seen in the early photographs which show the shop as it was in 1928.

In 1932 it took over Harris & Co next door and it was still there in the 1960s.

The company then opened a store in London Road Stanway which remained there until an area of land was bought to create a much larger store at the Tollgate shopping centre.

Work on this began during the 1980s and these images capture the site as it was developed.

This has since been demolished after an even larger superstore was built on the other side and there is also still a small town centre branch in Priory Walk.