A BUILDING society has celebrated opening in Colchester for 40 years.

When Saffron Building Society opened its doors in the town in 1979, the average house cost just £13,650 compared to £229,431 today.

A tea party was held at the Culver Street West branch to mark the special occasion.

Branch manager Lisa Howard said: “So much has obviously changed in the last 40 years not least the cost of property but some things do remain the same.

“Good customer service has always been at the heart of what we do.”

In recent years the branch has been used as a community art gallery, a meeting space for a men’s mental health charity as well as a venue for fundraising activities benefitting a wide range of good causes.