A former newsagent is shining in new splendour after it underwent a huge renovation. 

Claydons, in Colchester High Street, has finally opened its doors to the public after undergoing a revamp and renovation process over the past two months. 

Owner Steve Sutton was excited to welcome guests as well as mayor John Jowers, the mayoress Susan Jowers and Sir Bob Russel for a celebratory ribbon cutting. 

“It has been really hectic, there has been so much work to do,” said Mr Sutton. 


“When we first bought the little shop and the newsagent on the front, we didn’t realise that we had a Victorian shop front, which is the oldest shopfront in Colchester’s High Street. 

“Once we started taking all the vinyl down we saw seven layers of paint hiding the beautiful finals in the tops of the windows.

"As soon as we realised that we stopped work and got a restorer in to come and peel back the paint and restore it. Then we got a carpenter in, he reckoned he could save 80 per cent of the original Victorian front, which is what we have done.” 


The painstaking process of restoring the exterior of the shop and the original beams inside the building extended from the planned four to five weeks to nine weeks. 

But the work and final outcome are impressive and preserve the historic spirit of the building. 


“I’m local to Colchester and I’m really passionate about it. I think somebody else would have just come in and ripped everything out because it would have been so much easier and cheaper,” said Mr Sutton. 

“We have put a lot of passion and love into it, it’s not just another business. We want it to be special and hope we can offer a really nice experience for people when they are coming in.” 


 The opening was attended by carpenter Stuart Young and restorer Richard Lion. 

Mayor John Jowers was “delighted” to cut the ribbon of the new Claydons and to be able to “keep on the tradition of High Street”. 


Claydons serves coffee from Ipswich supplier Paddy and Scots, as well as pastries, and fresh orange juice, which are half-priced during the opening week, as well as drinks, snacks and ice cream. 

Opening hours are Monday to Thursday 7am to 8pm, Friday to Saturday 7am to 10pm and Sunday 9am to 5pm.