Over the years, towns, cities and villages in north and mid Essex have changed considerably in their appearance.

Here we are taking a look back to see what has changed and what stayed over the decades.


An iconic part of the town near the Blackwater estuary was the  Embassy Cinema, which opened in March 1936.

Gazette: The Embassy cinema used to be on the High Street and Embassy Court flats now stands in its place. (Picture by Lloyd Blackburn)

It was built in Art Deco style on the site of a 16th-century house called The Trees.


Unfortunately, for many residents of Maldon, it closed its doors in August 1982, when it was called Studio One.


Newland Street runs straight through the heart of Witham and has always been busy.


Shops and pubs remain, but a great number of cars are now shaping the landscape.


In 1897, the street was part of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in Witham with days of celebration.


The pier in Clacton has been a tourist attraction since 1870 when it was opened to the public in July.


It was originally built as a landing platform to accommodate the movement of manufactured goods, products and many other items.

Only in 1893 works on the Pier Pavillion, now known as Jolly Roger, and the theatre were added as Clacton had grown to a popular holiday spot.

The first rollercoasters were added in 1922, but destroyed during a fire in 1973.


The pier as it is known now had been in the works since 2008, when the Clacton Pier Company took over.


The village is not only the home of award-winning delicacies and delicious jams but also one of the most unique homes in the UK.


The Tiptree windmill, also known as Messing Maypole Mill, was built in 1775 by a millwright from Colchester and has been used until 1962, although the millstones were removed two years prior.


In 1969 it was converted into a residence and has been used as such to this day.


Braintree has always been famous for its busy market, which came back to life after the pandemic.

Gazette: Community: The market has been popular for decades, like here in the 1960s (pic: Braintree Museum)

The story of the market started in 1199 when King John presented a charter authorising the holding of a weekly market and October fair in the town to the Bishop of London and Lord of the Manor of Braintree.

During the 1800s, the market had its golden years and was highly frequented by farmers, tradesmen and customers.

Gazette: Present: The market has evolved massively over the years, only recently returning after the pandemic

Today the area is still busy with many shops and was used to host the town's Christmas market.


Parkeston Quay was officially opened in 1883 despite the first commercial shops docked already in 1882.


The hotel at the quay made only profit in two years, 1886 and 1893, and was put up for sale at public auction in 1907.

After being refurbished and connected to the Continental Steamship Committee's electricity power station it reopened in 1912.

Yet, its life was short-lived, as it finally closed its doors in September 1923.


One hundred years later, the building is used as an apartment for short-term renters and visitors.


The city's High Street has not much changed within the last 100 years apart from new shops and restaurants moving into the buildings along the street and losing its tram lines.


The Colchester Corporation Tramways connected Lexden, North Station, East Hill, Hythe and St Botolph's Street with a central junction in High Street.

Public transport ran between 1904 to 1929 and was shut down due to a lack of funding for the refurbishment and replacement of trams.


Its successors, busses, are still a frequent sight on High Street, which have been joined by cabs and scooters.