Chairman's Column - 6 July 2021
Published on Tuesday, 6th July 2021
Commerce, Past and Present
“Do you remember the big names in Maldon that MADE things?
“Remember John Sadd & Sons (Where my father worked from 1956 to 1978) which later became Boulton & Paul Ltd; indeed, I worked there from 1975 to 1978! They made wooden and aluminium ladders, kitchen units, roof trusses, doors, windows, TV units and more. Stella Components was another big local name making all kinds of tubular items, Ever Ready in Heybridge made batteries, Bentalls made farm machinery and petrol engines, they even built cars! Then there was Cooks Boatyard making Thames Barges and launches until it closed in the 1980s, Gray’s Brewery and English Electric Valves.
“These fine companies were the backbone of the town and everything to local employment and the local economy. I’ll wager you wouldn’t find anyone who lives locally who didn’t know someone who worked at one of these big-name companies. But time moves on and sadly we are not the makers of things we used to be. Quest Motors, our only new car dealer, recently closed moving to their Braintree branch. They will be missed in Maldon, I’ve bought just about all my cars there since 1985. Sadly, these names will only live on as road names (Quest Place), landmarks (the Bentalls Centre) or as material at the Museum in the Park (the John Sadd room). Thank goodness we still have the world-famous Maldon Salt which has been producing salt since Roman times and is now in the hands of the fourth generation of the Osborne family. There’s sustainability for you!
“So where are we now? Commercially, Maldon is still very successful with multiple food stores (Morrisons, Tesco, Asda, Lidl, The Co-Op, Marks & Spencer’s, Iceland, and Aldi) and they all seem to be busy all the time. Maldon has two successful breweries (Mighty Oak and Farmer’s Ales), industrial estates at West Station and The Causeway, retail parks attracting big names such as Next, Shoezone and Screwfix and cutting-edge tech firms at Oval Park.
“The High Street has changed too with abundant food and drink establishments, but as always, it’s those small independent shops and businesses that catch your eye and go hand in glove with our biggest asset – tourism. I know we will soon be welcoming visitors returning to the district bringing with them the promise of new business, more custom and more employment.
“Maldon still has a number of empty premises crying out to be refurbished and re-opened and I can feel business confidence pushing through. Any entrepreneurs out there, please come and visit us and let’s do some business together!
“As always, thanks for reading this. Take care and stay safe”
Councillor Mark S. Heard
Chairman of Maldon District Council
Page Updated 06/07/2021 15:51:24
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