Date: 9 February 2018
Brentwood Borough Council and the Dogs Trust has been working to preserve an historic shop front which was uncovered during renovations in Brentwood High Street. The property, a former cycle shop, was being refitted for the town’s first Dogs’ Trust charity when an old shop sign was uncovered together with original historic tiles and original features around the shopfront.
The Council’s Historic Buildings Officer, PauletteMcAllister said: “It’s a beautiful authentic frontage with parallel Victorian tiles framing the central window and is now being preserved for future generations. It’s a mark of how the High Street has changed but also how Brentwood’s heritage is very much appreciated. As you walk in on the right hand side there are the original shop notice board display cases which may have been used for advertising the stock or community events – these are unique within our high street and date from the late 19th century.”
The Council and the charity were both surprised by the find and worked together to ensure that none of the authentic shop features were lost. The sign shows that the property was a retail outlet for bicycles for many years and is indicative of the Victorian expansion of Brentwood as the town boomed.
Chair of Community, Health and Housing, Cllr Chris Hossack said: “I think this says everything about the best of Brentwood. We have an historic and significant high street that has changed to match residents tastes and needs over time but it retains really important features that are still practical, attractive and relevant today. We welcome the Dogs Trust to Brentwood particularly with its local local connections and it’s exceptional ethos epitomized at its great rehoming centre just down the road . I must say the way the charity has sympathetically taken on board this particular shop’s history has given it a great new look which we can all enjoy.”
The Dogs Trust has cleverly incorporated the authenticity of the property into its overall visual display. The charity has a large centre based at Basildon and a number of charity shops in surrounding towns but this is the first such outlet in Brentwood.
The charity said: “Dogs Trust is excited to be opening a brand new charity shop in Brentwood, an area that has been so welcoming to the charity due to an existing shop in nearby Rayleigh and a rehoming centre in Basildon. However, during the refurbishment they were surprised to unveil historic signage dating back many, many years. The UK’s largest dog welfare charity has worked with Brentwood Council to preserve this and we hope shoppers will pop in and have a look when the shop officially opens on February 16th. Anyone interested in kindly donating items to the shop can do so now.”
Media Contact: Lorne Spicer
Tel: 01277 312630