Long-serving store manager helps celebrate 25th anniversary of Clacton Shopping Village

When Clacton Shopping Village celebrates its 25th anniversary this month the honour of installing a time capsule to celebrate the milestone has fallen to a man who has worked there since it first opened its doors.

David Hilton spent his first seven years at the Village as a shop assistant with Mountain Warehouse before joining The Works as manager, the position he holds to this day.

He will help install the time capsule at the Shopping Village on Saturday, April 20, and tickets are now available for a full-scale 25th anniversary knees-up, Colours Of Time, from 11am to 4pm with proceeds going to Essex charity The Robin Cancer Trust.

It will mark a quarter-century of memories, milestones and community spirit at Clacton Shopping Village and as part of the Time Capsule ceremony there will be the chance to be part of Clacton history by bringing along something small, three inches maximum, with personal or community significance to be stored inside awaiting rediscovery in the future.

There will be a collaborative community art project to create a mural embodying the spirit of Clacton Shopping Village’s journey over the last 25 years as well as live music from local musicians and buskers, showcasing the depth of talent within the community.

The Shopping Village will also have a photographer at the event to capture the day with his pictures of the event going into the capsule to be preserved for future generations and to celebrate the first 25 years of Clacton Shopping Village.

They’ve been good years, according to Clacton man David Hilton whose assistant manager, Chantal Le Geyt, also joined The Works when the shopping village opened.

He said: “I had worked in a few other places before but when the Shopping Village opened it was something new and exciting that was happening in the town.

“What’s lovely about working here is that although it has gone through several changes over the years it’s always retained a village feel and sense of community.

“All the stores talk to each other here. I’ve worked in other high street stores and they were never the same.

“The atmosphere and camaraderie has been maintained. You spend a lot of time at work, a lot of your life, and if you enjoy it, it makes a huge difference.

“So many people over the years have worked in one of the shops, then left but come back here to work in a different shop. They think the grass is greener but then they come back.

“We seem to get a lovely blend of customers of all ages and I’ve had some great relationships with them – it’s almost like a social club here.

“I like people and really enjoy talking to them. We just seem to have that bit more time to engage and there are many customers that I’ve come to regard as friends.

“My staff here at The Works have been great too. The last person I gave a job to is still here ten years later and my colleague, Chantelle, has been here at the Village as long as I have.”

Chantal added: “I came here to work part-time when my son, Jamie, was only one but I later became full time.

“It’s been a lovely place to work. It’s like a real community here and we all get on very well.”

Leanne Pfrang, Operations Manager for Clacton Shopping Village, said:

“Clacton Shopping Village is a real success story that’s bucking the trend in retail with no shortage of enquiries for space and when retailers come to Clacton, they are always pleased with what they see here.

“It’s busy, vibrant and plays a major part in the economy of the town and surrounding area with over 250 people employed here in what is a real shopping hub.”

For more what’s happening at Clacton Shopping Village go to https://www.clactonshoppingvillage.com/

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