Christmas message from Zoe Brady, Great Dunmow Town Team Member

Zoe Brady, with her husband Matt Brady

Zoe Brady, with her husband Matt Brady - Credit: Archant

As another year comes to a close it’s a time when we look back and reflect on the year.

Firstly, how quickly it’s flown by what we have achieved, the highs and the lows both personally and professionally.

It only seems a few weeks ago that we had light and warm evenings, where many people would be out and about making the most of the warm weather, the smell of barbecues wafting through the air and kids out playing in the parks.

With shorter days, and cold nights our thoughts turn to Christmas, the smell of open fires replace the barbecue aroma.

Children build themselves up into a giddy excitement waiting for the big day itself, whilst the rest of us tear our hair out wondering what gifts to purchase for friends and family.

As owner of Zoë’s Coffee Shop in Great Dunmow I would say that one of my proudest moments this year was finding out that Great Dunmow had been named as having one of Britain’s best high streets in The Great British High Street competition.

Coming fifth out of 900 entries really does make you realise that Dunmow is Great for a reason.

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Our High Street is unusually made up of only independent shops, but as with high streets up and down the country, the ease of online shopping combined with out-of-town shopping centres, has put significant pressures on our traders.

However, the strength of the local High Street is the shopping experience, something you don’t get in the vast retail centres or chain stores.

We know our customers, many of them by name. It’s a friendly, relaxed and personal way to shop, and best of all it makes you feel good when you stop and have a quick chat with someone who you haven’t seen for a while.

The High Street is a central and pivotal part of the community, it’s important we keep that alive and keep our independent shops trading.

I’m a relative new comer to Great Dunmow, about to reach my fourth anniversary running a local business here. Not only do I work in Great Dunmow but I live here as well.

My husband and I love the community, the High Street and the friendliness of the people I can’t think of anywhere else I would rather be spending Christmas this year.

Great Dunmow really is Great for many reasons, and with the enthusiasm of our local traders and the support of the residents,

I believe it will remain that way for many years to come.

I would like to thank all of you that have supported the High Street this year by shopping locally, without you we certainly wouldn’t survive.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you all in Great Dunmow in 2017.