George Shiffner, David Possee, David East and Jean Stock all have their names inscribed on a brass plaque arranged by Braintree Chamber of Trade & Commerce which has been placed on a wall in George Yard Shopping Centre. It honours these various notable personalities from the business and voluntary communities in the town.
David Possee 1943 – 2009
Who was he? The inscription on his headstone simply reads "A very special man". To his family, friends and all who met him, he was a very special sort of person. He had time for everyone and nothing was too much trouble.
He came to Braintree as a baby and his whole working life was spent in the area. He was actively involved in the local church firstly with his parents at the Baptist Church and after his marriage to Janet in 1968 at St Paul's Hay Lane. David was active in several other areas of Braintree life over the years - The Bocking Windmill Committee, the Local History Society, the Community Association and the Public Gardens. For several years he was a school governor.
He had a great interest in local history. He researched many local topics, wrote several books, gave talks to local groups and schools, led town walks and ran a local history course at Alec Hunter Humanities College. One of them had worked at Lake and Elliots, as had David. Bernie's researches unearthed enough material for a book, "Cycle of Events" which David and Bernie wrote together.
In 2009, Alec Hunter Humanities College celebrated its 50th Birthday. David had helped compile a 50th Anniversary Book. He received the proof copy just 2 days before he died in August 2009. He was able to read it through and pass the final text to the school ready for publication in September.
Many local people will remember him for his enthusiasm for his town and its people, past and present. Others will remember his advice to "look up" above the modern shop fronts and see evidence of the town's past.
A database of Braintree Town Centre businesses is available here.
A plaque has been presented by Chamber to George Yard Shopping Centre, to put on public view. The plaque honours the contributions made by George Shiffner, David East, David Possee and Jean Stock to the town community.
The plaque was unveiled by Chair of Braintree District Council Cllr Janet Money on Saturday 15th October 2011.