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.
George Shiffner 1936 – 2009
George Shiffner ABIPP, who was easily recognised in the town in his wide-brimmed hat, died after a long battle with cancer on 17th September 2009.
George was born in Stockton Heath, Cheshire in 1936, the son of a brewer.
After schooling at Wellington College, Berkshire, and three years National Service including time with the SAS in Kuala Lumpur he started working in 1959 with a firm of photographers in Oxford.
There he met his wife-to-be Helena and they married in 1961. This was a pivotal year as he also moved to Braintree, buying the photographic business in Coggeshall Road where he traded as a photographer until his retirement in 2005.
His daughter Penny was born in 1962 and his son Michael in 1963.
Apart from portraits and wedding photography he carried out commercial commissions and was the official photographer for the Essex Show for nearly 20 years until it closed.
In 1995 he acquired the Waggon & Horses pub in Great Yeldham which he helped run with his son Michael until his death.
George became involved in many aspects of local life, looking always to improve the image and commercial attractiveness of Braintree.
He was a key member of the Round Table, The Halstead and Braintree 41 Club, the Rotary Club, as well as playing an invaluable role in the Chamber of Commerce and the Town Centre Strategy Group for many years.
He will be remembered by many as a tireless worker for the commercial life of the town.
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.