Witham lies at the geographical centre of Essex. Chipping Hill, which now lies to the north of the town centre, was the site of the first settlement, dating from the Iron Age. H.E. Du Plessis may have been aiming to capture the spirit of Essex by painting the heart, literally and historically, of the county. Progress has not bypassed this otherwise idyllic scene, however, and sadly, neither has the war: the 'Air Shelter' sign fixed to one of the houses is one of the few explicit references to World War II in the Recording Britain pictures.