AN exhibition highlighting the work of a late community icon and newspaper editor is set to go on display this weekend.

The special display, Halstead and the Gazette through photographs by Geoff Root, will take place on Saturday and is the result of more than a year’s painstaking work by volunteers intent on maintaining his legacy.

Organised by the Halstead and District Local History Society, it will feature some of the thousands of photographs gifted to the society by the family of Geoff, a former editor of the Halstead Gazette.

Malcolm Root, president of the history society who is not related to Geoff, explains many of the negatives were on glass plates and it was a prolonged process to digitally process them.

“We are very grateful to Geoff’s daughter Judith, who will also be opening the exhibition for us, for kindly donating the images and also to the team of volunteers who spent hours scanning them in.

“It means this vast collection of photographs which really do capture the history of Halstead, will be preserved for generations to come,” adds Malcolm.

Geoff joined the Halstead Gazette just after the end of the Second World War and from the late 1940s to the early 1960s took many photographs of the town and the surrounding district as part of his work.

These include the selection seen here, which will form part of around 100 appearing at the weekend.

Among them are staff at Caxton Works, in Halstead, which was the printworks where the newspaper Geoff worked for was printed.

Each photograph, capturing every day life from working in factories to ploughing fields and the annual town carnival, was recorded with details for publication.

Geoff’s work quickly led to him becoming an easily recognisable figure within the town, and a name and face which continues to be remembered.

Malcolm adds: “Geoff was a very well-known and respected member of the Halstead community who had time to speak with everyone.”

Geoff, who lived in Colchester Road, died at Halstead Hospital in 2015 aged 93.

His lifelong friend Jackie Pell said: “He was a real Halstead character and always had time for everybody.

“Geoff was a very genuine man and he would say it how he saw it.

“You grew up just knowing Geoff – when you live in a town like this, you take people like that for granted as just being there.”

Geoff’s archive of images are now held at Halstead Museum, next to the Queens Hall, whose volunteers carried out the vital work to digitise them.

The event at Queens Hall on Chipping Hill runs from 10am to 4.30pm with entry free but donations welcomed.