Town shops get Potter fever thanks to museum 

Braintree businesses take part in School for Witchcraft and Wizardry trail

There might not be a goblin gold bank or magic-enabled pub in Braintree, but the town’s businesses have been inspired to join in with Braintree District Museum’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry exhibition when it officially launches on July 25.
Braintree District Museum in Manor Street, Braintree, is exhibiting its School for Witchcraft and Wizardry from July 15 until October 28 with a grand launch on Tuesday July 25 (10am – 4pm). The grand launch day will involve lots of live owls and real magic.

To mark the museum’s Summer Exhibition twenty-five businesses have signed up to take part in a ‘School of Magic’ Shopping Treasure town trail and many others are already preparing Harry Potter-inspired window displays. 

Visitors to the museum will be able to pick up a ‘School of Magic’ treasure trail map on their way out of the museum and then go on a journey through Braintree Town to find 25 items on a Magic School shopping list which will be displayed on shop fronts.  Those who find all 25 will be entered in into a prize draw. Those who match at least 15 will get a Witchcraft and Wizardry certificate. A huge thank you to all the local businesses that have kindly donated prizes. 
Among the 25 shops taking part are Hedingham Models in Market Street, Shake Express in High Street, Home Pride in Leather Lane and the Quadrant, Rayne Road. 

Also taking part in the trail and window display is Emma Mack of Mack's Barber Shop. It is Emma’s large collection of Harry Potter collectibles on display at the museum, she said: “The museum exhibition looks wonderful and I’m excited that all families in the Braintree district and surrounding areas can share in my obsession. The exhibition has inspired so many Braintree town businesses to come together and welcome museum visitors into the town. We’ve already set up our window display and we are proud to be involved in the trail.”

Marion Horsley from Shake Express on the High Street said: “Lots of people are talking about the event – it has certainly captured people’s imagination so we’re really excited about being involved. It will be great if people come up into the town after visiting the museum event and see what we have to offer.”

Cllr Tom Cunningham, deputy potions master and cabinet member for economic development at Braintree District Council, said: “We’re delighted that the magic hat picked Braintree Museum for this event but even more thrilled that Braintree’s businesses are on board too. I have no doubts that this fantastically popular exhibition will bring visitors to the museum and into the town too."

Cllr John McKee, deputy defence against the dark arts master and Chairman of the Braintree Museum Trust, said: "We have put many ideas into our cauldron and this one smells right! The reaction to this exhibition has been incredible. We are all looking forward to welcoming hundreds of visitors into Braintree."

The trail maps will be available to pick up from the Braintree District Museum, Town Hall and other outlets around the town from Tuesday, July 25th. 

For more details of the trail visit

For more details of the School for Witchcraft and Wizardry exhibition visit