CHRISTMAS shopping has begun in earnest, and shopping locally is important for the survival of small town centres. Here’s one Chepstow High Street premises that has preserved its Victorian frontage and shop window almost unaltered. No 8 High Street, was the home of Watkins Tobacconist’s for nearly a century. Founder Valentine Edward Watkins, seen here in his shop doorway, began his business in 1871 at the top of Bank Street and moved here in the 1880s.

Close-up photos of individual shops with their owners are relatively rare in our collections – if you have any, please let Chepstow Museum know. For more on the history of Chepstow's High Street shops look at the research the museum put in the pavements.