Spalding traders say it is good to be back after reopening as Covid restrictions ease
Tills were ringing across South Holland as non-essential shops were allowed to pull up the shutters for the first time in three months.
Spalding town centre was alive with shoppers this morning (Monday), while queues of people were seen outside barbers as people took advantage of the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions.
Non-essential stores, hairdressers, gyms and libraries were allowed to open up following three months of enforced closure.
Shoppers were eager to have a look around the new Hills Department Store, which has undergone a transformation during lockdown by owner Scott Crowson.
He said: “As soon as we opened the door, people were streaming in and every department was busy. People are sitting outside enjoying the takeaway from our cafe.
“It is relief to be busy straight away. There is a pent-up demand and people are really positive and supportive.”
Sue Stubley, of Occasions Jewellery in Bridge Street, was pleased to return after a long lockdown.
She said: “It is brilliant to be open again. It is also good to see people in town and it is the best I have seen for a long time.
“I would like to reassure people that it is safe, we are keeping the social distancing and hand sanitising.”
Darren Sutton, who is the manager of Charmed Interiors, was pleased to see many people in town.
He said: “We have had a steady morning - it is encouraging.
“It is nice to have the shop open again as it has been refreshed and cleaned and we have new stock in.”
St Barnabas Hospice Shop and Cafe manager James Harris was delighted to welcome shoppers again.
He said: “Town feels busy and so does the shop. It nice to just interact with people again. It is certainly a step in right direction.”
People were also enjoying sitting out in the sun in Red Lion street enjoying a drink from Flowers N Things and Pennington Coffee Shop.
Owner Anna Avery said: “It is exciting to be open again and it is nice to see so many people in town.
“People look happy and are enjoying the sense of freedom.”
Neighbour Mark Carroll had only been able to open Ginger Cat Antiques for just three weeks when the third lockdown was called.
Mark, who has been kept busy with online sales but was itching to get back in the shop, said: “It has been lovely to open. We have had three people through the door in the first 45 minutes and two people have bought something which is a good sign.
“There is still a lot to see and do in Spalding. We have a lot of independent traders so please come and support us.”
Andy Woodthorpe was also pleased to welcome shoppers back into Robert Goddard, in Hall Place.
He said: “It is good to be open again and we are glad to be back.”
Mark Kingerley, retail volunteer manager at Wood Green, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to our amazing volunteers for sticking with us during such a difficult time, and we’re now looking for more people to join our friendly team in Spalding. This is a brilliant way to build work experience, or simply to get out of the house and meet like-minded people, whilst playing a part in changing vulnerable pets’ lives. Any time you are able to give will make a big difference.”
Springfields Outlet Shopping and Leisure has also reported a busy day.
“Reopening has been wonderful. It’s brilliant to welcome our customers back. We’ve all been working hard to make sure all the shops have the latest collections and that everything is Covid-secure. It’s great to everyone so happy, and complimentary today”, said Faith Horne, marketing manager