Quiet time on the High Street

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SPALDING traders reported a quiet Bank Holiday weekend as shoppers stayed away from the High Street to enjoy the jubilee celebrations.

Many of the town’s independent shops stayed closed on Monday and Tuesday, leaving just the town’s chain stores open for business.

Some of those who did open, closed early as the town centre remained deserted.

But there has been some criticism of South Holland District Council for not running the town’s weekly Tuesday market.

A number of market traders were reportedly disappointed that the council had decided not to lay out the stalls, as were shopkeepers who claimed it would have attracted more people into the town.

But a spokesman for South Holland District Council said the prevailing view of traders was that they did not want the market to be open as they wanted to make the most of jubilee celebrations with family and friends.

Denise Wales, of Bargain Books, said: “I came into town on Tuesday morning to see what was happening, but it was so quiet that I decided it wasn’t worth opening.

“But I would definitely have opened if there had been a market on as it would have brought more people into town.

“I think we need a joined up approach to Bank Holidays. If some shops are opening, all the shops should open so people know it is worth coming into town.”

The town’s Cancer Research UK charity shop was one of the shops which did open its doors, but manager Lisa Winkley took the decision to close at about 3pm because the town centre was so quiet.

She said: “It has been better than I thought it would be, but we shouldn’t have opened. It wasn’t really worth getting staff in. It’s been steady but I think people were too busy celebrating the jubilee to come shopping.”

Ink2Print in Market Place was also open, but manager Philip Evans said staff had been working on computer repairs as things had been quiet on the sales front.

However Pete Williams, of the Punchbowl pub in New Road, reported a “bumper” weekend as patriotic people celebrated the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.

He said: “I can honestly say that most people did not just use the jubilee weekend as an excuse to get drunk.

“It was a really special weekend and on Sunday and Monday we finished the night with a rendition of Jerusalem and everyone was singing.

“There was a lot of genuine patriotism. People showed a lot of pleasure for the Queen and in what she has done for the country.

“They came out because they genuinely wanted to celebrate the jubilee and as a result we had a bumper weekend.”