THE streets of Bradford on Avon were bustling this morning as traders and other non-essential businesses opened their doors to trade for the first time in several weeks.
There were queues of men outside the Silver Street Barbers queuing for haircuts, and many shops in the city have reopened after the third lockdown since the start of the Covid pandemic. 19.
Jackie Allan, owner of Piha retail clothing store in Lamb Yard, said: âIt feels like the city is coming to life. People have come just to say hello and discuss what’s going on.
âWe’ve taken deliveries and made sales, so for us it’s a win-win. So far, all is well.
Early this morning, the Clean Up Bradford on Avon group was tidying up the city center.
Ms. Allan added, âI have spoken to some restaurant and cafe owners and they are happy to be open. We have the impression that the community is coming together. ”
At Pablo’s Bistro next door, Simon Connolly served customers who had stopped by for coffee and a snack. He said: âI opened at 10am for the first time since December, although we do take out.
âSo far, it’s going very well. It’s nice and busy and people are really happy to be able to go out. Here’s hoping it will last. We never know.”
Two of her clients included Jenny Duffin, 72, from Bristol, and her friend Pauline Francis, 70, from Keynsham, who had come to Bradford to meet over coffee and chat.
âWe do this on a regular basis and have gathered at Victoria Park in Bath during the lockdown,â Pauline said. âWe have been friends for over 30 years.
Across the road, several men lined up outside the Silver Street Barbers to have their hair cut for the first time in several weeks.
They included 17-year-old Connor Mooney of Holt, who had been waiting for about half an hour for a cut. I thought yesterday it was time for a haircut. It hasn’t been cut for a few months.
âI’m going for the classic teenage cut and really looking forward to it. However, I’m more excited to be able to go out tonight when the pubs open.
Phil Hall, 50, of Bradford on Avon, had ventured out early this morning hoping the barber shop would be open at 7:50 a.m. and waited about 20 minutes, but was forced to return home when he found it still closed.
âI had to wait for it to open at 9 am and waited about half an hour while reading my book. I came just for a cut. I don’t go out to the pub until Saturday, but I wanted to.
He added: “The last time I had my hair cut was when my son William did it, but he’s now gone back to college.”
Dry-stone waller Kit Wright, 17, of Winsley, was also waiting in line. He said, âI’m going to have a short back and sides. It’s been a long time since I got my last haircut. I’m just glad they’re open. It’s annoying when it’s too long.
In Silver Street, Jo Harbor, 63, and her daughter Steph, 34, were able to open their new Heaven’s Bazaar store, for the first time in weeks, after moving the business from Bath last August.
âWe closed at the end of January and are delighted to reopen. We moved from Bath because the rents were too high and attendance had steadily declined over the ten years we were there.
âWe are focused on selling affordable clothing, jewelry and accessories with an upscale look and will be working on sorting out our upstairs space. ”
The Dorothy House charity store in The Shambles has also reopened. It is part of the Winsley charity’s 28-store chain in Bath and north-eastern Somerset, Somerset and Wiltshire.
One of the staff said: âIt’s great to be open again. We have had a busy morning sorting out donations and looking after clients.
Mark Laycock, owner of The Lock Inn next to the Kennet & Avon Canal reopened at 8:30 am for their famous “Boatman’s Breakfast”.
He says they have over 114 people booked for meals today.
âWe’ve been working hard to get ready for today and we’re cleared until midnight. We’re not a pub so we’ll be keeping an eye on things.
âBut it’s great to be open again. We have worked a lot in our outdoor space and have 86 tables all socially distanced.
âWe expect to be very busy at lunchtime.
“We are taking online reservations for meals and will be taking reservations today for our canoes.”