There was a buzz in Penrith this morning as shops, hairdressers, barbers, pubs, restaurants and salons were allowed to open their doors.
The cold weather did not deter people who were eager to return to the high street and support local businesses.
Sarah Mossop, of Penrith’s Sassy Nix Boutique, said getting ready for today’s reopening following the third national lockdown had been like waiting for Christmas Day.
The luxury Kings Street-based lingerie and swimwear shop has been repainted and and customers – who have already started to come in and book appointments – can expect to receive five star treatment.
“We’ve got Prosecco, cupcakes, and fruit juices – and we’re going to keep on doing this everyday to celebrate,” said Sarah, who added that she had been champing at the bit to get going again.
With only two people being allowed in the shop at any one time, it means a “more civilised way of shopping” is created, she said and is something she is keen to build on.
We spoke to some shoppers in the sunshine.
Katie Jackson was out taking her son Tommy to get his hair cut for the first time in “far too long”.
Katie said: “We’re desperate to get a proper haircut. His dad has done a good job, but Tommy is ready for the real deal.”
“It’s just so nice to be out. Tommy is excited because we are also going to pay a visit to a toy shop.”
Lyn and Alan Thornton were keen to take advantage of outdoor hospitality returning and ventured to the George Hotel for a post-lockdown treat.
“It’s just wonderful,” said Lyn. “We regularly frequent the George and do appreciate a good cup of coffee.
“Thank goodness we’ve been able to enjoy our garden, but it cannot compare to actually being out and about again.”
Alan has had both doses of the vaccine and Lyn is waiting for her second – they hope this will be the country’s route back to normality.
It was a big day out for Ava Hope who bought a fluffy penguin and some sweets whilst on her way to meet her cousins in Castle Park.
Joanne said: “We’re really enjoying ourselves. It’s just lovely to be out in the sun and seeing people.”
“She hasn’t been able to see her cousins for ages. It’s going to be great.”
Ava was also excited to be allowed back to school last month having, like many children, missed being able to see her friends over lockdown.
Roberta and Nigel Blair enjoyed a coffee while out doing some shopping.
“It’s absolutely wonderful. The sun is shining, and I hope we are able to enjoy it for a while longer.
“It’s just so nice to see people actually out in town for once. We’re still being cautious – It’s family that we really want to see but we aren’t able to yet.”
- Have you been out to get your hair cut for the first time in months or visit your favourite independent retailer? Are you a shop that has opened for the first time in months? Let us know how you got on and send us your photos of you out and about at last! Email firstname.lastname@example.org