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‘People are really keen to get back to normality’ Shops in Holt and Cromer reopen

PUBLISHED: 17:29 15 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:29 15 June 2020

People queueing for Fish and Chips in Cromer on June 15 2020. Picture; Staff

People queueing for Fish and Chips in Cromer on June 15 2020. Picture; Staff

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One-way systems and social distancing were in place in north Norfolk on Monday as shops opened their doors to customers for the first time almost three months.

Debbie Amis and Donna Hammond back at work at Bakers and Larners in Holt on June 15 2020. Picture: staffDebbie Amis and Donna Hammond back at work at Bakers and Larners in Holt on June 15 2020. Picture: staff

In Holt, shopping got off to a quiet but steady start with a small queue forming outside Bakers and Larners.

Customers entering the store were greeted by a zoning system with staff on hand to explain the system and offer hand sanitiser.

Donna Hammond, 52, who works on the store’s deli counter said it was good to be back; “This is like coming home and putting on your comfy slippers,” she said.

Ms Hammond, who spent the lockdown working at Budgens of Holt, with is owned by the Bakers and Larners group, said the deli had needed to make a few changes to meet new safety measures. She said: “We’re all wearing visors, you get a little bit steamy and they’re not the most flattering things in the world but to be safe you’ve got to wear them.

Bakers and Larners in Holt. Picture: StaffBakers and Larners in Holt. Picture: Staff

“The start of the day was very quiet but there’s actually been quite a few people milling about. I’m not surprised, when I was in Budgens we had people come in [asking when we would be open], people are really keen to get back to normality.”

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Isobel Ford, the owner of Isobel’s Styles For You, which also has a store in Drayton, said she was disappointed with how quiet the town was, she said: “The locals might come into the store, but until the holiday makers come back, I don’t know if it’s worth [being open].”

Elsewhere in the town, Mike Lane, who runs Lanes Jewellery, said it was good to see the town opening up again.

Shoppers out in Holt on the first day of non-essential shops reopening after lockdown. Picture: StaffShoppers out in Holt on the first day of non-essential shops reopening after lockdown. Picture: Staff

“I didn’t know what to expect, it’s the complete unknown, I didn’t know if the town would be absolutely bustling or a complete ghost town, obviously Holt relies heavily on holiday makers and second home owners and they’re not around at the moment.

“People seem quite happy. Everybody is saying ‘hello’ to each other,” he said.

In Cromer, traders were also happy to see businesses reopening, Ian Cutts, of IC sports said; “It’s good to be back at work, It’s absolutely fantastic. I have had quite a few customers this morning. I didn’t think it would be that busy I thought everyone would go to Norwich an go to the big shops.

“People are quite happy to see the same faces again. I think as people get more confident [more will come out] it’s a small percentage at the moment, people aren’t quite sure what to do.”

Mike Lanes with his son Josh, outside the father and son business, Lanes Jewellery in Holt. Picture: StaffMike Lanes with his son Josh, outside the father and son business, Lanes Jewellery in Holt. Picture: Staff

Emma Dent, one of the owners of Upstairs Downstairs, also said it was good welcome people back into her shop.

“People are really happy to be somewhere that’s not the supermarket,” she said.


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