Traders ‘very busy’ as thousands flock to coast on hottest day
- Credit: Archant
Thousands of families flocked to the east coast to hit the sun-drenched sands as the temperatures soared.
Holidaymakers and locals made the most of one of the hottest days of the year as they basked in the glorious conditions.
With Lowestoft town centre and a packed promenade bustling with visitors, businesses have been buoyed by the recent hot weather as they hope to continue to reap the rewards of a bumper staycation summer.
As temperatures approached 30C, thousands of people headed to the beach and seafront area to soak up the rays and cool down in the sea, as locals and holidaymakers adhered to the social distancing guidelines.
Car parks were full, trains from Norwich and Ipswich were packed with those intent on hitting the beach as heavy traffic was reported across Norfolk and Waveney in the rush to the coast.
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On July 20 a “much-needed” public facility opened its doors – as a new Tourist Information Office was unveiled at Lowestoft Railway Station.
It means that for the first time in five years, Lowestoft has its own dedicated, large-scale tourist information office once more.
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As the Lowestoft Central Project and the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership joined forces to open the office in time for the Summer holidays, it is hoped the new facility will provide a welcome boost to tourism in the area.
The facility features a mix of tourist information combined with books, locally produced crafts and souvenirs available in addition to stocking public transport timetables, railway collectables and refreshments.
And hailing the success of the first two weeks of the new facility, Martin Halliday, Community Rail Norfolk Development Officer, said: “The trains coming in from Norwich and Ipswich (on Friday morning) have been really busy.
“A lot of people have come with buckets and spades as they head to the beach.
“As Lowestoft station is their nearest station to the beach, it is great to see so many people coming into the town.
“The new Tourist Information Office has been busy and it has been really great since we opened. From what we have learned, the broads have been busy with boat hire very, very busy.”
Pete Woodward, owner of Beaches And Cream on Station Square, Lowestoft, said: “All in all it has not been too bad. Southwold has been really busy the last three weeks.
“We have been in Southwold nine-and-a-half years now, five-and-a-half years in Lowestoft and last week we opened another shop on Regent Street in Great Yarmouth, which has already had some very encouraging comments.”
Andrew Ling, director of Sandy Toes Lowestoft Ltd, has run the ice cream kiosk on South Beach, Lowestoft for eight years and he also leases the East Point Pavilion tea rooms.
He said: “The beach has been getting busier and busier and as we are now in the peak weeks it is starting to pick up.
“There seems to be more Lowestoft people rediscovering the seafront again and the weather the last few days has been better.
“We are seeing lots of people from Norwich, London, Essex, Colchester, who are coming to town for day trips or longer breaks.”
Holidaymakers Chris, Maggie, Joseph and Annelise Perry, from Kent, had spent a few days staying at Broadland Sands holiday park in Corton.
Mr Perry said: “It has been a lovely week.
“We spent the day on the beach yesterday and people were socially distancing themselves.”
Earlier this month, a family of seven were unveiled as the new owners of the iconic Claremont Pier in Lowestoft.
The owners consist of Eddie and Charmaine Mayne, their eldest child Victoria Manning and her husband Michael Manning, son Ernie Mayne as well as daughter Charmaine Llewellyn and her husband Ben Llewellyn.
The families eight grandchildren are also helping out.
With Eddie and Charmaine Mayne owning Pinky’s ice cream parlour and Michael’s fish and chips on The Esplanade in Lowestoft, Mrs Mayne said: “It is the hottest day of the year and we are very busy.
“Claremont Pier only completed on July 20 and as the new owners it has been a very busy time.
“It has been really busy up at Claremont Pier.
“Obviously it is all new, with Rock Salt turned into a gift shop, and the arcade has been extended.
“The top part is all closed under the current guidelines and we are still undecided on what to do with that.