Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge shops and businesses experienced a ‘busy, hectic’ re-opening day on Monday (April 12th) as lockdown restrictions eased and shoppers returned.
Burnham town centre saw queues of shoppers outside several shops during the morning as they opened for the first time since early January.
Burnham-On-Sea.com spoke to shoppers and shop owners to get their feedback on the long-awaited re-opening day.
Helen Adams at Crusty Cob bakery in Burnham High Street told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “It was a busy day – it was so nice to see the town centre bustling with shoppers again. Everyone seemed to be a lot happier and the atmosphere was really positive.”
Colin Morris at GW Hurley added: “It was a noticeably busier day – we’ve been able to open throughout, but it really makes a difference to overall footfall having all the shops open.”
Raj Sansi at Burnham Shopping Centre said: “It’s definitely been good to be back open and to see many familiar faces. It was busy – many people said how happy they were to be able to visit the shops again and for things to be starting to get back to how they were.”
Mike Lowe at Lowe’s Barber Shop added: “After being closed due to the lockdown since January, it was great to be back behind our chairs. It was a busy reopening day, with all of our barbers fully booked and customers very grateful to be able to have their cuts.”
Sarah Slater at Sassy jewellery shop in the High Street said: “We have had a steady flow of customers through the day – it was wonderful to be welcoming them back again. Some seemed to be a little hesitant and that’s understandable.”
Non-essential retail stores re-opened, along with pubs, outdoor hospitality, hairdressers, beauty salons, gyms and leisure centres.
The Victoria Hotel’s Ryan Andress added: “We were so, so busy – there was never a seat or table free!” With cold winds and rain during the afternoon, the pub’s shelter proved popular with customers.
The Reeds Arms, Dunstan House, The Lighthouse, and The Rosewood were all busy too with customers while Burnham’s S&D, Old Pier Tavern and Railway Inn have not yet re-opened.
Shoppers were delighted with the re-opening too. Sally Hodges said: “After so many months of being stuck at home, it’s good for our mental health to get out and about, and to be seeing people again, albeit at a safe distance.”
A Burnham Chamber of Trade spokesman says: “Burnham’s community has done a fantastic job of supporting local businesses throughout the pandemic, whether that’s been through buying online, getting deliveries, ordering takeaways or simply raising awareness.”
“It’s great to see people returning to Burnham to shop, eat, drink and visit their favourite businesses again who have worked so hard to get ready to reopen. We would ask everyone to still be mindful of the social distancing rules and all other guidance relating to Covid-19 when visiting Burnham to ensure a safe, comfortable and enjoyable time for all.”