Joy as pubs, salons, gyms and shops across Grantham welcome customers back as lockdown eases
Businesses across Grantham have given their customers a warm welcome back today (Monday) after lockdown measures eased across the UK at midnight.
Many pubs, gyms, salons and non-essential shops have been open for the first time since they were told to close in December.
Punters were already queuing outside Black Dog, on Watergate, at 9.30am to get their hands on a long-awaited poured pint.
Manager Chris Knowles was grateful for the support, adding: "We are just so glad to be back. The support we have received from customers has been great. We are fully booked today."
Oceans Health and Fitness, on Dysart Road, opened its doors at 6.30am and offered incentives for the first customer through the door.
Personal trainer Keegan Barnstein said: "It's an amazing feeling to be open again and see our members in person again. There's only so much that you can do online, so we are all feeling so energised to be back. It feels like we have got our family back."
Gym member Lester Button was one of the first through the door. He said: "The social aspect is really important and being able to get out the house. I'm recovering from major surgery, so it is helping me to get fit again ready to return to work."
It was a similar story at Frontline Fitness on Lime Square Business Park, with owner Curtis Gardner welcoming members back at 6am.
Curtis said: “It’s nice to see everyone with a friendly face and [my members] have said it’s nice to be back. I’m really happy to be back in."
Curtis explained that a lot of his members needed the gym environment to motivate them, as it is tough to work out at home, while highlighting the mental health benefits of exercising.
He continued: “What we’ve learned during the pandemic is that we need to look after ourselves.
Jo Cook, a member at Frontline Fitness, said “It’s just nice to train with other people. It’s important to train with people that you feel comfortable with."
Jo explained that Frontline was "a very friendly environment where, no matter your age or standard, you can find people to train with and enjoy it, even if you’ve never met them before."
Meanwhile hairdresser and stylist Kelly Warner is fully booked up with hair appointments until the middle of May.
She added: "I absolutely love what I do and so I couldn't be happier to be back. It's all about getting the buzz back."
Chloe Arbon was Kelly's first customer through the door this morning to get her hair dyed.
Chloe said: "I just really missed being able to get my hair done during lockdown. It just makes you feel and look better."
Nickie Morgan was one of the first customers at Head Office Hair Designers, on Vine Street, with hair designer Georgia Brittain.
Georgia, who has worked at Head Office for 11 years, said: "This job is very social and so I wasn't used to just being at home."
Staff at Living Health, on North Parade, were also gearing up for a busy day today with appointments one after the other.
Beauty manager Kayleigh Ward said she was "nervous but excited" to get going again.
She added: "I am really excited to see my clients again. We build up a really good rapport with them and so it will be nice to see them in person again."
Meanwhile tradesmen Chris and Michael Greensmith and Michael Hand were enjoying their first pint on the day at the Royal Queen, on Belton Lane, before embarking on a pub tour around town.
Chris said: "This is our local and so its good to be back to support them and to socialise with friends again."
Landlady Sarah Harlock added: "It's been a tough few months but we are just excited to be back now. We took the opportunity to give the place an entire repaint and freshen up during lockdown and we are now fully booked today and over the weekend.
"We have received so many messages of support. It's nerve-racking but exciting."
Across town Laura Berridge was treating herself to a brow appointment at The Prestige Hair and Beauty Salon, on London Road.
Business owner Louise Haylock said:"It's been a tough time but our customers have been really good. Our most popular treatments have been our brow treatments but we are also getting quite a few bookings for massages and facials.
"We are fully booked everyday this week and will be working some 10-hour shifts."