Amble traders expect reopening to kickstart busy summer
It was far from a heatwave but the spring sunshine was warmly greeted by businesses and their customers in Amble and Warkworth.
Those pubs and cafes fortunate enough to have outdoor seating – especially those with a little shelter – did brisk trade, while many shops reopened for the first time in over three months.
David and Rachel Youll, from Hipsburn, were loving being able to go to the pub again, calling in for lunch at the Mason’s Arms in Warkworth.
"It’s brilliant to be here,” said Rachel. “We’ve ordered starters, mains, the lot...”
While it was a steady rather spectacular start, many Amble businesses are expecting the town to have a busy summer.
Gillian Stewart, who owns Raggy Dolls on Queen Street, said: "It’s great to be reopen and everyone we’ve had in has been very relaxed and happy to be here.
"It’s been a long winter but I think there’s a more positive outlook this time due to the vaccination rollout.”
Gillian, who also has a holiday let, added: “I’m just about fully booked until the beginning of October and I know a few other holiday let owners who have said the same.”
Tracey Brooks, from Dolly’s Cottage, admitted to first day nerves but quickly felt at ease in the shop.
“I was a bit tentative because it’s been so long but it’s fantastic to be back,” she said. “Last night was better than Christmas Eve, I was so excited.”
Mark Aberdeen of Radcliffes Bar Cafe had a steady stream of customers to his outdoor seating area.
"The weather has been kind so we’re pleased to have been able to welcome people back,” he said.
A good number of visitors could be seen strolling around Amble Harbour Village.
Jim Busby of Edie Pebble said: “It’s been a fairly slow start but we’ve had a few sales.”
Julie Anderson, who runs A Touch of Love Gifts with her daughter Louise, added: “It’s nice to be back and we’ve got our fingers crossed for the next few months, although everyone here is really respectful of the rules.
“Last year it was absolutely buzzing after lockdown so we’re hoping it will be like that again.”