A range of businesses in a town in Tynedale have expressed thier delight after a busy day of welcoming customers back into their stores.

Staff from a range of shops across Haltwhistle were all pleased to allow customers back through their doors today following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

One of these was Jane Burns of Just Flowers, who was able to open the doors to customers for the first time in over three months.  

“We’ve been busy, said Jane.

“It’s been good! It’s been nice to see people out and see all the hustle and bustle too.  It’s good to be at least trying to get back to normal.

“We all just have to be careful with everything that’s been going on.

“It’s nice to get open and hear people outside. You can hear people talking and you’ve never heard that for nearly a year!

Although today marked the first day that Jane could welcome customers back into the shop, she has however been working behind closed doors due to the pandemic over the last few months.

“It’s been a sad time for us with us being a florists and the funerals we’ve had to deal with,” added Jane.  

“We were closed in the summer again after being closed down in March last year, with us only being able to reopen for so many weeks in-between.  

"We then closed again at the end of November or the start of December. I think it was a long time this time with it being winter and cold and people not being able to go out.

“This time however its warmer and people are wanting to get back to normal.

“I hope people watch what they’re doing and be careful.”

Another store to re-open to the public was the Save the Children charity shop, with volunteer Richard Weir adding that it was great to be able to welcome people back.

“It’s very good to be reopen,” added Richard.

“It’s very nice to see everyone coming back again.

“It’s lovely to see all the customers and the donations too.

“We’re still looking for more volunteers if anyone is interested and we’re just happy to be re-open.”

Another business who reopened to public browsing in the town was Haltwhistle Centre of Britain Army Surplus, with Lesley Burrowes commenting that it’s simply been good to see the town re-open.

“It’s been tough on some (the last few months), said Lesley.  

Especially in a smaller town like Haltwhsitle where you rely on tourist trade. So it’s been good that everyone has rallied around and it’s kept everyone going.

“The town’s been busy and we’ve been busy ourselves today too.

“We’ve been pretty lucky because we’ve been running an online business from here (during lockdown) so we’ve still managed to work behind closed doors and offer a click and collect service.

“We’ve been doing (the online side) for 20 years, and we’ve been here in our shop here for four.”

The theme of the town also continued at Armstrong’s Carpet’s, with Billy from the shop also admitting it had been a busy start after welcoming customers back.

“It’s very good (to be reopening), he said.  

“We’ve been closed to customers on the street since December.

“We’re just glad to be open as you can see with the balloons!”