'People have missed us' - Wells reopens further as restrictions ease
- Credit: Aaron McMillan
Normality has begun to return to Wells-next-the-Sea, with people visiting seaside amusements, sitting inside a cafe, or enjoying a pub lunch indoor as May 17 came and went.
Down by the quay, Pop Inn Leisure arcade was lit up by machines as they opened for the first time since Christmas.
Shaun Walpole, an arcade worker, said in the first hour of opening they had several people come along to play, but he expects this year to go just like the last one.
He said: “I think it is going to be a bit like last year, it started off slow the first week and it did gradually pick up and just before the last lockdown, we did get back to a normal sort of capacity where you had your regulars and people coming in.”
Along on Staithe Street, Wells Maltings’ cafe and bar reopened.
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They were also preparing to welcome people back to the cinema, with their first film showing coming on Thursday. They are also preparing for sold-out showings of oscar winner, Nomadland, which they are planning extra screenings for.
Simon Daykin, director at Wells Maltings, believes this shows people are desperate to get back.
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“People have missed us, there's no doubt about that, they're very keen to come in and get back into the swing of things,” he said.
“We feel very positive, the staff have all worked so hard to make this work, and to get things up and running again after a difficult few months.
“The rewards are there through seeing members of our community and visitors to Wells coming through our doors, and having a great experience that's a huge reward for all the hard work that goes into what we do.”
On Station Road, publicans were allowed back inside the Edinburgh Inn for a drink.
The owner of the Inn, Michael Bucher was surprised by the number of people.
“I’m quite surprised how many people are around as normally on a Monday there are not as many people as this,” he said.
“It isn’t even the holiday season, so it's surprising.
“This place has been empty for almost five months, it has been quite sad that the place was full of upturned chairs. But to have my regulars back in for a drink is great to see.”