“Pleased to be back!” Bailgate stores welcome back shoppers

The Bailgate area in Lincoln saw a lot of stores reopen on Monday, and owners are excited to be returning after a 3-month break.

Many non-essential retail shops reopened on Monday, June 15, leading to a shopping frenzy on Lincoln High Street.

In the Bailgate, however, there was a calmer atmosphere as local traders slowly welcomed back customers.

Purkiss has owned Midas Gift Shop & Gallery for five years now. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Fiona Purkiss, the owner of Midas Gift Shop & Gallery, told The Lincolnite she was looking forward to a return.

“It’s been lovely to see some faces again, so far it’s been a success.”

New lunchtime menu set up by Prince of Wales Inn to attract lockdown customers. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The Prince of Wales Inn has been trialling a food and drink takeaway service around the side of the bar.

It works with minimal staff and customers are called over once food is ready to be taken in a bag.

Perspex screens surrounding Roly’s Fudge Pantry. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The Lincoln branch of Roly’s Fudge Pantry is one of just 17 stores across the country to reopen so far, and plenty of safety measures have been put in place in the tiny store.

Deborah Downing, owner of Oui in Lincoln, was delighted to be back. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Fashion chain Oui first opened in Lincoln in February 2019, and owner Deborah Downing is anticipating a prolonged summer season for clothing.

“Normally we have to clear our fashion ranges out by mid-July, but I can’t see that happening now.

“I think people will be clinging on to summer for as long as possible, it’s very exciting.”

Redhill Farm Shop in the Bail gained plenty of attention on Monday. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Little shops off the Bailgate are doing what they can to enforce and ensure social distancing guidelines.

Vicky Small of No. 5 Ladieswear Boutique has hand sanitisers at the till, as well as floor markings, but still said she was “apprehensive” about reopening.

Owner Vicky Small outside her No. 5 Ladieswear Boutique store. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Opposite to No. 5 is Object & Line, a contemporary design store that only recently moved to Gordon Road.

Object & Line only moved to its new address in March, but lockdown delayed business. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The move took place in March, which barely gave the shop any time at all to reopen before lockdown, so the owner is treating this as a fresh start.

Mollie Haines is happy to welcome shoppers back to the Mouse House Cheese Company. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Both of Lincoln’s Mouse House Cheese Company stores reopened on Monday, the Steep Hill one as well as the branch in Waterside Shopping Centre.

Owner Mollie Haines said: “Our online sales have helped massively during lockdown, but you can’t beat being back in the store.”

Krantz Designs’ showroom with newly placed social distance floor markers. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Kitchen and furniture designer Krantz Designs (kitchen) has run a phased return, using video calls before coming back into the office on Monday.

Three staff members are now back at work, with just one still not in the office.

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