April 12 marked the reopening of non-essential shops in England. And for Amble, it was as if Queen Street was stretching after a long snooze. The day was bright and cold, but slowly the town was reawakening, blinking into the bright sunshine.

Queues for Headmasters barbers on Queen Street

Individuals emerged from shop doorways that had been closed for months, a small group chatted on the Post Office corner, a trio of tourists browsed the gift shop windows.

A snake of long-haired men queued patiently outside the barbers. Businesses were sparkling inside and out, and a sense of optimism had returned to the Friendliest Port.

Tracey Garside of Dolly’s Cottage

Tracey Garside who owns Dollys Cottage was thrilled to be back open. “I’m so excited for the summer,” she said. “We used to be a gifts and tearoom, but now we are concentrating on home interiors and gifts. I only opened a short time before lockdown, so I’m really looking forward to everything opening back up.”

Roadworks on Church Street

To add to the sense of bustle, Northumberland County Council chose April 12 to begin up to two weeks of works to the streetlights along Church Street, requiring a three way traffic lights system.

Welcome back everyone.

Anna Williams