'The sun was smiling on us' - City settles in for evening business

Isabel, Sarah and Neil Sanderson

Isabel, Sarah and Neil Sanderson wrapped up to come out for a drink at The Sir Garnet pub, near Norwich Market. - Credit: Clarissa Place

As the sun set over Norwich on the first day of the latest easing measures, the dip in temperatures did not deter many from wrapping up to enjoy a drink or meal out in the city.

Those heading out into the city centre were noticeable all wrapping up, donning puffer jackets, thick coats, wooly hats, and scarves, 

By no means was the high street a ghost town by the evening, but a noticeable shift in mood from the hustle and bustle of the morning and afternoon which drew large crowds into the city.

Norwich days were quieter than earlier in the day

The streets of Norwich were quieter than the scenes earlier in the day. - Credit: Clarissa Place

Across the city the whirring of hairdryers and laughs of friends and families sitting outside were common sounds. 

Gentleman's Walk was much quieter on Monday evening. 

Gentleman's Walk was much quieter on Monday evening. - Credit: Clarissa Place

The queues also remained strong at Primark nearly 12 hours after it first opened at 7am, though the line much reduced from the early morning anticipation. Elsewhere in the city, many traders had enjoyed a successful day and closed at normal time. 

Pubs, eateries and restaurants providing outside seating were seeing steady business on Monday night, with many groups wandering looking for a free seat.

The Lamb Inn, a popular beer garden, was seen to have queues and at the Sir Garnet, off Norwich Market, it had been a busy but manageable day.

Lauren Gregory, owner of the Sir Garnet pub, saw a busy but manageable first day of trade. 

Lauren Gregory, owner of the Sir Garnet pub, saw a busy but manageable first day of trade. - Credit: Clarissa Place

Lauren Gregory, the pub's owner, said it was lovely to welcome back a number of regulars for the first time in four months.

She said: "The first two people who came in this morning were in their 80s they were delighted to be able to come back for a pint. 

"I came down the market and it was so nice to see so many friendly faces we haven't seen for months. It was a lovely atmosphere. The sun was shining.

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"Last week it was hail, so amazing it was glorious today, the sun was smiling on us. 

"I think it will be interesting to see how people prepare for going out when they realise how cold it can be."

The pub is operating a first come first serve policy for its seating, but for those who miss out on a spot, it's not a "wasted journey" said Mrs Gregory with the pub running a takeaway service.

Customers were still being seen past 7pm at hairdressers and barbers across Norwich. 

Customers were still being seen past 7pm at hairdressers and barbers across Norwich. - Credit: Clarissa Place

Late evening queue at Primark

The queues for Primark had reduced by 7pm after nearly 12 hours of customers looking to get in. - Credit: Clarissa Place

Among those enjoying a drink at the pub was the Sanderson family, made up of dad Neil, mum Sarah and daughter Isabel, from Norwich.

Mr Sanderson said: "We came out for one drink, this was the third place we tried to get into. It has been lovely, it has put a smile on our faces to see it feeling a bit more normal.

Mrs Sanderson added: "It's nice to see more young people out, it feels like everyone has been hiding away and everyone is wanting to come back out again. Where we walked over the Duke Street bridge there were lots of young people sitting outside."



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