Posted: 20.11.20 at 15:45 by The Editor
Well, here we go again!
Just like the Deepings, Stamford is also like the rest of the country under another lockdown.
Our more prosperous neighbour is also suffering economically, with it's high street also seeing empty stores.
I called earlier today, to see what was open and what was not, and whilst the market seemed to thrive as normal, it is clear that lockdown is killing town centre businesses, as it is in Grantham, where I undertook a similar walk earlier this month.
Of course, there are a few differences between this lockdown and the first.
The first is that yes, the schools are still open. We are now more awake to the devastation the earlier lockdown has wrought on the education and mental health of our children.
And then we have the issue of mask wearing. In the spring government wasn't that convinced masks might help, but over the summer it changed its mind, mandating the wearing of masks in shops and other places.
And now there are studies from Denmark, that casts doubt on their effectiveness too!
In the streets of Stamford earlier today, yes, people were obediently wearing them in the shops and whilst waiting for a take-away, but out in the fresh air, I would say it was about 50-50 wearing them.
In the first lockdown, I don't recall many wearing masks, at least initially.
Now, today in Stamford is market day, so what better day to go out, enjoy the fresh air and shop, without having to wear the pesky things over your face that steam your glasses up and make breathing unpleasant.
But first it was out of the car by the riverside car park, where many people were out walking their dogs, enjoying a crisp but damp autumnal morning.
I went past the Riverside fish and chip shop, which has lovely umbrellas and shelter for customers to enjoy the outside, when allowed.
Then, it was into Castle Street and along St Mary's Street. Most shops were closed as ordered but a few cafes were doing take-outs. A couple of premises were totally empty, victims of the economic calamity lockdown brought. But one did advertise of a business that plans to move in, one day.
There were few people about in this part of town, suggesting many Stamfordians are obeying the government message to stay at home.
It was the same passing the delightful Stamford Cheese and Wine Cellar, which seemed to have some Christmas decorations up already, and other nearby stores.
Heading towards Marks and Spencer it became busier as you entered High Street.
The market stalls seemed to be ticking over nicely but I do wonder who buys the eels (see the picture) at the fish stall.
Further along High Street were a couple of more empty shops and at Stray's I went in for a delicious bacon, sausage and egg sandwich and a flat white.
There were little makeshift booths for customers to wait safely in for their order, which I did while looking at the tables and chairs piled high for lockdown.
It all seemed so sad, thinking about the lost custom our businesses are suffering.
Back in High Street I saw another empty shop.
Now, Stamford has always had a thriving town centre but how long may this remain?
Then, it was onto Red Lion Square and back to the market through Red Lion Street.
There, a few stalls were missing but there was plenty to enjoy. Fruit, vegetables, meat, bread, keys, clothes including masks, coffee, hot food, they were nearly all there.
There were plenty of shoppers too and it was almost like normal times.
Then it was back down Ironmonger Street, where people queued for the butcher and the baker.
Soon, I was crossing Red Lion Square again, where there were more queues by the butcher and an even longer one for the Post Office.
And then it was back to the car.
After stopping for a few treats from Waitrose, it was back in the car and home to Grantham, passing the Jolly Brewer pub, which has once again turned itself into an off licence.
The A1 traffic was quieter than normal, but not as quiet as it was in the first lockdown.
Perhaps people haven't accepted the second lockdown as much as the first.
Either way, when even Stamford is struggling, I dread to think of the economic consequences should, heaven forbid, there be a third!
* A visit around Grantham earlier this month can be read here.