SHOPS in Bromyard were thrilled to be able to reopen on Monday morning (June 15) after almost three months with their doors shut due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Non-essential retailers in the town were able to welcome customers again and several praised the town council for their offer of free parking until April 2021.

Latest updates as more shops reopen in Herefordshire

The town is home to a host of popular indepedent stores, with a Co-op store, bookmakers Megabet and Lloyds Bank the only national chains in the main shopping streets through the north Herefordshire town.

One of the retailers in Broad Street had only been open for three weeks prior to the coronavirus lockdown being announced on March 23, but owner of home plant store Vintage Stable, Julie Naerebout, feels she has now "weathered the storm".

She said: "We've just been waiting and waiting but now I'm beaming. I've been coming in because I've had to water the plants, and it's just so frustrating because people are walking by the window and they couldn't come in.

"I've already had two sales this morning, I'm just thrilled to be back."


Bromyard and Winslow Town Council committed last week to keeping its two car parks free of charge until March 31, 2021 in a bid to encourage more people to the town to kickstart the local economy.

The free parking initiative was introduced at the beginning of lockdown in an effort to help alleviate pressure on local businesses and residents, a council spokesperson said.

Rosemary Davies Baker, of ladies clothing store Red Zebra in Broad Street, praised the local town council for keeping free parking at the Tenbury Road and Rowberry Street locations.

"Those car parks are so cheap compared to cities so I don't why people get a bee in their bonnet about it," Mrs Davies Baker added, who has run Red Zebra for almost five years.

"I have to park on there most days to come to work, but people will not park on there and pay. Then of course, there's no car park down this end of the town so if they're elderly they can't park outside on the street you lose them as a customer until they can."


The Card Company, further up the town in High Street, had to make some changes to their store before they reopened, including a perspex screen to keep staff and customers safe, as well as asking people to use hand sanitiser before touching cards.

Jenny Griffiths, who was working in the card shop when it opened promptly at 9am on Monday morning for the first time since March, said: "We've had to take out the middle card section to give people space. I was back here last week sorting things out but it's been a long three months.

"Trade has been better than I expected this morning, but we'll see how it goes. People have been happy to wait outside, it's a bit of a different way of working but we've got to do it."