They say that life is one long learning curve, and that has certainly been true over the last couple of weeks, writes John Turner.
My wife and I have discovered that opening a shop up again after lockdown is a lot more complicated, time-consuming and plain exhausting than closing one down for lockdown.
But after two weeks of sorting, cleaning, restocking and preparation, we and most of the other businesses in Byres Road and the Lanes are delighted to be able to say those two words that we have been waiting four months to say to you:
It is difficult to put into words the emotions we are feeling at the moment: relief, certainly; exciting, yes; and nervousness too – in many ways it feels just like it did when we originally opened the shop for the first time nearly eight years ago: have we done everything?
Have we forgotten anything? Will anybody come? Will they buy anything? Will I remember how to work the till?
All those feelings – and all that hard work – will have been reflected in every business up and down Byres Road and the Lanes, and indeed elsewhere all over Scotland.
So do please bear with us in the first few days as we get back into the swing of things again as it is going to be quite overwhelming.
One of the good things that has come out of the extended period of lockdown that we have endured has been the availability of grant funding to carry out various projects to improve and brighten up the area.
The Byres Road & Lanes BID has been successful in obtaining two separate grants to carry out projects which have been on our “wish list” for many years.
The first, from Glasgow City Council, will enable us to carry out work to improve the appearance of the entrances to Dowanhill and Ruthven Lanes from Byres Road, fill in the large potholes and repair the drains on Ruthven Lane just around the corner from The Bothy, and work with local artists to install wall art and a small urban garden area.
The second grant, from the organisation behind the Scotland Loves Local campaign, will enable us to install and maintain hanging baskets along the lower end of Byres Road between University Avenue and Dumbarton Road.
We hope those works will be completed in the next few months.
We have further plans in the pipeline, subject to our getting further funding, and I hope to let you know about those soon.
We hope to see you soon, take care.
- John Turner is the Chair of the Byres Road & Lanes Business Improvement District. He and his wife Janet run Janet & John Scottish Arts & Crafts in De Courcy’s Arcade, Cresswell Lane.