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Regulars return to Redbridge pubs and hairdressers on ‘Super Saturday’ after months away

PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:09 07 July 2020

Staff members Lisa Wiles, Lina Masyte and Paula Raudzepa at The Prince of Wales in Ilford which opened its doors to serve its first drinks since lockdown began. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Staff members Lisa Wiles, Lina Masyte and Paula Raudzepa at The Prince of Wales in Ilford which opened its doors to serve its first drinks since lockdown began. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

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As pubs and hairdressers across Redbridge finally opened up on “Super Saturday” staff and customers talk about the surreal feeling of returning.

Pubs reopened at the beginning of July. Picture: Ellie HoskinsPubs reopened at the beginning of July. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

David Christof, owner of the Prince of Wales pub, Green Lane, wasn’t sure what to expect when it re-opened but luckily it wasn’t too crowded and “99pc of the people were well behaved”.

He said: “One or two of them got a bit friendly but after we reminded them of the rules they sat down and were OK.”

Barmjit Dhanjal returned to the pub. Picture by Ellie HoskinsBarmjit Dhanjal returned to the pub. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

He said his regulars were “over the moon” to return to their local and seemed to be encouraged by how often staff cleaned the bar.

Martin Turner, 56, who has been a regular there for many years, said it was particularly nice to catch up with old friends he hadn’t seen in months.

Phil and Grant at The Prince of Wales. Picture by Ellie HoskinsPhil and Grant at The Prince of Wales. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

Another regular, Steve Morgan, 64, said it felt strange returning to the pub after so long but since he was there early and it wasn’t too crowded he didn’t feel uncomfortable.

Hairdressers also opened up on Saturday and James Gill, owner of Kuttin Krew, Barkingside, spent the previous week transforming his business to allow for an online booking system over Instagram and separate waiting areas for himself and the other barber, Ross Mikiliv.

James Gill, owner of Kuttin Krew in Barkingside re-opened on Saturday. Picture: James GillJames Gill, owner of Kuttin Krew in Barkingside re-opened on Saturday. Picture: James Gill

James, who has co-owned the shop for 15 years, said his bookings filled up almost instantly for the entire week and still more than 20 people called to try to make appointments and many people tried to walk in.

The barbers in the shop wear masks and there is a sign encouraging customers to wear a mask as well, though it’s not required.

There is a separate waiting area for James and the other barber Ross Mikiliv. Picture: James GillThere is a separate waiting area for James and the other barber Ross Mikiliv. Picture: James Gill

There is also a buffer time of at least 10 minutes in between customers to clean down everything.

James said: “A lot of people came in with badly cut hair they tried to do at home but equally I was surprised that a lot of people didn’t cut their facial hair at all, even though you’d think that’s something they could’ve groomed themselves.”

James said some older customers seem more hesitant to wear masks while getting their haircut. Picture: James GillJames said some older customers seem more hesitant to wear masks while getting their haircut. Picture: James Gill

He said the atmosphere in the shop was different from pre-Covid days because they can’t have multiple people in the shop waiting and chatting but it was good to be back at work and know that his customers still had loyalty to return to them as soon as they opened.


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