Wednesday sees several local businesses welcome customers back

13th May

After nearly two months of being closed, Trading4U owner Chris Macklin opened his doors to customers on Wednesday morning.

Trading4u staff
David and Ella ready to safely serve customers at Trading4U in Heathfield

Chris said: “I’ve had lots of calls from people asking when we will be reopening which was nice.

“I was really keen to open but we needed to make sure everything was safe and secure for our staff and customers. We have marked the shop up for social distancing and have installed screens at the check out. Some areas of the store that are considered non-essential have been roped off and a maximum of 10 people wil be allowed in the store at any one time.

“I know people have been having trouble getting hold of some items while we have been closed and I have seen other companies selling items we have on our shelves at hugely inflated prices on line. So I am pleased to be able to help people.”

Great selection of canes

Trading4U has large stocks of garden chemicals,  stationery including padded envelopes for the Ebay sellers, solar lighting for the garden to help people enjoy the longer days outside. They start from just £1.49 a garden stake light.

Other products include garden canes and willow fencing, seeds and bulbs (bulbs £1.49 or 3 for £4), slug pellets, weed killers, fertilisers and much more to help get the best from your garden. There is also a large range of Wilkinson’s garden tools and garden pots.

For the DIY enthusiast there are brushes and paint rollers as well as fillers and fixers.

Shortly arriving will be fresh stocks of Latex gloves while hand sanitiser has just arrived. This is just a selection of the range available today. There is new stock on its way across a number of different ranges.

Also relieved to be opening the doors after weeks of carrying out hundreds of deliveries is Thorpe Gardens in Horam.

The colourful nursery will be open to the public between 9 and 5 on Tuesday to Saturday and 10 to 4 on Sunday. A set of protocols have been put in place to keep our customers and the team safe. These include a separate entrance and exit, one way systems and a limit to the number of customers allowed at any one time.

Customers can still order by telephone for delivery and collection but they are being encouraged just to use the free delivery service is they really need it – due to high demand.

The Thorpe Gardens team
The Thorpe Gardens team

Owner Mel de Bruin said: “There has been no way that we could handle the demand over the telephone for the past few weeks and we know that many people have struggled to get through and found it frustrating, but we also know by the number of thank you cards, emails and cakes that for many our service has been a little lifeline. We ask that people respect our social distancing rules and DO NOT enter our premises if they present any symptoms of Covid19.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming customers back in our 65th anniversary year.”

Estate agents in the town such as Rowland Gorringe also saw the lifting of some restrictions to help the sale of homes although the Heathfield team, led by Paul Wilson, has still been managing to work remotely.

He explains: “Throughout the lockdown our team has been working remotely. At first we thought there would be little to do. How wrong we were.

“The past four weeks have been frantic. First there were all the property sales we had to get past the finishing post. Even in lockdown we have been able to do this within strict government guidelines. Then there are the deals that we had only just tied up when the lockdown began. It is astonishing how many buyers and sellers have been keen to keep to their plans – even though they will have to add months to transaction times.

“Working through the pandemic is like riding a bike up a very steep hill. We have had to change gear. We will probably change gear again before this crisis is over. But one thing is very certain; we will be in the right gear when it’s all over.”