Column: Returning to the town centre after a year of working from home

Our reporter shares her thoughts about how delightful it was to see Doncaster buzzing with people once more.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 5:35 pm

I have worked from home for a full year now.

Like many people I switched from a lively office full of co workers to a cramped dark room in my home.

It has been a struggle not being around people especially in this latest lockdown.

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Reporter Laura Andrew - in the town centre.

But today I finally got to head into the town centre and I was just delighted to see Doncaster feeling alive again.

It felt almost like Christmas week when the high street is rammed with excited and panic filled shoppers.

There were lines outside shops, people enjoying drinks in the sun and kind conversations with strangers.

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The town centre was full of people.

I had a feeling it would be busy after seeing social media flooded with photos but it did not do it justice.

Saying that I didn’t feel anxious whilst I was there.

People were respectful, kept their masks on, and stayed two meters away.

It was just wonderful to see the town buzz after the businesses have had such a hard few months.

Public transport was running smoothly.

I visited the market, the Frenchgate Centre and wandered down to a couple of independents on Scot Lane.

Every time I walked into a shop I could see the owners face light up - even if their smiles were hidden under masks.

It’s going to be so important to support our local independents in the coming months - it was great to see them so full of enthusiasm.

Saying that I am guilty of returning to some big shops - mainly Primark.

The high street was essentially a sea of brown paper Primark bags, and you really can’t blame people.

I too was fully desperate to replace my legging collection.

The atmosphere over all was one of hope.

I could tell that it was the first time back for many of the people around me.

Everyone was just a little clumsy after four months out of practise but everyone was joyful going in and out of missed shops.

I for one can’t wait to go back and keep watching Doncaster thrive.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.