Emerging from Lockdown
Trust staff have been working hard since early May, and there was plenty to do to catch up from the brief furloughing of two staff members at the beginning of lockdown. We were pleased that we were well prepared for the nation's emergence from lockdown, and the pleasant summer weather which brought visitors back to Looe; and we do understand how important an attractive beach and seafront is to the economy of our town. Although the Trust has neither the means nor the power to enforce the Covid distancing regulations, we were pleased that overwhelmingly people were observing the 1 metre plus outside distancing rule on the beach and seafront. (Anecdotally, there were a lot more windbreaks in use on the beach, which could be a sign of people taking extra Covid care!) The Pier Cafe, Beach Cafe and seafront concessions business have all worked hard to be Covid secure and provide a good service for customers, from great cups of coffee to kayak hire.
St. Ives Steeplejacks paid a visit to inspect the top of the Guildhall clocktower, assess and fix water ingress issues recently. The Trust has also engaged specialist heritage surveyors, Scotts of Truro, to advise on long term maintainance of this landmark Grade 2 listed building, and we are expecting to do more work on the Clocktower before long, with the inevitable pressure on our funds.
The brilliant Looe Old Guildhall Museum volunteers have found their enforced Covid closure highly frustrating but have been busy, not least working with Mr Colin Raddy to bring the Raddy Collection of 700 glass plate photographs to public view. Having secured a grant from the South West Museums group, the collection has now been fully digitised and is being catalogued. Petra Stephenson and the team hope to have a significant public exhibition ready for the Spring. Most importantly the Old Guildhall Museum will be reopening for booked visits from 13th October.
Finally, we were delighted to welcome two new businesses to Trust properties. First Quirky boutique opened, and is a colourful presence in the Guildhall Rose Garden. Since the recent arrival of another national retailer opposite in Fore Street, Looe is strengthening its reputation as a shopping destination for major branded fashion and leisurewear. (It's great to see the Guildhall Barbers, Guildhall Market and Pier One coffee shop back and busy as well.) Second, the new Cheese Emporium & Deli opened in Higher Market Street after a cheerful socially distanced opening ceremony led by our Mayor Cllr. Martin Gregory, Mayoress Julie Gregory, Deputy Mayor Cllr Edwina Hannaford and Country Councillor Armand Toms. The Cheese Emporium is next door to the Ocean & Earth Thai Select restaurant whose many regular customers are delighted to see them back.
Brian Galipeau, Chairman, on behalf of Trustees
12th October 2020