Coronavirus lockdown in the Stokes

Photo of children with a rainbow banner.
Rainbow banner in a Bradley Stoke garden.

This article was first published in the July/August 2020 issues of the Bradley Stoke Journal and Stoke Gifford Journal magazines. [See BSJ pages 2 & 3; SGJ pages 2 & 3]

We’re pleased to be back delivering our printed magazine following an enforced break of three months due to the coronavirus crisis.

First of all, our thoughts go out to those who have been affected by the illness, whether directly or through its impact on loved ones. And secondly, a big ‘thank you’ to all the key workers who have kept critical services operating, often in very difficult circumstances.

The period since our last magazine was delivered has been quite extraordinary and the impact of the pandemic is likely to continue to affect our lives for years to come.

Perhaps the first noticeable consequence of the pandemic in the Stokes was the appearance, in early March of empty shelves in local supermarkets, due to panic buying of certain items.

Once the full lockdown came into effect on Monday 23rd March, heralded by the closure of pubs and gyms the previous Friday, local council services soon came under pressure. Kerbside recycling collections changed from weekly to fortnightly, garden waste collections were suspended and the local tips were closed.

Main roads, usually so busy at peak times, became eerily quiet and bus services were reduced to a skeleton service, principally for key workers without alternative means of transport.

With other exercise opportunities limited, the number of people seen walking and cycling around the Stokes rocketed and we have heard many people say how much they have enjoyed discovering footpaths and open spaces they never knew existed.

Great community spirit has been demonstrated through numerous volunteering initiatives, the weekly ‘Clap for our Carers’, decorating homes and gardens with ‘rainbow art’ and holding ‘socially distanced’ street parties to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

As we went to press, some further easing of lockdown restrictions was due to take place and we look forward to reporting about how the ‘new normal’ is taking shape in our next (September) magazine.

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Pandemic timeline

  • Early March 2020
    Panic buying of toilet rolls and sanitiser in local stores
  • 11th March 2020
    First reported case of coronavirus in South Glos
  • 16th March 2020
    Public told to work from home where possible
  • 18th March 2020
    Some supermarkets impose limits on all food items
  • 20th March 2020
    Pubs, restaurants and gyms ordered to close
  • 20th March 2020
    Schools close to pupils, except the children of ‘key workers’
  • 23rd March 2020
    Public ordered to ‘Stay at home and protect the NHS’
  • 5th April 2020
    The Queen makes ‘We will succeed’ broadcast
  • 16th April 2020
    Lockdown extended for ‘at least another three weeks’
  • 27th April 2020
    Nightingale Hospital opens at UWE Frenchay Campus
  • 10th May 2020
    PM unveils ‘conditional plan’ to reopen society
  • 13th May 2020
    Public allowed to exercise outside more than once a day
  • 1st June 2020
    Primary schools begin to reopen with limited class sizes
  • 1st June 2020
    Groups of up to six people may now meet in open spaces
  • 15th June 2020
    Most non-essential shops allowed to reopen
  • 4th July 2020
    Pubs and restaurants due to be allowed to reopen
Photo of a socially distanced customer queue.
Socially distanced customer queue outside Tesco Express, Baileys Court, Bradley Stoke.
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