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In pictures: One year on from the day Northampton's town centre fell eerily quiet as lockdown arrived

Some of our town's hustle and bustle has returned... but it also hasn't just hasn't been itself for over a year now

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 8:40 pm

Northampton town centre fell eerily silent one year ago with the beginning of the first lockdown - and it hasn't really been the same since.

It has been 12 months to the day since the Chronicle & Echo captured the centre looking starkly empty following the Prime Minister's announcement.

At the time, members of the public were only allowed to leave their homes to travel to and from work in necessary, for exercise once a day, to buy necessities or to tend to vulnerable people and medical needs.

No one knew what to expect in those early days or what was to come.

Today, the country approaches the end of its third, and possibly last, national lockdown. Schools are open and residents can meet one other person outside on a bench.

It is reflected in Northampton town centre. Where the streets were barren a year ago, residents were out today in small numbers and confident they knew the guidelines.

The effects were still clear, however. Non-essential shops are still waiting for the go ahead, but sadly even the market square where traders can still sell was noticeably quiet. Food outlets and takeaways are open to a fraction of their usual passing trade in a working week.

The town hasn't really been itself in a long time. In a year from now, Northampton's streets could be bustling again like Covid-19 never happened - although maybe with a few stark reminders. Only time will tell.

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