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Bournemouth businesses blown away by weather
LASHING rain and blustery wind in Bournemouth has hit town centre businesses, traders say.
An unseasonal blast of wintery weather despite the official arrival of spring on Wednesday has taken its toll on the town, with below-average numbers of tourists paying a visit.
And the sunglasses will have to remain stashed away for some weeks yet, with some forecasters predicting the skies will remain miserable and grey past Easter.
Fiona Perry-Symes, who owns Sam and Sebastian in The Arcade with Nigel Higinbotham, said: “You can just stand here and look out and there’s nobody.
“When you think about Easter this time two years ago, it was a completely different story. But that in itself was tough on traders, because when the weather’s so beautiful, people want to go straight to the beach.”
She said the bad weather is forcing many people indoors.
“People end up staying home,” she said.
“Visitors come to Bournemouth for the beach, and when there’s bad weather, what else is there to do?”
Kevin Donaldson, who owns Donaldson Locksmiths, said the problem is about more than the wet weather.
“People just haven’t got the money anymore, so that’s a factor,” he said.
“I think it will get better eventually and in its own time. I have been here for five years, and I think the footfall around here has halved in that time – not in the shop, but generally. But the weather doesn’t help. When it’s cold, people don’t want to come out, and I can’t blame them.”
But Gary Hamilton-Warn, who works in Parkwood Florists, was more optimistic about the current wintery weather.
He said: “There’s not been many people around, but Easter is around the corner, so that’s good news.
“The clocks will change and people start to feel better. I think good weather is on the way.”
The New Forest has also been badly affected by the wet weather.
Several campsites were forced to close yesterday as a result of the rain.