Stroud A46: Repaired after July Floods
PUBLISHED: 10:00 05 January 2011 | UPDATED: 15:03 20 February 2013
The 'Queen of the Cotswolds', is lifting up her shirts and stepping out
For seven months, she's been semi-marooned. But the A46 from Stroud - damaged by the July floods - has now been repaired. And it's time to sound a fanfare welcoming her return to the limelight.
For traders, it's not a moment too soon. They're celebrating the reopening of the main road with a new visitor leaflet reminding people of what they've been missing all these months: history, beautiful buildings, a famous churchyard, hotels, restaurants, some fascinating shops - and their equally fascinating owners. For amazingly, between them, local traders represent more than six different countries, from Canada through to Malaysia.
Brian Nunez and his wife, Ximena, are from Colombia. Last summer, they decided to show off Ximena's top catering skills by opening Olivas Delicatessen, in Friday Street. "The road has been shut ever since we first opened, so it's quite exciting wondering how our business will develop," Brian said. A former top eventer, he moved to the town two years ago, attracted by the equestrian scene. "We were surprised at how multi-cultural a place it is," he says. "So many people who come into the shop turn out to have a Colombian connection, and they've all been so welcoming."
But it's not only the 'newcomers' who are celebrating a return to normal. Craftsman Dennis French has run Painswick Woodcrafts for more than 15 years. "Since the floods, we have had a tough time - especially over Christmas when sales should have been good - but we've all made the best of it," he says.
"I'm hoping we'll get even more visitors than usual this spring. This end of the Cotswolds is overlooked, yet the Stroud area has so many pretty valleys, and Painswick now has some really interesting shops. Only the other day, I had people in who had travelled all the way from Exeter to visit Painswick Fabrics; and our new Cotswolds88hotel is also that little bit different."
It's more than just trade that will blossom with the reopening of the A46; the spring bulbs at Painswick Rococo Gardens will be showing their colours, too: daffodils, wood anemones, tulips and hyacinths will all be out in the coming weeks to greet visitors.
"I'm thoroughly looking forward to the town becoming vibrant once again," says Garden Director, Paul Moir. "Painswick is called the Queen of the Cotswolds - but let's not picture Queen Victoria. A dowdy image just isn't appropriate for a town that was at its height during Regency, with all the gallivanting that went on!"
Certainly, the floods may not have amused anyone, but Painswick's back on track for a great spring and summer, with attractions fit for a queen.
Visitor leaflets and photographs have been commissioned by Gloucestershire First on behalf of Painswick, using flood relief funds from the South West Regional Development Agency as part of promotional support for the town's traders. For more information, visit www.glosfirst.co.uk
To find out more about Painswick, log onto www.painswick-pc.gov.uk - or use the A46!