THERE was a huge rush to get the first post-lockdown haircut as barbers and salons reopened across Cumbria.

Together with churches, hotels, cinemas and pubs, they were allowed by the Government to open on Saturday in its efforts to ease lockdown.

Queues of people were reported waiting outside shops in the morning for a post-lockdown hairdo or a short back and sides for the first time since March.

Social distancing measures were in place but businesses were reporting full appointments, with many already booked out for months ahead.

On Saturday Stephen Stedman was in the queue outside WH Walkers Gents Barber, on Lowther Street – he said he “can’t wait” for his first haircut after lockdown.

One salon that had more reasons to celebrate than most was Boyd Hair & Beauty, on Bank Street, Carlisle.

The staff were facing redundancy until two Carlisle businessmen, Gordon Adamson and Paul Wasilkowski, recently stepped in to save it.

Jenny Richardson, receptionist and manager, said she and the staff were likely to have a glass of Prosecco when the store closed at the end of the day.

She added: “It is fantastic and great to see the customers return.

“I would say that trade has been easy going, nice and chilled.”

She said that they are booked up for at least another four weeks.

It was also the first day back for Chloe Mcclurg, a beauty therapist whose section in the shop is still not open because of Government regulations.

She said: “I think it has gone really well. As we say, we are not fully open but I’m here with everyone else, to help out.”

Susan Holliday, a stylist at Obe Hair Studio, Castle Street, said: “It’s really good. The clients are all happy – it’s like meeting old friends.”

On the social distancing and PPE measures she said: “It is absolutely do-able but things are not as comfortable.”

Elsewhere Sammy Armstrong, owner of Rae ’Ole Hair on Eden Street, Silloth, said: “Everyone has been taking it in their stride.”

She added that she is booked up to August – but cancellations can be found on her Facebook page.

As well as hairdressers, The Halston hotel in Carlisle has announced it is accepting bookings from Saturday.

Despite the Government go-ahead for the opening of cinemas, Carlisle’s Vue cinema will not open until the end of July according to reports.

The Bishop of Carlisle welcomed the news that church buildings in the diocese can reopen for public worship and for weddings from Saturday.

The Right Reverend James Newcome had written to all clergy detailing the further easing of lockdown restrictions for places of worship. Small weddings of up to 30 people are also now possible.

Bishop James said: “I am thrilled at the prospect that church buildings will be able to reopen for public worship.

“We must also remain cautious and remember this is a phased response to lifting restrictions.”