If there were flowers in Silloth this spring, the chances are they were delivered by Jaybee Blake.

The family-owned business has been nominated as trader of the week by no less a person that Silloth mayor Mark Orchard who said the shop was truly brilliant.

“They did free deliveries the whole time – even if all you wanted was a bottle of milk and if you didn’t have the money on you, you would not have gone without at Jaybee’s.”

Paul Blake and brother Michael grew up in the family business.

The Blake family took over the Silloth Amusement Arcade in 1947 and Jaybee Blake, their Criffel Street store in 1956.

Paul Blake said this week: “Anything we have done during the pandemic has been down to my staff.

“Not everyone was able to come into work – some were shielding or protecting someone who was. But those who were there worked tirelessly. Some would not even take days off so we could make sure our customers were okay.”

He said several of his customers were elderly or shielding and Jaybee Blake was determined that they would not go without.

“We did deliveries seven days a week whenever they were needed – and often within five minutes of receiving the order.”

His wife and son, Lindsey and Reece, were pulled in to help with the deliveries.

“Sometimes whoever delivered was the only person some of our customers would see so it gave them a chance to have a chat.”

Although the original intent was to help loyal Silloth customers, the demand was such that the shop was eventually delivering to Allerby, Westnewton and the wider area around Silloth.

“It was quite difficult at times because we were having trouble sourcing things but we managed to pull it out of the bag," he said.

In a collaboration with Moota Garden Centre, it was also responsible for keeping the town looking beautiful in lockdown.

Paul said: “The garden centre was closed so I took plants off the owner’s hands to sell here. We kept the town council supplied for their displays, too.”

Their other enterprise, the amusement arcade, has re-opened, with safeguards in place and it is almost business as usual for a group who has earned the loyalty of the people of Silloth and beyond.