THE Easter Bank Holiday brought a bumper boost for traders in Evesham as they celebrated the first public holiday since the town’s Abbey Bridge re-opened.

Businesses around the town say the weekend was busy and successful, and that they are delighted to see more people heading back into Evesham after the troubles of the past year.

Tony Fisher, of the LIFE Emporium, in Vine Mews, said an Easter egg hunt on Saturday saw the town centre packed with people.

“For me Saturday was busier in the town because of the egg hunt,” said Mr Fisher. “The kids were coming up to the shop because we had some clues in there. It was a bit of a boost. It’s gradually picking up.”

And staff at High Street business Run Stuff told the Journal that trade was good and the town seemed far busier than usual.

At Hampton Ferry a range of events took place over the weekend, including a quiz night in aid of Cancer Research, a snail race and a family day.

Diana Raphael, proprietor, is now looking forward to the summer after a good weekend.

“We worked hard to put things on so we knew people would come and it was very good,” she said.“The bridge being open has made a big difference. We have high hopes for the summer.”

A lively trade was also reported in pubs and venues around Evesham as people took advantage of the town being back in business now the Abbey Bridge has reopened.

The newly re-opened Railway Hotel, in High Street, hosted sell out events over the weekend.

Landlord Paul Watson said: “We had a fantastic weekend. We sold out of tickets to the Bon Jovi Experience on Sunday night and almost sold out on Saturday night as well.

“It was brilliant, everybody seemed to have a great time.”

The Evesham Hotel welcomed new and familiar faces across a busy Easter weekend.

Sue Jenkinson, owner of the hotel in Coopers Lane, said: “We had a brilliant weekend, it was superb, despite the weather. We have a whole lot of family parties that meet here.

“There is one group that come every year and they go on the barges first before staying here for the holiday weekend.”

Nearby in Port Street Steve Molyneux, who runs the Angel Vaults pub, said the weekend had been good.

“It went very well,” he added. “We had a charity evening on Sunday for the British Heart Foundation in memory of one of our customers John Terry who died aged 53.

“I think we were nearly as busy as Christmas. We can definitely see a pick up since the bridge opened.”

But not all businesses reported a boost, with Big Whoop Comics and Word of Mouth cafe saying they were quieter than what they would expect for a bank holiday weekend.