December 2020

Coronavirus Chronicles Part 2: April 2020 March 2020 | May 2020 Wednesday April 1st Intermittent light rain this morning, enough to generate that sweet deluge smell more associated with the end of a long dry summer. It’s much more pleasant than yesterday’s, following a fire at the waste transfer station. Yet, the first rain of lockdown does not last long. It’s bin day in half of Ruthin: black, green and orange. Except green waste is now suspended, to ensure there are sufficient crews to move general and food waste. This does not stop the more optimistic putting out their green bins today, though. Or perhaps some households felt that the suspension was little more than an April fool’s joke. Today, the new 20-plate vehicle registration is a month in and by now there are barely half-a-dozen in Ruthin. Are these to be future collectors’ items? Saturday April 4th  We have a revised system in Tesco. At the end of your shop, you now need to queue along aisle 11 before being taken to an appropriate check out. Shoppers are nevertheless scarce today. We are making fewer visits but buying more each time. Or perhaps we are all stocked up so much that we no longer need to get out at all. I see little evidence of increased home deliveries. They would be noticeable, as estate road traffic is now at a minimum. Ruthin’s Chatwin’s is closing today (for now). Today, we learn that the Feathers public house is opening its guest accommodation free of charge to any NHS worker forced to self-isolate. The Town Council begins to think how businesses might emerge from and contemplate life after coronavirus. Sunday April 5th From today, Arriva Buses suspends its X51 service from Ruthin to Wrexham. The service continues between Ruthin and Denbigh. Monday April 6th The Co-op has today introduced a one way system. Well, almost. The number of aisles means that it doesn’t quite work but it’s a good step, regardless. Whereas shopping at Tesco can now be stressful, that at the Co-op is more relaxed. It’s also eerie in the Co-op during the day. Fewer patrons and a few with facemasks contribute to a sinister tension. It’s the school holidays but the Glasdir schools, above, remain open throughout as the primary school hub for key Ruthin & district workers’ children. Wednesday April 8th The number of rainbows in and around town steadily grows. Some now in addition show three letters, namely H, S and N. This week, HSBC tries to formalise the way its customers observe physical distances. New notices appear alongside old on the stonework at the entrance. And, ingeniously, the branch has chalked markers on the pavement to assist its customers to maintain the required 6′ 6″. Saturday April 11th A change in the weather. Unlooked-for persistent rain washes away many of the chalkings on pavements, including the distance markers at the HSBC. Sunday April 12th Easter and no family or friends allowed. No holidays or short breaks. No open countryside. No beach visits. No meals out. No drinks down the pub. No taking children to play areas. In fact, none of the things we might traditionally do on or associate with a dry Easter Day. And, no chapel or church services, either. Our Warden, the Revd Stuart Evans, and others in his congregation, have maintained a daily Facebook video presence viewed to date 5,551 times, plus 1,702 for children’s stories. St Peter’s Llanbedr saw 995 views on Maundy Thursday. To gladden us in difficult times and to the accompaniment of “Happy” by Pharrell Williams & His Band, the mayor races round Ruthin with a substantial rainbow on his back, alongside a human- sized Easter bunny. Rain however stops play. Thursday 16th April The First Minister gives Ruthin’s Workplace Worksafe an honourable mention during the Welsh Government’s daily coronavirus briefing. Workplace Worksafe is responding to the call to source a more local supply chain following the international scramble for personal protective equipment. Friday April 17th Applauded, King’s ironmonger reopens, with table at the entrance upon which the Kings place items they have retrieved for you from within. It’s back to queuing with service from behind the counter, 1950s-style.  Condensed hours apply and the shop’s closed on Wednesdays. Saturday April 18th A large sign urging us to stay home appears and is just about visible off Mold Road. The home owners remove the slogan part on May 9th, at the time when the UK government changes its message from “Stay at Home” to “Stay Alert”. In Wales, though, the “Stay at home. Protect the NHS” message continues unchanged. Monday April 20th Schools return from the Easter holidays—at least remotely online. The Glasdir schools continue as the hub school. Friday April 24th Travel for exercise is barred and cycling other than what might be considered as within walking distance is also prohibited. The Welsh government is changing the core requirement for people not to leave the place where they live—to a requirement not to leave or remain away from that place. Sunday April 26th Arriva temporarily suspended its Ruthin-Denbigh service, though a replacement by Lloyd’s Coaches begins tomorrow. Monday April 27th Richard Williams reopens for pre-booked account customers only. The “closed” sign remains for several weeks, though. Both pedestrians & traffic ramp up.
Archive from 2013 Historic Interest