New diving shop’s opening plans scuppered by lockdown
PUBLISHED: 11:31 06 November 2020 | UPDATED: 13:53 06 November 2020
The owners of a new diving shop in Leiston have been left devastated after the store was forced to abandon its planned first day.
Beyond One Bar was supposed to open its doors on Thursday, the first official day of new coronavirus restrictions.
Owner David Swain and his family, who live in Leiston, had decided to open the specialist store after spending years working in the diving industry and having been inspired by their own experiences during the first lockdown.
“I have been teaching scuba diving for about 25 years,” said Mr Swain.
Mr Swain taught in the UK for about 10 years before moving to Honduras for seven years to teach there.
After moving back to the UK, Mr Swain became self-employed and found himself without any work when the first lockdown came into force in March, as did other members of his family.
“One of my sons worked at the Kitchen at Thorpeness, he lost work,” said Mr Swain.
“One son did marine biology at university.
“Everything has stopped for him.
“All the things he was looking to do have been put on hold.”
Mr Swain therefore decided that it was the right time to invest in his own business.
“We came up with setting up a diving centre in Leiston,” said Mr Swain.
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“It gives us something to do.”
The shop was just days away from opening when prime minister Boris Johnson made his announcement that England would go into a second lockdown.
The impetus for the creation of the business had now helped to put it on hold.
“We just about got everything ready,” said Mr Swain.
“And now we have to stop.
“We were really reliant on opening the doors on Thursday.”
Posts on the shop’s Facebook page that mentioned the shop’s proposed opening date have now been filled with mean spirited comments to the effect of ‘really?’ or ‘you think?’.
Fortunately others have been more supportive and Mr Swain hopes that, with their newly-opened website, the business will be able to survive during lockdown.
“With that we can carry on until we open up,” said Mr Swain.
“But we feel like we are a bit on the edge.”
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