TWO small Devizes businesses which managed to weather lockdown are looking to the future with optimism.

Belgard antiques and record shop Vinyl Realm are neighbours in Northgate Street and offer something different to the norm.

Both are finding that offering a product that harks back to earlier eras is capturing the imagination of people living under the threat of Covid-19.

Sean Belgard opened his doors 19 Northgate Stree just days before lockdown back in March but says that since he has been able to re-open trade has been surprisingly good.

Vinyl Realm moved at the end of last month from Long Street to 59 Northgate Street and can at last spread out its vast collection of albums and other music related goods to show them off to their best advantage

Mr Belgard, 53, arrived at antique dealing via a circuitous route. He grew up in Leicester worked as a ‘flyman’ moving scenery on the set of Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal in London , trained as a landscape gardener, did up properties and then owned a restaurant in Portugal before returning to England.

But five years ago a chance trip to Wiltshire changed his perspective. He bought a house with a large garden in Rowde and started collecting items especially metal advertising signs and old newspapers.

He said: “When the shop premises came up it seemed like a good idea to open a shop. Since I re-opened sales have been going surprisingly well.

“Saturdays are particularly busy. I try and make the outside of the shop as interesting as possible with the old signs and a lot of people seem to spot it driving by and then come in to browse.

“As soon as I visited Devizes I fell in love with it. I am really enjoying having a business here.”

Vinyl Realm run by Jacki Harvey and Pete Bennett moved into their new premises, which had formerly been a gift shop, at the beginning of the month.

Just days before their move a large window at their old premises was smashed by a drunken reveller.

But the couple have put that behind them and are enjoying having a more central location in the town and chance to attract new customers.

Singer Will Lawton held an album signing of his new record Abbey House Sessions on the first Saturday and attracted a lot of interest. The shop has also created specially designed re-usable cotton shopping bags.