Months of lockdown wilderness had robbed people of the fun variety of attractions on offer in Southsea.
But people were eager to make up for lost time while businesses offered a warm welcome to their guests.
Southsea Model Village owners Amy, Emma and Dean Wilson were happy to throw open their doors again after only being open last summer and for Halloween.
‘It’s lovely to be back and have the normality back,’ Amy said. ‘It’s just nice to see people having fun again.’
Emma said: ‘It’s been horrible being stuck at home. It’s nice just being able to talk to people, everyone is so happy to be here… you see the children getting so excited which we’ve missed.
‘We have some new shops coming soon to the village as well.’
Dean added: ‘It’s great to be open again. It’s been a long time. We’ve made changes to the seating and stage area for events we have here. We’ve also used the time to make other improvements.
‘It’s a relief to be back. Hopefully we can start making money for what we have lost.’
Customers at the village were enjoying the stunning spectacle and speedy trains zooming about. Jose Martin, 48, and his wife Maria, 42, had travelled from Henley-on-Thames with their two sons Victor and Alex.
‘We are very happy to be here,’ the couple said. ‘It’s our first time but it is a brilliant thing to do and something different, especially after all these months.’
Fratton couple Michael Mills and Mia Cooper, both 23, were regulars at the model village with their children Willow and Meadow before lockdown.
‘It’s always so much fun here, the kids love it,’ they said. ‘We were looking forward to coming here after not being able to visit since last year.’
Meanwhile on South Parade Pier, families were catching up on all that missed out fun by taking in the rides and games.
Carmen Pollard, 31, enjoyed being able to take her son Elias Pinckney, five, onto the attractions. ‘It’s good to be out again. He’s loving going on the rides,’ she said.
‘We’ve kept busy going out and about during lockdown but it is nice to be able to do things like this again.’
Elias added: ‘I’ve had lots of fun.’
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Petersfield couple Steve Kyte and his wife Lucy enjoyed the thrill of being on the pier especially after struggling to keep their young boys Ollie and Harry entertained after the latest lockdown.
‘It’s just nice to do new stuff with them after all this time,’ the couple said. ‘It’s a big chunk of their little life to not be able to do things. They’ve only been able to go in the garden or go to the park.
‘It’s good everything is getting up and running and back to some normality. We now have more options of what to do with kids.
‘We’ve had lots of fun on the pier.’