Barnard Castle sees upturn in visitors after Dominic Cummings saga
- Credit: PA
Businesses in Barnard Castle have claimed they have benefited from the exposure of Dominic Cummings' controversial family trip to Durham during the lockdown.
Cummings visited the riverside at Barnard Castle on Easter Saturday after traveling from London to Durham to stay at a property on his parents' farm when he and his wife fell ill.
The Downing Street adviser said they took a trip to Barnard Castle, where he was spotted by a retired chemistry teacher, as he planned to travel back to London the next day and he wanted to check he could drive safely, particularly as his 'eyesight seemed to have been affected by the disease'.
That comment led to many jokes about opticians in the town.
The local mayor John Blissett claimed the headlines generated by the prime minister's most senior aide 'put us on the map'.
You may also want to watch:
He told the PA News Agency: 'The crowds have been coming in and obviously the curiosity is there.
'I don't know whether the opticians have had any more trade though.
- 1 Why don't Brexiteers like to talk about Brexit any more?
- 2 Brexit: British 'expats' in Spain facing deportation over residency
- 3 Michael O'Leary: My hope for the future over Brexit
- 4 Five years of Brexit summed up by Cold War Steve
- 5 When Eton took on a team of miners at football
- 6 Is the Sun setting on Murdoch's global media empire?
- 7 Did Donald Trump really wear his trousers backwards at Republicans' North Carolina rally?
- 8 English to be temporarily replaced by French as EU's 'working language' in 2022
- 9 Major disaster: How Tories' 1992 victory sowed seeds of Brexit
- 10 Priti Patel urged to publish promised assessment on impact of ending freedom of movement
'I think the publicity has done us good in the sense that it has put us on the map.'
Last year locals started the Making Barny Brighter Together campaign to bring in more visitors.
Blissett added: 'This has done us one hell of a favour, they know about us.'
TV antiques expert David Harper, who has been wrongly identified as Cummings when he has been spotted heading to his antiques and art shop, said: 'I don't know how many emails I've received from people saying Barnard Castle looks so lovely.
'I've heard of people thinking of relocating and checking out property prices.
'When I reopened my shop earlier this month, if I had a pound for every time someone mentioned it, or cracked a joke about eyesight or calling me Dominic, I would be super-rich.
'If everyone in Barnard Castle got together and wrote a cheque for the cost of the marketing, we still couldn't pay for it all.
'Thank you Dom.'
Harper said, only this weekend, a couple who were visiting the town after not coming for many years said they were reminded of its attractions by seeing it in the news and they came into his shop and bought some art.
He added: 'I think Barnard Castle will forever be connected with the lockdown, and eye tests.'
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.