WHILST lockdown restrictions forced everyone to get used to life stuck inside homes, stories on what had been going on outside continued to make their way onto the pages of the Worcester News in the past two months. Here are some of the biggest.

One of the most read stories on the Worcester News website was Wychavon District Council's controversial decision earlier in May to force St Peters Garden Centre to close immediately after issuing a prohibition notice.

The popular garden centre, which had partially reopened its food hall and pet department, hit out at the council for allowing similar stores to remain open.

The Range in Worcester faced criticism after a worker claimed the store was putting the health of its employees at risk by remaining open during the lockdown.

However, some readers defended the decision to stay open saying as long as social distancing was adhered to, people should be allowed to buy arts and crafts to keep busy whilst at home and toys to keep children occupied.

Social distancing measures forced one city cafe owner to get creative, putting up shower curtains between tables to prepare for life after lockdown.

Francini Osorio, who owns Francini Cafe De Colombia in Angel Place, bought 35 shower curtains and imported an air purifier from Germany to ensure customers stayed safe when he reopened.

Smiles were found on the faces of hundreds across the city, as well as in the sky, as a pilot took the air to paint huge smiley faces to spread some cheer during the lockdown.

The faces were seen by people in Northwick, Rushwick, Barbourne, St John's and Warndon.

Of course, thousands across the city stood outside every Thursday at 8pm to show their appreciation for key workers and NHS staff as part of the weekly 'Clap for our Carers'.

In other lockdown-related news, huge queues greeted the city's recycling centre in Bilford Road as it reopened its skips weeks after closing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and hundreds immediately flocked to garden centres after the government announced they could reopen.

A stunning Banksy-style piece of artwork by artist John D’oh appeared on the wall of the Bull Inn in Fernhill Heath in tribute to frontline NHS staff who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic.

We reported some unsavoury news in April after a postal worker was allegedly spat at by a member of the public whilst out delivering post.

City councillor Richard Udall said he was outraged by the attack.

“This was a despicable act, made worse by the current coronavirus outbreak, but it is clearly not acceptable at any time," he said.

It was extremely sad news for The Farm Shop in Ombersley which was devastated by fire in May.

Despite the tragedy, long queues met owner Brett Wilkinson when he reopened briefly to sell plants and compost with hundreds in the community coming together to offer support and buy up remaining stock - often paying more than the actual cost.

“In the first hour, I took over £1,000.

"People have been giving me more money – if a plant is £12, they have been giving me £20," he said.