Almost two weeks on from the huge fire which destroyed part of Maidstone town centre things are starting to get back to normal.
The arson, which gutted The Works book shop and ripped through adjoining properties in the early hours of Monday, June 8, meant a large part of Week Street had to be closed off to the public.
This weekend was the first since the incident where shoppers could move freely along the pedestrianised street.
Although some noticed a drop in trade compared to normal weekends others were relieved to see an end to what has been a devastating period for business.
Christopher Packham, who works at family-owned County Cobbler, said: "It's been really bad, we've had pretty much no customers for a whole week, nobody could get up or down the street and everyone was just coming to look at the damage.
The 25-year-old, from Barming, added: "Today (Saturday) hasn't been too bad but for three or four days after the street opened no one came down and we were 75% to 90% down on takings."
The shoe repair shop is next to Lloyds Bank, which suffered smoke and water damage as a result of the fire and subsequent emergency response.
But Ian Rolfe, from Chatham, said the town seemed quieter than usual.
The 42-year-old said: "I've lived in the Maidstone area since 1978, this is the first time I've come down here and I'm shocked at the amount of damage.
"It is a hell of a lot quieter here now, it's like a week day."
He added: "I knew the damage was bad but I didn't think it had ripped through the shops like this.
"The only damage to the area I remember that even compares to this was that caused by the storms in 1987."
While Julie and Andrew Chatburn, from Teasel Close, Weavering, thought the fire may have had an impact on the rest of the town.
Mrs Chatburn, 59, said: "I come down here every weekend, usually on a Saturday and it seems comparatively quiet this weekend.
"I have just been in Golden Boot down Gabriel's Hill and it was almost empty. I personally think this has had an impact on the whole town.
"But they have done a great job to get everything up and running again."
Adam Stajer, a Slovakian man from Lower Stone Street, will appear at Maidstone Crown Court charged with arson on Friday.
The 21-year-old, who has lived in Britain for two years, did not enter a plea at a hearing last weekend and was remanded in custody.