Tag Archive: lockdown life

  1. Oldham’s Lockdown Museum: One year in Tricia Golden

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    It is a whole year since lockdown began in the UK on 23rd March 2020. Soon afterwards, we began Oldham’s Lockdown Museum. The project asked local people to send in pictures and tell us what they were doing in a time of monumental change. Over the coming months, photographs poured in and together they create a revealing and sometimes moving snapshot of Oldham during lockdown. The Lockdown Museum tells amazing stories of how people came together to help one another, adapted their lives and businesses and found the strength to keep going in the most challenging of times.

    To mark the anniversary of lockdown, we have contacted some of the contributors and asked them to reflect on the last twelve months. Here is the latest in a series of revealing blog posts. Today we’re how the life of Tricia Golden was transformed.

    No. 8, Tricia Golden, singer, nature lover and artist

    • Thinking back to 2020… What were you doing in March, when the first lockdown started?

    I was booked to travel to Cambodia on 21 March. This was finally cancelled on 16 March. I had been to the gym for my induction but could not start my annual membership because the assistant was at home isolating. I went to performances at The Lowry and Royal Exchange on 12/13 March and had other tickets booked. After much discussion we decided that the Choral Society rehearsal on 16 March would be the last for a while. I stocked the larder.

    • What suddenly changed for you when the first lockdown started? How did you adapt?

     All social contact through groups and classes stopped. My first event to be cancelled was My Jerusalem at Oldham Library. My first use of Zoom was for a French class usually held at the teacher’s house.  I set up a weekly Friday evening Zoom for 7 single choir friends. I started a diary on 13 March, the first day I was personally affected. Supermarket shopping with rucksack once a fortnight. My car was not used for 12 weeks.

    A newly painted ‘NHS thank you’. The graphitti is on Hough Lane where the lane goes under the A627M bridge, a favourite graphitti site.’
    • What helped you through it, personally and professionally?

    Telephone and video calls and WhatsApp. Weekly Zoom socials give some structure to the week.  The daily hour’s walk got me away from the house and into the burgeoning spring countryside with my phone camera as companion. Through YouTube videos and online courses, I have discovered gel printing, collage and art journals.  Social media groups relating to these subjects has kept me connected with like-minded people. I have recorded photographic and art challenges on social media.

    A Peacock butterfly among the spring blossom of 2020.
    • What has changed between the first, second and third lockdown?

     Oldham only had 3 weeks in July when we weren’t under some sort of lockdown so it has seemed continuous. Originally I thought I would read a lot of books, declutter, sort photos etc. I didn’t. I started online pilates and Gareth Malone’s choirs and tried other online choirs in lockdown 1 but stopped them all. Now in the third National lockdown, I have slowed down, there is no pressure to get anything done. I allow myself to do very little. I even phone fewer people, I have become desocialised.

    • What, if any, have been the positives?

    Calm, time.  Weekly Zoom connection with two groups of friends. Creativity; printing cards and making Artists books, thousands of photos taken on my walks. Online tours of exhibitions and virtual audience for Radio4 shows that would not normally have been geographically possible.

    I have made books of prints from leaves, flowers and feathers foraged on my daily isolation walks which remind me of the time I have had during lockdown to notice the development of the woods and hedgerows and to be creative.
    • What are your hopes for the rest of 2021 and beyond?

     To be together with my two daughters for a delayed Christmas stocking opening. To see their new houses. To see other relatives and friends. Postponed holidays. Family celebrations.

    I hope theatres, museums, musicians and choirs survive. I hope town centres will regenerate.

    I hope Covid threat reduces to that of flu and worldwide and international travel can resume. Too much to hope for in society and inequality, worldwide, nationally and in Oldham.

  2. Oldham’s Lockdown Museum: One Year in Rabia Begum

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    It is a whole year since lockdown began in the UK on 23rd March 2020. Soon afterwards, we began Oldham’s Lockdown Museum. The project asked local people to send in pictures and tell us what they were doing in a time of monumental change. Over the coming months, photographs poured in and together they create a fascinating and sometimes moving snapshot of Oldham during lockdown. The Lockdown Museum tells amazing stories of how people came together to help one another, adapted their lives and businesses and found the strength to keep going in the most challenging of times.

    To mark the anniversary of lockdown, we have contacted some of the contributors and asked them to reflect on the last twelve months. Here we look at how a young artist and activist kept positive by strengthening links with her community.

    No. 7, Rabia Begum, artist and activist

    • Tell us a little bit about yourself and or your organisation. Who are you, what do you do? Where are you from?

    Hi, my name is Rabia Begum. I work as a freelance artist, activist, and board member on Manchester Climate Change Youth Board. I am currently based in Liverpool (term time) studying Art & Design History and Psychology at Liverpool Hope University, but home for me is Oldham.

    • Thinking back to 2020… What were you doing in March, when the first lockdown started?

    I was working as a Visitor Experience Assistant at Gallery Oldham. Volunteering with a local group called Miftaah Initiative, raising £600+ for solar powered water filtration systems in Gaza. Muslims globally shared their first Ramadan in a global pandemic and for many we could reap rewards fasting in the privacy of our own homes without having to worry about physically travelling outside for work/ studies and being grateful for another day. I also wrote my first article for Art UK!

    • What suddenly changed for you when the first lockdown started? How did you adapt?

    Going from keeping myself super busy and on the go to staying at home, sharing my personal space with family, and navigating a balance between work, home, and personal time.

    The absence of my sisters presence is felt greatly this Eid due to lockdown restrictions. Going through the family album, I found this photograph of my sister and I on Eid day in 1998, Osborne Street, Westwood. We lived in this house for a few weeks as our family home was undergoing renovation. Mum noted how we had both hand-picked the traditional South Asian dresses from a popular fashion shop, Modhubon Saree Centre, located in the heart of Westwood.
    • What helped you through it, personally and professionally?

    I kept myself occupied through Ramadan by virtually attending webinars and series by Islamic scholars or online platforms, learning more and praying,. Helping my parents around the home and queuing for family food shops when everyone was ill as well as supporting my father who’s mother and sister passed away. Group chats/ Video calling cousins and friends was a collective therapy of sorts.  Physically when we were able to do so, going on walks and exploring new green spaces.

    Small businesses have had to adapt to the Lockdown restrictions… my friend, a local business woman, ensures her customers are not missing out and still have the option to order cupcakes with a special Friday bake sale. @wonderlust_bakery. They specialise in delicious buttercream/ fresh cream cakes. I hand-painted this
    • What has changed between the first, second and third lockdown?

    We have experienced three different lockdowns with varying time scales and loss of lives. Each lockdown has presented its own issues. The most recent lockdown in winter has affected many significantly as seasonal affective disorders and the shock of more deaths, surpassing 100,000 has taken its toll.

    • What, if any, have been the positives?

    Spending quality time with family, having to live a slower life compared to being on the go pre-lockdown, ability to fast during Ramadan at home, moving away from home to study and knowing that help is out there.

    During the Easter break, I was going to visit one of my close friends in Bristol. However when lockdown restrictions were imposed and many people furloughed, my friend and I discussed how we could use our time to read more and connect through our love for reading. She is writing her very first novel, inspired by Haruki Muraki’s book 1Q84, I look forward to catching up with her in person and hopefully read a sneak peak of her first book!
    • What are your hopes for the rest of 2021 and beyond?

    Working on my mental health, continuing to study and graduate as well as working on climate crisis projects.

  3. Oldham’s Lockdown Museum: One year in Mark Woodcock

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    It is a whole year since lockdown began in the UK on 23rd March 2020. Soon afterwards, we began Oldham’s Lockdown Museum. The project asked local people to send in pictures and tell us what they were doing in a time of monumental change. Over the coming months, photographs poured in and together they create a revealing and sometimes moving snapshot of Oldham during lockdown. The Lockdown Museum tells amazing stories of how people came together to help one another, adapted their lives and businesses and found the strength to keep going in the most challenging of times.

    To mark the anniversary of lockdown, we have contacted some of the contributors and asked them to reflect on the last twelve months. Here is the first in a series of revealing blog posts.

    No. 6, Mark Woodcock, Health and Wellbeing Advisor, Oldham Active Communities

    • Tell us a little bit about your organisation. Who are you, what do you do?

    The Oldham Active Communities Project, run through Oldham Community Leisure, aims to reduce levels of social isolation and loneliness through getting people active.

    As more space was needed leisure centres became foodbanks. Here, staff at Royton unload donations.
    • Thinking back to 2020… What were you doing in March, when the first lockdown started?

    We were running indoor exercise classes in community settings and attending community events to find out if there are any activities groups and individuals would like to try in different areas of Oldham.

    • What suddenly changed for you when the first lockdown started? How did you adapt?

    We could no longer run any exercise classes which resulted in lots of calls to isolated individuals and leisure centre members initially.  We then set fitness challenges and started running classes online.

    A challenge set by Oldham Community Leisure to complete 10 laps of 400m (run) with 10 burpees after every lap completed!
    • What helped you through it, personally and professionally?

    Keeping positive throughout was essential and knowing that the whole country were pulling together.  A lot more partnership working has come as a result.

    • What has changed between the first, second and third lockdown?

    People are more comfortable with online activities.  The weather had an impact on people’s enthusiasm / motivation and people cannot wait for social contact!

    • What, if any, have been the positives?

    More partnership working and there has been good engagement with online activities.  Although online engagement might not be everybody’s preference, it has helped people connect and keep active.

    Equipment packs sent out to Primary School children through the Oldham Active Communities Project. Schools in the borough were contacted to help identify lonely and isolated children and the equipment was sent out to these children to use at home during lockdown and summer holidays
    • What are your hopes for the rest of 2021 and beyond?

    A combination of online and face to face activities to keep people active and an increase in social interaction

  4. Oldham’s Lockdown Museum: One year in Liam Whitehead

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    It is a whole year since lockdown began in the UK on 23rd March 2020. Soon afterwards, we began Oldham’s Lockdown Museum. The project asked local people to send in pictures and tell us what they were doing in a time of monumental change. Over the coming months, photographs poured in and together they create an revealing and sometimes moving snapshot of Oldham during lockdown. The Lockdown Museum tells amazing stories of how people came together to help one another, adapted their lives and businesses and found the strength to keep going in the most challenging of times.

    To mark the anniversary of lockdown, we have contacted some of the contributors and asked them to reflect on the last twelve months. Here is the second in a series of revealing blog posts.

    No. 2 Liam Whitehead-Positive Steps, Oldham

    Tablets ready to be delivered
    • Tell us a little bit about yourself and or your organisation. Who are you, what do you do? Where are you from?

    I manage the Employment & Skills Service who provide a range of employer related learning opportunities to young people across Oldham and across Greater Manchester

    • Thinking back to 2020… What were you doing in March, when the first lockdown started?

    Managing several projects that support a young person work readiness skills. We were also preparing to send out over 3500 young people onto work experience placements

    • What suddenly changed for you when the first lockdown started? How did you adapt?

    Working from home and trying to balance this with home schooling my children. We also had to pivot services and develop an impactful interactive online offer for young people very quickly

    Martin out and about delivering tablets
    • What helped you through it, personally and professionally?

    Getting up early every day and going for a run in Tandle Hills and buying a punch bag! In work, developing new ways of working, learning new skills and supporting my colleagues

    • What has changed between the first, second and third lockdown?

    First lockdown was easiest due to the nice weather. Second lockdown became more difficult due to additional restrictions. Third lockdown has been a slog!

    • What, if any, have been the positives?

    Cherish the small things in life! Don’t sweat the big stuff. Appreciate the importance of human connections and beer gardens!

    • What are your hopes for the rest of 2021 and beyond?

    Getting folk back together to enjoy hopefully a great British summer!

  5. Light Up Lockdown

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    Horaah! It’s Half-term Holiday. Gallery Oldham, Arts Development and Oldham Libraries have got lots in store for you this February. We’re getting ready for Light Up Lockdown, a week-long celebration of creativity and light scheduled to run from Saturday 13th February to Sunday 21st February 2021.

    There are no more zoom lessons, so let’s have some fun getting creative instead!

    We’re unable to host Illuminate this year but we’re determined to bring some love and light to a long, dark and tough winter which will mark the end to our #GoCosy campaign. Why not join in? Visit our Light Up Lockdown webpage there’s something for everyone:

    We’d love you to post pictures of your creations which we’ll add to the Oldham Lockdown Museum.

    FREE Craft Materials – Light Up Lockdown Bags

    These bags have now SOLD OUT. Thanks to everyone who has reserved one.

    Light Up Lockdown bags include craft supplies and instructions to make some of our half-term activities. Our packs are FREE but are limited and bookable via Eventbrite. Collection is available from all the district libraries currently operating click and collect.

    Light Up Lockdown bags include the following :

    • Poster paints
    • Paint brush
    • Masking tape
    • Glue
    • Card
    • Split pins
    • Coloured tissue paper
    • Origami paper
    • Blue tack
    • Activity instructions
    • Story book

    We’re able to offer 300 bags via Oldham libraries. Click the library of your choice and book your bag through Eventbrite (opens in separate tab):

    • Oldham  Open Mon – Sat 10am – 5pm
    • Lees  Open Mon – Fri 10am – 2pm and Sat 10am -1pm
    • Delph  Open for Click and Collect only Tues and Thurs 2 – 5pm and Sat 10am -1pm
    • Failsworth Mon – Fri 10am–2pm and Sat 10am–1pm
    • Crompton Mon – Fri 10am–2pm and Sat 10am–1pm

    Please note that Light Up Lockdown bags will only be ready for collection from Monday 8 February.

  6. 2020 Pandemic: A Personal History by Joan Stott

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    Joan Stott shares her personal experience of living through the first part of the pandemic.

    He went to bed last night muttering and complaining but it’s not as if you can do anything about it.

    We were together at the beginning, listening to the news on the television. There was something strange happening in Wuhan in China; something about a new virus that was making people very ill and they were all going into lockdown. People had to stay indoors and not venture out. You could see them at their windows or on their balconies, sometimes shouting encouragement to each other across the divide. You felt sorry for them but they were so far away, almost too far away. But yet it was Chinese New Year and you knew deep down it would spread.

    It becomes a terrible fascination and you watched as the virus began to devour like a circling shark until it was lapping and snapping at your own front door. On the news again, Italy is the next country to feel the full force. You watch as the people struggle against seemingly overwhelming odds. Pictures flit across the screen, nurses with damaged faces, and strange silent funerals with almost no one there to say good-bye.

    You wonder how this could hurt so many people. It all seems so desperate but nevertheless you and many others soldier on. At times there are little snippets of hope which you relay to him praying it will lift up his spirit and bring him out of the lethargy and despondency that lurks like a cloud. He potters around the garden, ‘takes me mind off things’ he says.

    The virus grip begins in earnest and now you are not allowed outside or even go to the shops and even more heart breaking cannot visit your family, no not even for a minute. A strange sort of madness takes hold and gazing in wonder at the television screen you see forlorn empty shelves and grown adults fighting over toilet rolls.

    ""
    Shadows, submitted to Oldham’s Lockdown Museum by Linda

    You begin to count every second and then you stand looking out of the window hoping against hope that the sun will start shining and you can at least feel some warmth on your face. You look at your walking boots standing forlorn and unused in the porch, you imagine your feet encased in the leather, and the boots wet from the grass you have walked over.

    Then you silently curse old age, and the isolation you have yet to endure. But then, at least you are safe and you begin to notice the numbers creeping up and you thank God that no one you know has yet to fall victim. Still you look at the prone figures lying vulnerable and alone on their hospital beds and you rage against the helplessness of it all.

    Then Frank. Frank, struggling against dementia, falls victim in his care home and you think about him and remember the times you saw him walking around with his little shopping bag talking to everyone he met. The funeral is a on a bright May morning where the mourners stand apart and strain to hear the priest as his words are drowned by the sound of birdsong. You sprinkle earth on the coffin and wish that Frank could have had the proper send off he deserved in the church he loved.

    Yet there are moments uplifting and heartening. You can hear the dawn chorus in the morning, you smile more as strangers pass by your window and you listen for the crescendo of noise as neighbours clap earnestly for the struggling staff of the National Health Service. Children paint their rainbow pictures and paste them onto their windows and the shoots of normality slowly begin to form.

    You decide it will be safe to venture out but outside is an unknown and foreign place where you stand in queues at the supermarket and stern figures tell you that you are only allowed in one at a time.

    There is a kind of hiatus. Young people flock to the pubs and attend impromptu parties and you are envious of their unconcern and freedom. You yearn for family and friends but then, as you scan the pictures of lost faces, you remember the thousands who mourn. Then you reflect on the small snippets that gave you inspiration, the wonderful Italian voices drifting downwards towards eerily empty streets, the resurgence of nature, the silent empty roads and the sheer resilience of human beings in the face of adversity.

    He passes you a cup of tea, ‘come on love drink up, grandkids will be able to visit very soon.

    For further creative responses to the pandemic and to submit your own, see Oldham’s Lockdown Museum.

  7. Oldham Lockdown Museum

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    Week 4 (15th – 21st June): Changes

    Change happens all around us during ‘normal’ times, but the pace of change has really sped up during 2020. In March we all had to adapt to a brand new way of living, almost overnight. As days turned to weeks we had to adjust again, this time to the idea that this was a situation which was going to be here for a while. This week, as lockdown restrictions are eased slightly, things will change again. We would like to record some of these changes in Oldham’s Lockdown Museum, for future generations. Tell us about changes you have noticed around you, or changes you have made to your life. Have you begun to notice birdsong around your house as traffic noise fell quiet for a while? Have you discovered new areas of your local neighbourhood as you changed the route you went to work? Are you part of a group which used to meet weekly but is now working out how to continue using technology? Maybe the changes are more within yourself – have you become aware of how much of your happiness relied on contact with other people, or will you be vowing to build more time at home into your chaotic life as society opens up again?

    Deadline for ‘Changes’ submissions was 9am Monday 22nd June. We are happy to receive them after this but we may not be able to include them in our gallery on this page, although we will still add them to our collection for future generations. We will upload a selection of images in the next few days…watch this space.

  8. Oldham Lockdown Museum

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    Week 3 (8th – 14th June): Making

    For many of us, Lockdown has meant that we have had to learn new skills. We may have had to fix something in our house ourselves because we couldn’t call someone to help us. Or we have FINALLY got round to those little DIY jobs we’ve been telling ourselves we have been meaning to do for years. We have had to improve our cookery skills as the restaurants closed and our incomes became more uncertain. With less chance to be out and about socialising some of us have taken the opportunity to return to art and craft skills we haven’t used for years, or to begin to learn new ones. Thank you for the photos you have sent us of things you have sewn, sawn and baked!

    Deadline for ‘Making’ submissions was 9am Monday 15th June. We are happy to receive them after this but we may not be able to include them in our gallery on this page, although we will still add them to our collection for future generations.

  9. Oldham Lockdown Museum

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    Lockdown Life

    We have also received donations to our museum which do not relate to our weekly theme. Please keep sending us your photographs and films.