Tag Archive: oldham lockdown museum

  1. Once Upon A Year Ago

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    boxes of PPE in Oldham's Queen Elizabeth Hall

    Clare Bamforth is a Mental Health Commissioning Manager within the Adult Social Care commissioning team.  Like so many council staff Clare signed up for entirely new challenges at the start of the pandemic. We love this poem that she has written to record her experiences.

    Once upon a year ago, Helen rang and asked;

    “Clare, would you go to Southlink and help out with some masks?”

    So, Clare went up to Southlink and devised a detailed plan,

    to distribute these facemasks far and wide across Old-ham

    And there began a learning curve so steep it made Clare sigh,

    as she’d never even heard of IIR, FFP or KN95

    With van keys at the ready Clare set off with great enthuse,

    to pick up aprons, gloves, masks, hand gel and even overshoes!

    With that, the PPE Hub was born and so began our quest,

    to provide support and equipment to our providers who are the best

    ‘Twas a difficult time, and ever so busy, but onward we did muster,

    working every hour possible to keep Oldham stocked with PPE and out of a fluster

    With help from our procurement friends – Raj, John and Mo,

    and not forgetting Oldham’s Infection Prevention Nurse of the Year; Glo!!!

    The QEH team and the Civic staff have also been terrific,

    unloading vans, moving stock and helping with the pandemic

    The Library team swapped books for gloves and truly have been great,

    and without them we would have had rather a lot on our plate!

    Now it must be said, at times for Clare, it wasn’t always bad,

    and the army and the firemen helped to stop her feeling sad

    The Easter eggs they went down well, and helped to make amends,

    and another bonus is that Clare has gained some wonderful new friends!

    We’ve had highs and lows, ups and downs, peaks and troughs and tears,

    but through it all we’ve kept going and hopefully allayed some fears

    It’s been an honour and a privilege and often damned hard work,

    but at the same time it’s been good fun – she says with a smirk

    Thank you to the commissioning team for your help and your support

    and for all our combined energy into this battle we have fought

    And finally, to Oldham’s PPE Hub we say a big Merci,

    and one day may we never hear again PPE………

    If you would like to “donate” your photos, poems or other writing to Oldham’s Lockdown Museum, you can do so here.

  2. Oldham’s Lockdown Museum: Collecting Covid-19

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    Many people imagine that looking after a museum collection is about looking after things and keeping them unchanged for years to come. Perhaps surprisingly, it is also about recording change and building for the future by reflecting what is happening in the here and now. Few, if any of us have seen changes of the magnitude of those that have occurred in the last twelve months. So, like many museums across the country Gallery Oldham has been collecting Covid-19 material that will show future generations how Oldham lived through the global Coronavirus pandemic. 

    Being in the digital age has made it possible to capture people’s everyday lives; their thoughts and emotions with real immediacy through our Oldham’s Lockdown Museum initiative. Behind the scenes we have also been collecting some of the objects of lockdown and recording the stories they can help to unlock.

    We have collected a variety of objects that show how people adapted to the crisis and came together to help one another, as well as photographing the changes in our own buildings: the appearance of screens, hand-sanitising units and new signage. As the rainbow pictures appeared in our windows, people did their utmost to support the NHS and offer practical help. For example, we have collected some of the items local businesses and individuals produced. From high-tech, 3d-printed visor shields to lo-tech draw-string bags, made by Oldham crafters and distributed to NHS staff to transport and wash their surgical scrubs.

    As you might expect, we have things like hand-sanitiser; briefly so hard to get hold of, but now absolutely everywhere and we also have a selection of government letters and leaflets. Not only those starkly announcing the strange new world of ‘lockdown’, back in March, but also the more recent vaccination callouts. At last bringing us hope of escape from a way of life few of us ever expected would last so long.

    Image of scrubs bag made by local volunteers for staff at Royal Oldham Hospital

    We are taking a moment or two to look back on a year of change: a time of hopes and dashed hopes, great pain and sadness and above all uncertainty, the COVID crisis is not quite over yet. We will continue to collect and record change, whatever the future brings. Now that people are beginning to reflect on the past year, we are revisiting some of our donations and collecting the stories of the events of the last year in the form of interviews and oral histories. If you have objects, or stories related to the COVID 19 crisis that you would like to offer to us for our collecting Covid-19 project please contact me at: William.longshaw@oldham.gov.uk      

    Take a look at Oldham’s Lockdown Museum.

           

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Oldham’s Lockdown Museum: One year in Kashif Ashraf

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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. Our fifth blog post looks at the story of independant consultant, Kashif Ashraf.

    No. 5, Kashif Ashraf, Independent consultant

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

    Kashif Ashraf born and brought up in Oldham (53yrs) – I work as a independent consultant and contract with a variety of public/private sector companies 75% in Oldham. I am also actively involved in a volunteer capacity 100% in Oldham on the board of Maggies Oldham, Mahdlo, North Chadderton School, DL committee for Oldham, Oldham Business Awards Steering Group, Oldham Cultural Partnership, Oldham Historical Society

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

    In Early March I was involved in a Business Network event in Café Lahore, on the 9th March I was involved in a hit and run as result of a police chase in Oldham town centre.  Went to Valentinos in Retiro street for a leaving do on the 16th March 20.  Then on the 19th March 2020 I was in the longest line ever waiting to get in COSTCO – it was backed all the way to the end of the car park! So life in Lock down began.

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

    First Embraced family time and working from home.  Enjoying the outdoors as the weather was relatively mild. Not being part of the rat race seemed refreshing.

    • What helped you through it, personally and professionally?

    Personally, the outdoors and nature and obviously family time. Professionally it was using Zoom/Teams and discovered Twitter as a means of communication.  Created a routine for the day that gave life a structure

    During the first lockdown, Kashif finally found time to build his Lego Millenium Falcon. It had been sitting in its box for two years!
    • What has changed between the first, second and third lockdown?

    First one it was novelty, second one acceptance and third one frustration in summary

    • What, if any, have been the positives?

    Family time simple things like eating and watching TV together.  Getting to do things I never had time for reading, building lego and discovering the outdoor beauty on my own doorstep.  Changing supermarket to nearer less crowded one which happened to be Lidl – I am a total convert will never go back to Sainsburys – actually prefer the quality of the products and prefer not having to choose brands and their deluxe fresh orange and croissants are seriously out of this world.

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

    Realised than the value the what we already have, family, community and fantastic outdoor space. Probably I am more satisfied with life and will live simpler.  Probably appreciate places to visit on my own doorstep.  Will focus on what contribution I can make to the recovery of Oldham.

    This is one of a series of blogs, catch up with our other stories about Oldham’s Lockdown Museum and lockdown life by visiting our blog page.

  7. Oldham’s Lockdown Museum: One year in Andy Powell

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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. This week we’re catching up with Andy Powell.

    No. 4, Andy Powell, Digital Trainer and Consultant

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

    Hi I’m Andy, I’m an Oldham lad who has tried to escape on more than one occasion but has always found his way back, I make a living being a geek, helping businesses with the internet by day and getting involved in things like 3d Printing facemasks and starting hackspaces by night.

    Picture of Andy's Madlab with office table, tool bench and kitchen.
    Andy’s Madlab Oldham HQ
    • Thinking back to 2020… What were you doing in March, when the first lockdown started?

    For us, focus wasn’t on lock down, it was on my wife’s cancer treatment (now all resolved thankfully). I was juggling being self-employed, a dad and to a large extent a carer for a partner undergoing chemo therapy.

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

    We soon realised that the outside world was suddenly a dangerous place for us as a family, not so much concerned for me or my son contracting Covid but bringing it home to the wife who was immunosuppressed, being quite a techy family we adapted quite well to living live online in our own little bunker.

    • What helped you through it, personally and professionally?

    My life has always revolved around the internet, online shopping is normal, the boy is an online gamer so socialising for him carried on as normal, everybody wanted websites, so work wise we got busier. We knew we were the lucky ones, so we put our spare time into helping others, first 3d printing facemasks for the NHS, and now recycling laptops for families in need.

    3D printed plastic grey and orange visor holders made by Andy Powell during lockdown.
    The 3d-printed visor holders made by Andy Powell during the first lockdown
    • What has changed between the first, second and third lockdown?

    For us very little, since lock down 1 we have done pretty much everything online, however we are very aware that others don’t take it as seriously. One stand out point for me was hearing the first plane after lockdown 1 and realising how quiet it had been beforehand. Now (during lockdown 3)when I walk the dog it just looks like a normal day.

    NHS and Stay Safe signs hanging in a tree.
    Andy passed this tree on Oldham Edge and watched it fill up with messages as lockdown progressed last year.
    • What, if any, have been the positives?

    My business has grown, the wife now works full time for our company rather than returning to city centre work, and many of our clients have learned that travel and meetings are not required to discuss purely digital services.

    Also we save a fortune getting married in “hazmat suit”s on Halloween.

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

    Not to have to think about Covid19, to get back to doing face to face techie stuff such as VR Workshops, and to get a holiday, or at the very least go out for a pint after walking the dogs with friends.

    This is a series of blogs, take a look at more stories about lockdown life by visiting our blog page.

  8. Oldham’s Lockdown Museum: One year in Janis Bowie

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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. Today we are looking at how a local artist responded to the situation.

    No. 3, Janis Bowie, Artist

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

    My name is Janis Bowie and I live with my husband in Greenfield. I have lived in the area since childhood, worked in local industry and taught at the nearby Secondary School. I now work part time in a small Art gallery / picture framers and am a practicing artist.

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

    Last March we were planning to visit our daughter, who lives abroad, then go on for a holiday somewhere.

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

    All plans for a visit abroad were cancelled and I was furloughed from my job. I tried to spend more time painting, but found it hard to find any motivation. The Exhibitions I was involved in were cancelled, so I felt I had nothing to work towards.

    • What helped you through it, personally and professionally?

    I heard through the media that some artists were painting portraits for the NHS staff and decided that as I enjoy painting people, I would try this. The daughter of my next door neighbour worked at the hospital, so I asked her if she would send me photos of any colleagues who would like their portrait painted. I completed 12 small watercolour portrait paintings of the NHS staff and passed them back to them. I really enjoyed painting them and found it very satisfying.

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

    When the weather was good in the summer lockdown I spent more time outside, walking and gardening and taking photos of the local landscape. During the latest lockdown I have spent more time inside, finding some inspiration to paint by using my photos as subject matter.

    • What, if any, have been the positives?

    I feel very honoured to have an image of one of my NHS portraits included on the banner attached to the outside of Gallery Oldham. I had been planning to retire from my work at the Gallery this year, but since spending so much time at home, I have decided to keep on working for a couple of days a week, as I enjoy the contact with people and the challenges involved!

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

    I hope to be involved again in Exhibitions when Galleries open and get the chance to travel more, especially to see my daughter.

    This is one of a series of blogs take a look at our blog page to read more. Visit the Oldham’s Lockdown Museum page to find out more about this digital project.

  9. One year in – Alexandra Park School

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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. Today, we’re revisiting Alexandra Park Junior School.

    Banner showing Welcome Back Everyone in multi-colours and the phrase To Learn, Be Happy and Achieve our best

    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.

    No1. Samantha Hickling, Alexandra Park Primary School

    Three children sat on the ground of an assembly hall with a rainbow banner with words Alexandra Park Junior School, Thankyou NHS and Keyworkers.
    • Tell us a little bit about yourself and or your organisation. Who are you, what do you do? Where are you from?

    We are Alexandra Park Junior School, a junior school within Oldham who have been majoritively closed during both the 1st and 3rd lockdown to all pupils except the children of key workers and the vulnerable.

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

    We had just completed our mock SATs on the day the lockdown was announced. We had just had a successful Book Week and we were planning a variety of future events.

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

    We suddenly had to adapt to teaching online with two days notice. Our classes were empty, our children at home with no idea when we wold be back. We expected maybe 12 weeks at most, we never expected not saying goodbye to the Y6 children

    • What helped you through it, personally and professionally?

    Our team at Alex Park are like a family and we all got each other through it. The never ending enthusiasm for the children at home, and their happy voices when we would call to check in.

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

    We have really got a handle on remote learning. In the first lockdown we provided work, but now we provide a true learning experience via live lessons. The children are more engaged in it as well.

    • What, if any, have been the positives?

    The positive attitudes from the children – they always see the positive side

    Three children standing outside the school holding paintings and drawings of hearts and rainbows for the NHS.
    • What are your hopes for the rest of 2021 and beyond?

    A return to some form of normal and a chance for our families to be families again. A chance for our children to sit in groups and work together again, rather than in rows. A chance to sing together and play together. No more bubbles!

    Take a look at Oldham’s Lockdown Museum page and see some of the other contributions we’ve received.

  10. This Year

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    Oldham's Lockdown Museum logo

    We are asking you to send us written records of your life in Oldham during the last year of the pandemic. Lesley Reece submitted this poem to Oldham’s Lockdown Museum.

    Tick tock tick tock
    Time passes so slow
    Staring at the same 4 walls
    With nowhere else to go
    Day by day week by week
    Then a year has gone
    A year that seemed ever so bleak
    Was so hard for everyone
    But if you look deeper
    You will remember the laughter
    Not a perfect year by any stretch
    But it’s not all been a disaster
    Our plans may not have taken us
    To where we’d like to be
    Just living day by day
    Can really help us see
    The kindness of others
    Who stop and say hello
    The lonely ones who need your smile
    In order to let theirs grow
    We have seen clapping on the doorstep
    All with our pans and pots
    To let the NHS know
    That we thank them such a lot
    Not being able to see
    Loved ones is very hard
    Getting all your fresh air
    From your very own back yard
    The wearing of our masks
    Has grown natural to me
    The really extraordinary ones
    Are such a joy to see
    Birthdays and celebrations
    Don’t have the same wow
    But we all find different ways
    To enjoy them anyhow
    They say eyes are the windows
    To see inside your heart
    That is quite a good job
    As you can only see that part
    Helping out each other
    Doing a good turn
    Home schooling is a nightmare
    Keeping kid still long enough
    For them to actually learn
    With limited access
    For face to face contact
    It is the hardest part
    Human touch is what we lack
    But we are all doing our bit
    To get through this somehow
    It’s just the way it has to be
    For all of us for now
    So don’t let those days slip away
    Find reasons to smile
    For when this is all over
    You will have done things worthwhile
    Not a day will be wasted
    We have so much to learn
    By showing support to each other
    And doing a good turn
    We can come out stronger
    On the other side
    For acting responsibly
    We can turn this tide.

    If you have written something which you would like us to record for future generations, you are welcome to submit it here.

  11. First an epidemic abroad, then a pandemic at home

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    Oldham resident Rosetta Ceesay worked in Gambia during the Ebola epidemic, which meant she was more prepared for life here during the Covid-19 pandemic than many of us. Here she shares what she learnt during her time in Gambia, and how it has shaped her approach to lockdowns in Oldham. Rosetta’s contribution joins hundreds of other photos and written accounts in Oldham’s Lockdown Museum. Find out more and submit your own entries here.

    My experience of working in Gambia during Ebola and my studies with World Health Organization has been key to my personal response to the pandemic.

    Rosetta and Omar at work in Gambia
    Rosetta and Omar

    I’m 68 now so unable to be in the field working in Gambia now due to many factors. Flights and health mainly. My husband Omar and I went to a hospital there where only one person was allowed in at a time. Security Guard on the door, we had to walk through a disinfectant foot bath like cows do on farms.  Inside, a cleaner was up and down all day mopping floors with disinfectant, the smell of which was evident.

    If I hadn’t been able to speak Wolof I’d have been lost. I held Mrs Secka’s hand. Tubes up her nose and in her arm, she feared death. This was a time when Ebola was a novel virus killing people. Dr Mike Ryan WHO Director General of Health Emergencies now, virologist, was in Congo in flak jacket and metal helmet to do his research. Gut-wrenching times.

    If I could cope with that, I can cope with Covid19.

    I carried on studying with WHO: Covid19-Methods of Prevention and Control, Respiratory Infection, Incident Management and so on. Knowledge saves lives especially during health emergencies. So I armed myself to go back into the field, but in what way? I do what I can, encouraging others to look after themselves and stay safe. I’ve been a speaker on webinars with WHO – New York, all over the world. Zoom Meetings Greater Manchester.

    Rosetta with her self-portrait

    I’m a retired but voluntarily active Research Psychologist/Art Therapist and interested in mental health during the pandemic.  My advice is always the same – The Arts are therapeutic. As an artist myself I know it does me a world of good, and I can’t wait to get back to the Theatre and Gallery. While shielding, I go to 1853 Studios and my studio is my sanctuary. I paint at home, write, make podcasts, have my own Radio show with Sonder Radio and I do it all at home sending them the shows ready to go. I encourage older people to take up a hobby or interest. Sonder do Digi courses, Manchester Cares have Zoom meetings where elder and younger friends continue to meet.  Gardening is good even if it’s just a window box or a few tubs at the door. Keep active. People laugh when I tell them I put on some chart hits on YouTube and dance like nobody’s watching because nobody is watching.  A one person karaoke is great.  I can hit all the bum notes and nobody knows. The neighbours don’t hear. Ha ha!

    Being alone doesn’t have to mean lonely.  Alone at home I can still achieve a lot such as supervising what I usually do in person in Gambia at Christmas. My Team there gave out toys, sweets and clothes to around 1,500 people, mainly children. They took School Supplies to the region’s only Primary School as education isn’t free they also gave money to keep children in school. They continued our tree planting/reforestation with the Children’s Gardening Club helping and learning.  The village is mud huts in the bush. We’ve done lots there and I’m now doing it remotely and online. 100% voluntary action and we love it.

    It’s good to talk. Reform Radio have Buddyline where a volunteer gives an aging person a call weekly and these may lead to Podcasts on Mixcloud. I have a weekly chat.

    We can still have a good life since lockdown isn’t locked up. We aren’t in jail. We can still go out, just with a few sensible restrictions and a mask. The better we are at it the sooner we will be through it especially now there are several approved vaccines in the world. How about we all become encouragers and show our wonderful community spirit in Oldham and make every day a good day. “Life is what you make it” is true. I like C.S. Lewis’s saying:  “You’re never too old to set another goal’ or to dream another dream.” True! This is how I live my life to the full. Stay safe friends and live the dream.

  12. 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.

  13. Surprising Connections: Oldham Lockdown Museum

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    Toddler running through long grass at Tandle Hill

    We launched Oldham’s Lockdown Museum https://galleryoldham.org.uk/exhibitions/oldhams-lockdown-museum/ back in May, and Oldham’s Lockdown Letters in August, with the aim of collecting your photos and written responses to life in our area during 2020. We have received over 300 entries, from people’s personal diaries to photos of Oldham businesses working here and across the country. There are pictures of our amazing local wildlife, and our wonderful green spaces, and of the havens that you have made in your back yards. We have seen smiling faces on your daily walks, and faces hidden behind masks. You have shared with us pictures of key worker children carrying on at school in small groups, medical staff in their new PPE at the hospital and people all across the borough volunteering to help in whatever way they can. In 50 or 100 years when people want to know what life was like here during a global pandemic, we will be able to show them.

    One of the surprise outcomes of the project has been the way in which we have connected with other similar projects across Europe, not just with people around our local area. So far your pictures have featured on the Covid Art Museum Instagram account, and most recently, the House of European History’s website. This Brussels-based museum has been gathering information about the Covid history collecting projects currently happening all across Europe. It’s a fascinating resource and well worth a look. The Slovene Ethnographic Museum’s project collecting jokes relating to the pandemic is certainly worth a special mention…

    We are no longer sending out weekly themed calls for Oldham’s Lockdown Museum, but we are continuing to collect images and pieces of writing. We will do this for as long as the project seems relevant. Please do keep sending us your photographs, films and pieces of writing by uploading them the website here https://galleryoldham.org.uk/exhibitions/oldhams-lockdown-museum/.

    NHS thankyou, graffetti art on wall
  14. Oldham Lockdown Museum

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    Week 6 (29th June – 5th July): Nature

    From goats reclaiming the streets of Llandudno, to urban residents simply being able to hear the sound of bird song while traffic levels dropped, nature has played a part in many people’s experience of Spring/Summer 2020.

    Last week in Oldham’s Lockdown Museum we asked you to tell us about the lockdown experiences you have had which involved nature. Have you spent more time in your local park than usual? Or have you hung a bird feeder up by your window for the first time? Have you succeeded (or failed?!) in growing something? Did you find that the act of taking a daily walk meant that you noticed the seasons changing more? We’d love to see photos of things you’ve seen in your garden or spotted on your walk. We have had LOADS of entries for the nature theme, so we’ll be adding to this gallery throughout the week.

    Deadline for ‘Nature’ submissions was 9am Monday 6th July. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Oldham Lockdown Museum

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    25th – 31st May

    Kindness

    Here are selection of the images which people have sent us on the theme of Kindness. Thanks to our key workers and their friends who have found time to contribute. Tap the image or move the cursor over it to find out more about it.

    Deadline for ‘Kindness’ submissions was 9am Monday 1st June. We are really happy to have submissions on this theme for us to keep in our collection after this, but we may not be able to add them to our digital exhibition.

  19. Oldham’s Lockdown Museum is open. Welcome!

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    Oldham’s Lockdown Museum is a new digital project to collect a snapshot of what life is like in our local area during the Covid-19 pandemic. Each week we will be setting a theme for an online exhibition.

    We have had a great response to our first theme of kindness. See the gallery of our favourites here. If your image is not included we have still stored it in our digital archive for future generations.

    We have also had contributions which don’t respond to our theme. We’re really happy to receive these. We have opened another gallery for these contributions on the page above (or embed link to gallery?). We will update this from time to time.

    This week we are collecting photos or drawings of objects which represent the lockdown period to you. Bill from our curatorial team says:

    “As someone who looks after museum objects, I have come to understand that ‘it’s not just the object, it’s the story’. As the TV show ‘The Repair Shop’ has shown us, small things can have enormous power to transport us back and make us think of people and places that are gone, but not forgotten. What are the simple things that are going to remind us of our time in Lockdown?

    For me, there are two. One is the beautiful rainbow my daughter made for her Grandma and Grandad’s window. The other is my bike. When I reached a certain age I bought bike, but for several years it sat, neglected in the shed. Now, suddenly, it has become my friend and escape route to precious freedom and peace.”