Tag Archive: pandemic diaries 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: 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.