I was thrilled to find out a couple of weeks ago that one of my Bolton under Lockdown photos has been chosen to form a part of a national archive that Historic England are compiling, to record the nation under these unprecedented times.
One of the shots I submitted is of the Olympus Fish and Chip restaurant in Bolton’s town centre. It’s quite a landmark place in the town and as the take-away section was open, I popped my head in to ask permission from the staff to take a photo of them – and they kindly obliged. While they may be wearing masks as they serve customers, big smiles are clearly apparent in their eyes, just proving that the famed Northern friendliness has not been dented by this pandemic!
What’s really exciting is that while 50 of the 100 photos will be selected from 10 professionals specially commissioned for this project, 50 will be from the general public. Apparently, this the first-time members of the public have been asked to capture a moment in time and save it in the Historic England Archive of over 12 million photographs since the Second World War.
“We are facing one of the most extraordinary moments in living memory. During this time of necessary lockdown restrictions, we are asking the public and some of our most talented contemporary artists to help us record history, whilst being careful to abide by the government’s social distancing measures. We want people to show us their experiences of lockdown, how places local to them have transformed, communities have come together, and life has changed for us all. These challenging times are encouraging us all to pause and reflect upon our relationship with our surroundings. We hope this project inspires creativity and reflection, allowing the public create a unique time capsule for the future.”
Claudia Kenyatta, Director of Regions at Historic England
Click here to see the image in the Historic England’s collection or on Picturing Lockdown to see the archive in full.