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Historic England selects Bolton Chippy photo for National Lockdown Archive

LfW’s new member, Julia Uttley, is passionate about photography. One Saturday in April, she decided to head into Bolton to see how the town centre was faring under lockdown. One of the themes she was wanted to explore was how much of the town was actually open and working. As the take-away section of the Olympus restaurant was open, she popped her head in to ask permission from the team to take a photo of them, and they kindly obliged. While they were wearing masks as they served customers, big smiles were clearly lockdown Chippy small webapparent in their eyes, just proving that the famed Northern friendliness has not been dented by this pandemic! 

Shortly after, she became aware of an initiative being run by Historic England asking the general public to document a week under lockdown through a set of photos. Thinking this chippy shot would be ideal, she submitted the photo and was delighted to hear shortly afterwards that it had been selected to be a part of this archive.

What’s really exciting is that while 50 of the 100 photos were taken by 10 professionals specially commissioned for this project, 50 were selected 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.”

Historic England’s launch attracted coverage across national and local news, with the Chippy headlining in the Manchester Evening News and also as the backdrop on BBC North West’s coverage that day (screenshot photo below).

Click here to see the image in the Historic England’s collection or on Picturing Lockdown to see the archive in full.

You can see Julia’s Bolton Under Lockdown photo blog in full at on here web site

NW tonight web

Life under Lockdown Online Photo Exhibition

Click Here to go to the full exhibition - see below for selected

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Julia Uttley and Dave Burnham put the exhibition together and they thought the following shots were particularly striking:


Everyday PPE Visor by Megan Williams

A lovely, honest and direct self-portrait that reminds us of the risks and discomfort our care staff are facing on the health front line.


Unexpected Holiday by David Williams
Who doesn’t love a cute animal shot? This captures really well the characterful and melancholic expressions of these donkeys.


My Nanny is an NHS here by Katie Scott
Bright, sharp and with good lighting, this is a gorgeous shot of a smiling baby, happily sporting its t-shirt to show the family’s support of their Nanny. 


Mothers’ Day Sanitary Towel Mask by Kelly Godwin
This is funny and brave, overcoming any self-consciousness that Kelly may have had at the time. In a way its suggestive of how many of us are overcoming fears of seeing ourselves “on screen” with video conferencing technology to stay in touch with loved ones.  


Taking Nanna Some Shopping by Laine Jeffries

The emotions so many of us are feeling right now are so apparent in this shot. Good choice of black and white as it accentuates the tenderness of the moment.

Queueing in line by Darren Garner

This is a very stylish shot of a scene that is familiar to us all nowadays. With the clear lines and angles, this architectural shot works perfectly in black and white.



Thank you to everyone who sent photographs