Streatham Lock-down Diaries:
Life-Stories from Streatham in 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has touched all our lives this year, and to reflect the times, Streatham Festival is supporting an important social history project.
Lambeth residents are being asked for their personal accounts of their everyday lives since the Lockdown in March. www.love.lambeth.gov.uk/lockdown-diaries
WE WANT YOU TO MAKE
A Creative Contribution
Streatham Festival wants to focus on this moment in history, by encouraging a creative response from the community, and presents Streatham Lock-down Diaries, a project for all living through coronavirus in Streatham, inviting them to contribute and share their experiences.
These can take the form of:
- written word: diaries, journals, letters, blogs
- visual image: photographic, scrapbooks, film, paintings
- object: 3-D art-work, crafts, accessories
- ephemera: leaflets, news cuttings, cartoons, government instructions
- audio and oral: sound recordings, songs, poems, speeches, thoughts and prayers
Lockdown Life in Longthornton
Your Name: Andrew Russe
I’ve really enjoyed being locked down. I’ve never been that sociable anyway, so a good excuse to never leave home has been most welcome. I’m lucky to have a house with a garden. I might have felt a little different if I’d been stuck in a flat. On top of that I’m very happily married. The additional time we’ve been able to spend together in the last few months, far from putting a strain on our relationship, has been a big positive for us.
I’m also lucky to have a job that hasn’t disappeared or taken a nosedive. I work for an IT company that develops and sells Insurance Management Systems. If anything, I’ve been busier since the lockdown started. We’ve managed to move almost our entire operation to home-working.
I really didn’t think I would take to working at home so easily, nor did I imagine that it could actually make me happier. But the transition has been almost seamless and productivity is up. It has not been lost on us that most of our workforce is actually a lot more efficient working this way. And learning to communicate via Zoom has made us better at listening to each other – we find ourselves working together more effectively. All this has meant that the Company is now actively looking at how we can move to doing this permanently. Which is fine by me.
Working from home like this, I have more energy, life is more relaxed. I feel so much happier, contented, and hopeful about the future.
This newly recovered energy and positive outlook has also helped to free me creatively. In my spare time I regard myself as a musician and songwriter. I’m a home-musician, I haven’t played in a live environment since the late 90s. Since 2015, I hadn’t really made very much music at all. The pressures of life and work, the death of a friend, giving up smoking, an operation – these all added up and I kind of lost interest.
However, the desire to create was just starting to come back when all this newly reclaimed energy and time suddenly became available. In my case, the lockdown itself hasn’t caused or inspired the creativity, but it did help make the space for me at just the right time. I started recording again around Easter and haven’t stopped since.
I place all my music on a website called alonetone. It’s a platform where you can share your stuff online, for free, without any advertising or popups. It gives you a place where you can post your new song and send a link to your Mum without her getting confused or inundated with adverts, spam, or requests for money. And she doesn’t need to join the website or give away her details either – anyone can stream or download for free.
I’ve compiled the following PLAYLIST HERE for this year’s burst of creativity, all of it post lockdown. Some are brand new songs. Some are old songs that I’ve finally got round to recording.
Edith Finally Gets It is my first Lockdown Diaries offering. It’s about our perceptions of how others might feel.
So that’s me and my lockdown experiences. Improved working, improved quality of life, and a bunch of new music that I’m quite proud of. Oh, and too much to eat and drink.
Whatever the future brings, I want to embrace and enjoy it… but I really do need to figure out how to eat less of it!!
Lockdown Life in Streatham Hill
Lockdown Life on Streatham High Road
Streatham Lockdown Singalong
Your Name: Kathleen Linton-Ford
I’ve sung with the charity, Lost Chord lost-chord.co.uk for several years. They organise week-long tours of dementia care homes in London, Wales, Suffolk and Yorkshire, by classical musicians. I also work freelance performing in care homes. All my work for the year was cancelled back in March. However, Lost Chord invited their musicians to record videos that could be played to the ladies and gentlemen who are currently missing out on live music.
In my live concerts, I usually perform without a set-list, preferring to see what goes down well on the day, and choose accordingly. For my lockdown videos, I chose a wide range of the songs which have proven most popular, whilst trying to get off the beaten track a bit.
In July, I was lucky to collaborate with a superb sound engineer, Davis Jaunzems, of Newland Events newlandevents.com. His friend’s father had passed away from COVID-19 at a care home in Wales, and his friend had been unable to see his dad in his final days because of the restrictions at that time on travel between England and Wales. He was moved to organise a series of garden concerts, Music to Inspire, in South London care homes, as a tribute. I sang in three of the concerts and was led by my audience in choosing songs. It was lovely to sing for a live audience again! The reception was superb. We were the first live entertainment any of the homes had had for months.
Facebook feedback from a local care home:
illustration of Lockdown Life at Pullman Court
By from Sydne Langbridge @sydsocksart
Lockdown Life in Streatham Hill
Your Name: Michaela Brady
Lullaby in Quarantine
Tomorrow is that shameless promise,
And with that hope we will persist.
Today my hair was frizzing out
And worrying was worth worrying about.
The world was still, the sun a cameo
In a stoic sky of calico.
Human life is lost tomorrow,
That much is true and so
What little will come, we take control
As separation takes its toll.
This shameless promise we will keep:
Tomorrow comes after we sleep.
Secret Lockdown Lives revealed at The Rookery
Your Name: Hope
Hope is a young photographer, who has kept a photo journal during Lockdown – going out and taking photographs every day – to help her pass the time, cope with new routines, and focus on nature.
The wonderful creatures featured here are all residents of The Rookery and surrounding woodland;
Toad was snapped last week, Frog, in mid-July. Dragonfly was caught on camera in early August.
Hope has sensitively captured them in their natural surroundings – seemingly a million miles away from Lockdown.
THE STREATHAM SOCIETY ARE SUPPORTING THIS PROJECT
The Streatham Society are supporting this project. The Society, working closely with the team at Lambeth Archives, will assist in curating Streatham’s social history; for the enjoyment of those who live, work or study in Streatham today and also providing a historical record of the pandemic for the benefit of Streatham’s future generations. www.streathamsociety.org.uk
- We are dedicating this webpage to the project, to showcase some of your contributions, and we welcome contributions from guest bloggers.
- We are looking for amateur curators to help the archives team to make sense of it all!
- Longer-term plans for the collection, include exhibitions and events, and we’d like your ideas on these.