Life in a pandemic

A unique photographic record of how a Ripon area village has lived through the coronavirus pandemic has gone online after being on display over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 10:23 am

The exhibition, entitled Images of Isolation, contains pictures, writings and videos by people from Bishop Monkton. 

More than 400 pictures, mostly taken on villagers’ mobile phones, as well as their written reflections on life during the past 18 months, have been gathered together by volunteers from the village’s Local History Group.

The exhibition features words and pictures about many different aspects of life during the pandemic including the community support network set up to help vulnerable people in the village, the sufferings of those who caught Covid, as well as the hardships of those who had to shield.

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But it also reflects ways in which people have been able to keep their spirits up during such a difficult period, including VE Day celebrations last year, Covid-safe carol singing and the new hobbies and pastimes taken up during lockdown.

Curator of the exhibition, Colin Philpott, who is a former Director of the National Science and Media Museum, said: “Right back when the pandemic began, we realised we were part of probably the most dramatic and frightening news event that most of us had ever experienced.

“We wanted to keep a record of how it affected our village.”

The Chair of the Bishop Monkton Local History Group, Chris Bagnall, said: “We have been thrilled by the way in which people have responded to the idea and we’ve been inundated with material.

“Not only does it provide a reminder for all of us who’ve lived through Covid, but it will also be a valuable historical record for future generations.”

A permanent online version of the exhibition has been posted on the Bishop Monkton Local History Group’s website after the exhibition.

The Local History Group will stage a talk - All in a Knight’s Work - by Sir Thomas Ingilby on Wednesday October 20.