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Four years on from UK going into lockdown in 2020, Love In A Pandemic is launched in Eyam





GeoStories launched Love in a Pandemic on the 4th anniversary of the week the UK went into lockdown in 2020.  With the impact of the COVID lockdown still resonating so loudly for many of us, we were privileged to hear the voices of the writers who shared their poignant stories of love in lockdown.

 

Love in a Pandemic is part of our latest project, Lockdown Stories, which includes two new audio dramas, The Great Mortality  and  A Love Apart.

 

Our new audio dramas are based in Eyam, where there was an outbreak of the plague in 1665. The villagers were persuaded to go into lockdown to prevent it spreading and saving the lives of those living in surrounding villages, towns and cities.

 

Fast forward 400 years to the Love in a Pandemic project where we invited the people to share their stories of love from the 2020 pandemic.  We knew both moments in history had much to tell us about what it is to love and be loved, to be afraid, to wonder about our own futures and the impact on those we held most dearly. We also wanted to explore what it was like for people to take up duties that supported the wider community in the most frightening of circumstances.

 

In February 2024, we invited people to share their stories about their families, friends, romantic love, and love for the support services, and were overwhelmed by the power of the personal testimonies we received.

 

We had the privilege of being the first to read the words people had taken the time to write and send them to us, and having launched Lockdown Stories in Eyam on 23 March, we’re now pleased to share them with everyone! They can be heard in our GeoStories App as well as being featured in an exhibition in Eyam Church until 12 April 2024.

 

Some of the Love In A Pandemic Stories reminded us of the slower pace of life at that time for some of us and of our chance to take in nature and enjoy it if we could.

 

Another story shares the fast-paced tale of trying to get back on the last flight back to the UK from South Africa.

 

We were reminded of the pleasure in something as simple as eating a slice of toast in bed.

 

There are stories of children losing a summer, whilst another found the time to have a snow day when the winter came. 

 

There are stories of missing hugging your mum, whilst another story tells the tale of becoming the Mother of Lockdown. 

 

We have read the day in a life of a Volunteer Worker, sharing hour by hour what their day entailed, helping a brother to help his brother whilst in need himself. 

 

There is a story from someone sitting on the floor, finding themselves drawing a charcoal drawing they have had the courage to create.

 

A Therapist bears witness to the changes in the healthcare system and a pandemic diary is written and shared, conjuring up exactly what it was like at the time for some families.  

 

One of the shortest pieces written in this collection of Lockdown Stories is a heartfelt ode to friends and zoom! 

 

There are stories of found love whilst growing older and losing the opportunity to love when trying to date in a lockdown and finally we hear about the heart-breaking loss of a spouse in and amongst the chaos of Covid.

 

We are grateful for all the stories shared.

 

Like love, the pieces can lift your spirits, leave your heart racing, and have you in deep contemplation. 

 

For those who can make it to Eyam to see the exhibition, it’s quite an experience to see the display in the church which features Love in a Pandemic as well as imagery from our two new audio dramas set in 1665 and also listen to all the stories. If you wander out of Eyam church to explore the village, you may also recognize some of the locations chosen for the photography that forms part of the Lockdown Stories exhibition and is featured on the GeoStories app.

 

Thanks to everyone who’s played a part in Lockdown Stories!!

We wanted to thank our partners and creative team. Thank you to the performers Yaz Ahmad, Adan Osborne and Dave McClelland, Sylvia Causer and Sheila Wetton, the Yorkshire Cellist and Gill Alderson who created the costumes and to Eyam Church for hosting the Exhibition, to our partners Eyam Museum and our funders Arts Council England.

 

At our launch event for Lockdown Stories we were joined by many of the writers who contributed to the Love in a Pandemic Project with their Lockdown Stories of Love.  Thank you to all who came.

 

Finally, thank you to all the contributors who shared their stories:

 

Jonathan Brown 

Catalina  

Katy Cossham

Sarah J Drabble 

Frank 

Lynne Harling

The Hourglass author

Janet 

Kate Jenkinson

Christine Law

LindaMTB

Maddie

Sophie Olszowski

Rebecca Stubbs

Beverley Ward 

 

 

You can experience the stories free here to our GeoStories App; 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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