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Capturing the lockdown

Britain has returned to lockdown and with nobody able to say how long it will last, things do indeed look bleak but it’s important to remember we have got through it before.

During the first lockdown, London-Irish photographer Mary Hennessy started taking Covid-19 portraits of people and families on their doorsteps to tell the story of how people were handling lockdown and document that strange times.

We featured a selection of these images in June last year but Mary continued to take the lockdown portraits with her photographic record also raising money for charity with over £3,000 being raised for three charities: HomeStart Watford, Spread A Smile and Red Trust Bushey Foodbank.

Home Start Watford help struggling families give children a better start in life.

Spread a Smile is a charity that seeks to bring joy and laughter to gravely and terminally ill children who must undergo intensive treatment and extended stays in hospital.

Mary also took physical donations for Redtrust Bushey foodbank. Participants donated money, food and toiletries.
Mary said of people’s generosity: “People have been really supportive giving money to these charities at such a trying time. I’ve been taken aback by how people that are going through such a difficult time with job losses, mental illness and illnesses such as cancer are giving back to the community and happy to help where they can.”

Photographer Mary, originally from Neasden and an Irish family, normally photographs weddings and other special occasions.

But during lockdown she took portraits of the locked down public in Watford, Bushey and surrounding areas.
With Britain now in lockdown once again, we thought it may be time for a reminder that we have endured it before, and without the light at the end of the tunnel of the vaccines being rolled out, and that we’re not alone.
For more information on Mary Hennessy Photography, go to maryhennessyphotography.co.uk

1) Mary Musgrove @ MaryHennessy Photography and her family. Originally from Neasden, Mary has a large extended family in Co. Kilkenny and Co. Clare that they looking forward to visiting again when Lockdown ends.

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2) Carole (originally from Kilburn) and Michael Curtin loved a brief catch up with their two granddaughters in the initial lockdown. They have 4 other grandchildren that they have missed seeing (twins in Hong Kong). They utilised the modern technology to keep up to date with all the family updates but missed trips to Sligo where all Carole’s family are from.

3- The Coulson Family: After having a Lockdown baby in the summer, The family have enjoyed new local walks, teaching online all whilst trying entertain a baby and toddler whilst Dad works from home too! Grandparents were from Cork and Kilkenny.

4- The Gormley Family (originally from Straffan and Surrey before settling in Watford) have enjoyed the slower pace of life and spending more time together as a family. They have discovered local places and lots of great local businesses. A huge negative has been missing family and friends, especially parents. They have been involved in collecting for the foodbank and a book hub outside their home for free book swapping service.

5) Red Trust Bushey – Foodbank Charity: Open on Friday 10-12, St James Church Hall, Bushey, Herts. Welcome donations on Fridays from 10am.

6) Keith Reynolds. originally from Dollis Hill, celebrated his 80th Birthday in the summer with his daughters Lisa, Laura and granddaughters. Sadly, Keith couldn’t celebrate with all that was planned but he had a few drinks with his immediate family in the garden and went back to work at Costco as soon as he was allowed to. He simply can’t retire!

7) Watford Mayor Peter Taylor and family kept going through lockdown with lots going on as always in Watford.

8) The Hauff family enjoyed lots of games on Zoom, gardening, yoga and zumba and of course homeschooling. Working from home proved a bit challenging with home improvements also going on though! Since this was taken, most of the family have since contracted COVID-19 but are luckily recovering well. We wish them all better soon.

9) Rainbow Girl. Tejal and her husband work in financial services and at times have been absorbed by the rat race. Redundancy has since allowed Tejal to be at home with her 2 year old and she has enjoyed every minute: “As she has grown so much and she’s such a force of nature, I’m so glad that I have helped shape that. It’s also given me the opportunity to give back in small ways through our local foodbanks and other village initiatives.”

10) Anne and David, originally from Ireland. David gets his regular allowance of exercise walking his dogs in the local fields, where he often chats to other dog walkers – socially distanced of course!

11) kids doing the Joe Wicks fancy dress Friday.

12) The Foodbank (blue box) collection point in Oxhey Village.

13) The Giles Family – Having challenging and fun times entertaining their toddler daughter and trying to work from home as both studying and self employed.

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