Images taken in our deserted villages & valley during these strange Covid-19 times

Members will have read that our Chair, Joan Clough, has suggested that you email me (Ian O) with images you’ve taken during the lockdown. So send me your images, perhaps with a few words, and I’ll add them our website, so that we can all see what we’ve been up to in these unusual times.

Taking images during isolating or self-distancing from Covid19 was our President’s (Ray Fowler) idea. Chair Elect Roger Moore is going to make a Blurb book from the the best images submitted. So send me these images in full resolution for the new book, and I’ll keep them in our archive. If you have lots of hi-res images, I suggest that you email them to me via WeTransfer.

President Ray enjoying an outdoor glass of wine. I used a zoom lens to maintain effective social distancing!

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Our Chair, Joan, has sent me images taken from her house, illustrating what it’s like in lockdown in her hamlet. By chance, Ann S, our Secretary was cycling past in her high visibility jacket. With the exception of cyclists, the footpaths & roads are unusually deserted during lockdown. Joan’s image of shopping left by a door and a sign in our farmer’s store, perfectly illustrate what strange times we are living in.

Keith & Kate Brown don’t live far from the children’s playground and medical centre in Hope village. Here are three images that Keith snapped to illustrate queues and closures in lockdown time.

Nick C and his family live in Chapel (locals will know where this is) and has been locked down, whilst working from home. Nick does the shopping and also takes his daughter to the nearby often deserted park. So here’s a few of Nick’s images, inc his G.P.’s surgery and people self isolating at a distance:

When Wayne H sent me some images covering empty supermarket shelves, and photographs he’s been taking of birds in his garden (as Wayne has been advised to lockdown for 12 week), he also let me into a secret. In addition to taking great photographs, Wayne’s also an amateur artist. He’s brushing up on his skills each evening, to pass the time under lockdown. But let us be in no doubt: Wayne is devastated that Covid19 may impact upon the pleasure he has, visiting cricket grounds, supporting his cricketing son, and photographing bowlers, batsmen and fielders.

A few photos to illustrate what’s happening in Ian & Chris O’s household under lockdown: Masks of all sizes and colour seem to be in vogue. Many of my friends have told me that during the lockdown they are drinking more than usual. So I thought that I’d take a contrived photo to reflect this trend. We are locked down for the duration, but neighbours buy our shopping and deliver it in a washing-up bowl. A bit of humour, as neighbours over our garden wall paid respect to our magnificent NHS. Finally, a surprise delivery – the NHS / Government has classified us as being vulnerable to Covid19 if we don’t self isolate. Hence this unexpected food parcel delivery to our front door.

When chatting to Steve (Mr Landscape) he told me that to support social distancing and to prevent the spread of Covid19, he has forgone his regular walks, with his camera. Here are a selection of Steve’s ‘home’ images, as he hasn’t passed though the gates of his house since the lockdown:

It was C&HVPS President Ray Fowler’s idea for members to take images in the valley, to demonstrate how different life is under Covid19. Castleton is (or should I say ‘was’), the busiest village in the Peak District. Whatever the weather, it’s always filled with tourists. Ray told me that in all his 45 years living in Castleton he’s never seen the pubs, restaurants, tourist centre and car parks empty, with the streets so quiet, wholly devoid of tourists. So here’s Ray’s photographic record of a deserted Castleton. Personally I think that Ray’s final image says it all – ‘Closed up and locked down’:

One of our newest members, Margaret, has taken some photos, as she walked around Hope, to illustrate how eerily quiet our village is. The school and church are closed, and there aren’t any tourists in the cafes, or walkers on the footpaths or hills.

Roger has taken an image of a car park blocked off — a sign of Covid-19 times. Alison, who’s working from home has submitted an image of a sign showing appreciation for the work the NHS is carrying out to fight those suffering from Covid-19, an empty street in Sheffield (Ecclesall Road) and a security van carrying shopping home. Allen B is similarly locked down, so he’s been keeping his eye in, taking photos in his garden. Whilst Ian S snapped some interesting images showing shopping and support for the NHS.

Synopsis of March 12 meeting

It’s strange these times we are living in at the moment when the world seems to have come to a stop and is dominated by the Covid virus pandemic.  It was only a short time ago when we last met at the Peveril Centre for our monthly meeting and we were being entertained by Jean Walker on her travels in the Polar region.

Jean explained that her work as a busy lawyer was not giving her the excitement she craved so became attracted by the test of taking part in the Polar Challenge.  It was a competitive, 350 nautical mile (650 kilometre) team race taking place in the Arctic, to the 1996 location of the Magnetic North Pole. The race ran between mid-April and mid-May, taking the teams approximately 4 weeks to complete, including the training time. 

Competitors raced in teams of 3, many joining as individuals and forming teams when they met other likeminded individuals during the training that led up to the race. The competitors were all from different walks of life (not necessarily explorers or people with mountaineering experience), sharing a quest for adventure and to achieve something that only a few others had done. 

Jean took part in the 2007 challenge which took place in April/May 2007.

She entertained us with stories about her journey through the white and cold polar environment.  Along with two male fellow competitors, their quest was to firstly achieve their goal of reaching the pole and secondly to race against the other teams in the hope that they might not be last.  Her photos illustrated the difficult terrain over which they had to travel and the hard conditions they endured.  Each night they set up their camp and it became apparent that to be successful at even this simple task they had to work hard as a team to do the different tasks of pitching the tent, unloading equipment, cooking the evening meal and finally getting some well earned rest.  

Clearly taking photographs in sub-zero temperatures is difficult enough but wearing three pairs of gloves made the task even more difficult.  It certainly makes taking photographs for entering into our own annual competition seem like child’s play.  The evening ended with a Q&A, members asking lots of questions to which Jean provided knowledgeable answers.  It is always a pleasure to invite somebody local to entertain our society and I am pleased that Jean was able to oblige.  I will look forward to our next visiting speaker whenever that may be.  So in the meantime, keep safe but importantly keep your mind and trigger finger active.