The Distance Project

The Distance Project 9

Social Distancing Project 74Dave Beckett sits in his back garden. and his next door neighbour Roger Ash has come to visit, bringing his own cup of tea. We have met Dave Beckett before. He was very pleased to know I remembered his dad Cyril, who was the baker in Winslow when I was a boy.

Little Horwood

There’s a huge amount of community spirit in the small village of Little Horwood. The villagers have pulled together to make life as pleasant as possible under lockdown. I have more photos from the village, which I'll most likely show you next week.

You can see all the other Distance Project photos on the North Bucks Wanderer here. In the project I'm photographing what people are doing differently under lockdown.

 

Social Distancing Project 75Chrissie Beckett, wife of Dave, has put out chairs so that villagers can come and chat while remaining at a safe distance. This is Penny Davis (left) and Karen Jones (right) Chrissie has organised quite a bit for the village, but is too modest to be in any of my photographs.

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the Distance Project 8

Social Distancing Project 67A woman takes a child to school, past posters in a Church Street window.

Wolverton, mostly

I’ve been having a look around the railway town of Wolverton for the project. There’s a cluster of houses on Church Street where most of the houses have lockdown posters in the windows, and nearby a shop has a big painted design, though it’s closed under the rules. The town is quiet, and just a few shops are allowed to be open.

I’ve also got three shots from other places in Milton Keynes to show you.

This week’s photos were taken a little over two weeks ago, but I’ve held them over to cover two events, or rather the absence of those events, in Stony Stratford. That is, Stony Live, and Folk on the Green.

In the project I'm photographing what people are doing differently under lockdown. You can see all the other Distance Project photos I’ve put on the North Bucks Wanderer here, but there’s many more from this project that I haven’t published. 

Some would not come over well on the NBW because the photos are rather compressed here; they lose fine detail. Some are too similar to pictures already published on this blog, but I took them to make as complete a record as possible.

The project continues.

Social Distancing Project 66On what would normally be a school day, the car park at the Radcliffe School is almost empty.

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The Distance Project 7

Social Distancing Project 53A few locals walk by the closed Cock Hotel. In previous years there’s barely a parking spot to be found on the High Street, but tonight the street is almost empty.

Not Live in Stony, and few folk on the Green

Last week should have been the nine day annual Stony Live festival with bands and other live entertainment in Stony Stratford, Bucks; there were over a hundred acts last year. But the pubs are shut, the streets quiet. There are other venues too, but here are some pubs in the town that usually have live music during those nine days.

On Sunday 14th June, another regular event had been planned to take place in the town, on Horsefair Green. It’s called Folk on the Green. In previous years the green is filled with people, there’s a stage half way down one side, and stalls line the edge of the green and the road that goes by it.

 

Social Distancing Project 52The Plough is dark, the front patio is empty. All is quiet. In previous years during Stony Live the outside tables would be full of drinkers.

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Portrait of the Artist

Photographer's self portrait
The Monday Photo

Here I am, at dusk, on my own doorstep. This photo was taken as part of my Distance Project, where I am photographing what people are doing differently under lockdown.

I’m affected by the lockdown just like anybody else, so like many of my Distance Project photos, there’s a good two metres either side of the subject, myself.

Quite a lot of my photos from that project were taken while down on one knee, so I’ve duplicated that by setting the tripod to the same sort of height.

The project is going well, and I have a list of subjects still to cover; the list keeps growing as I’m given leads by my subjects, and when lockdown restrictions are changed. In years to come, this is going to be a strange set of photos to look back on, but I’m hoping this project will be a useful historical resource.

I have little idea about how this project will end; that’s not really under my control and neither should it be. I will just keep taking photos until it’s all over.

This, by the way, is one of the few self portraits I’ve made in years. It’s a selfie, I suppose, and I used to make them quite often with my film camera and a nice wide lens, held at arm’s length. The lens and camera were not too heavy, and it was easy.

When I went to digital photography in 2009, this all stopped. I soon found that the camera and lens combination I’d bought was much too heavy to hold at arm’s length, for a self portrait. That’s when I stopped taking selfies, long before they were even called that.

I will be showing you new photos from the Distance Project on Thursdays, as long as the lockdown and its effects continues.

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The Distance Project 6

Social Distancing Project 48My sister in law has been bringing “the boys”, my nephews, to see me nearly every week since they were babies; they are now 19 and 21. With the lockdown in place, this couldn’t happen. But with the changes to the restrictions, the whole family came to see me on Tuesday.
They brought camping chairs, biscuits and drinks, I sat at my garden table. It was great; nothing beats seeing the people you care about, face to face.


The Rules are Relaxed

Some lockdown restrictions were relaxed on Monday, so there’s been a few changes in behaviour. The more vulnerable are allowed to venture out, though there are still some curbs on what they can do. Visitors in the garden are now permitted. Meanwhile, I take my car to be fixed.

All the other photos from this project can be found here. In the project I'm photographing what people are doing differently under lockdown.

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The Distance Project 4

Playground closedAll the playgrounds at South Willen Lake are blocked off.

Further From Home

This photo project started very simply, as posed photos of people exercising under social distancing restrictions in my local parks in Milton Keynes, but I’m now expanding the scope of the project to other areas of life under efforts to fight the pandemic.

I’m also able to go further afield now there’s been some relaxation of the lockdown. Recently I’ve been to Willen lake, Woughton on the Green (both not far from where I live), Newton Longville, and Whaddon.

All the other photos so far can be found here.

Closed playgroundThis play area at Simpson had been taped off because of concerns that the Covid-19 virus could be picked up from the surfaces.

 

Allotment and motorcycleThis rider had come to the allotments at Woughton on the Green to look after a friend’s plot. The friend is stuck abroad because of lockdown restrictions.

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