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Living Through Lockdown

Residents are being asked to submit their lockdown memories and pictures for an archive being created by Hull History Centre.

The initiative, in partnership with Heritage Learning, has been inspired by a World War II project that recorded Hull children’s experiences of the Blitz.

In 1941, Hull school children aged 10-14 were asked to write essays about living through the aerial bombing of the city.

Each essay was titled ‘What happened to me and what I did in the air raids’. Many have been preserved and still survive today. Some are now held in the archives at the Hull History Centre.

The air raid essays provide a rare child’s eye view of life in Hull during a traumatic time in our history. Hull History Centre is collecting records of children’s and family experiences of life under lockdown. These records will be held in the city’s archives so that future generations can understand what it was like during the coronavirus pandemic.

Councillor Marjorie Brabazon, chair of Hull Culture and Leisure, said: “These are without doubt difficult and extraordinary times, but such experiences can also bring out the best in people. In years to come this archive will allow us to look back and remember how people came together during the coronavirus pandemic to protect and support our families and communities.”

Martin Taylor, city archivist, said: “The archive of air raid essays is an important insight into the personal accounts of children during the Second World War.

“During the coronavirus pandemic we are also living through extraordinary times. By collecting memories and literature from this moment we can help future generations learn what life was like in 2020.”

David Alcock, learning manager at Heritage Learning, said: “We’d like children and families across the city to share their experiences and help document what everyday life is like during lockdown.

“While people cannot visit museums and archives in person during this time, they can instead play an important role in creating the collections of tomorrow.

“Decades from now, children of the future will be able to use Hull History Centre’s COVID-19 archive to learn about this unprecedented event and how it affected people today.”

Children and families in Hull who are keeping a diary, taking photographs or making drawings – and who want to go down in Hull’s history – are encouraged to send Heritage Learning their writing, pictures or drawings by email to heritagelearning@hcandl.co.uk or direct message Heritage Learning (@HeritageLearn) on Twitter.

Copies of submissions will be kept safe in the city’s archives at Hull History Centre.

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To propose a project, add your support to an initiative or to share your views, call Catherine Goble on 01482 611802 or email info@hullbid.co.uk

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