The photo project was started in March 2020 at the start of the first national lockdown. George Ledger, a retired police officer and photographer, began to document the impact of the coronavirus on Consett and its communities. What started out as a personal project soon expanded into a growing collection of photographs of people, volunteer groups and businesses during the pandemic.
George was joined by other photographers, Debbie Todd, Chris Bruce and Steve Webb and as the collection grew, they decided to work towards hosting an online and local exhibitions.
Atlas Taxis have been working throughout the pandemic along with other taxi companies in the area, making sure essential workers can get to work and the rest of us to the shops. Corona guidelines however must be followed and as can be seen in this photo, Perspex screens have been installed in taxis to ensure driver and passengers remain safe. (Image: George Ledger) Driving Schools, like ‘John Rayner Driver Training’, have been forced to close during the three lockdowns and had to comply with government guidelines. They were further affected when they were allowed to start up again, as Test Centres were forced to close with practical and theory tests suspended. Pupils who had a test booked had their appointments cancelled, refunded, or rescheduled. (Image: George Ledger) Dance classes like most exercise and sporting activities have been hit hard during the pandemic. The Pauline Cook School of Dancing in Consett only managed to open their doors for short periods between lockdowns. However, being ever resourceful they have maintained some teaching for their dancers via live Zoom lessons. Pauline, Natalia and Jack have been delivering classes from the studio and also from their own homes. If you think holding a meeting over Zoom is tiring you should try taking one of Pauline’s lessons! (Image: George Ledger) Andy and Tracey may have managed to adapt to working from home while being civil servants, but as artists and historical re-enactors they had to adapt to life during a pandemic. Following relaxations of Covid-19 restrictions in March ‘21 they are now looking forward to getting back into the wider world and are keen to attend steampunk events and go on weekends away with their ‘time travelling tea tent’. (Image: Debbie Todd) Ian, of Consett Music Tuition, had continued to tutor his pupils online. As can be seen in the photograph above, Teresa, a student was enjoying Ian’s personal tuition in April 2021 at his Blackhill studio. (Image: Steve Webb) North East Ambulance Service Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) now work alongside other emergency services at the centre of serious accidents and threats. The ambulance service hope they can save more lives during the early stages of a major incident. Their important training exercises were disrupted over the past year. It was great to see Rescue North East (RNE) a Consett based firm, delivering specialist training locally to HART personnel. (Image: George Ledger) England Boxing confirmed that amateur boxing clubs, such as Fight Fitness Guru Boxing Club, could start to reopen their doors after lockdown on April 12th 2021. This was the first stage and was subject to meeting the strict criteria limiting the number of people allowed in a venue at any one time. Indoor training was permitted in stages, firstly with children and under 18’s, then individual adults and finally adult groups. (Image: Chris Bruce) The ladies from the congregation of St John’s Church Shotley at Snods Edge have put their crafting skills to good use during the pandemic. They have produced a Covid-19 commemorative quilt which is now on display in the church. (Image: Chris Bruce)