Documenting the people of Mobberley during the lockdown

PUBLISHED: 00:00 22 June 2020

Photographer Ailsa Bee with her daughters Poppy, 9, and Iris, 6

Photographer Ailsa Bee with her daughters Poppy, 9, and Iris, 6

Archant

Ailsa Bee of Ailsa Bee Photography has made it her mission to document the village community in Mobberley, and is shining a light on all the local people doing their bit, staying at home and keeping their community safe.

As the world around us adapts to life during Covid-19, Mobberley photographer Ailsa Bee has found a way to document local life under the lockdown. Organised through the village Facebook page, Ailsa has been abiding by lockdown rules, but using her exercise hour to rally around the village and take snapshots of people safe at home for her project, the Mobberley Corona Window Diaries.

“We’ve got a Facebook group called Mobberley Matters, which is often only really used to talk about problems with dog poo,” laughs Ailsa. “I thought it would be nice to share photos together on that group and fun to do.” After putting the idea on there, Ailsa has been inundated with locals asking for her to take their picture. She’s now taken around 100 household shots, as well as photos of all the different teachers that have been working each day in Mobberley Primary School.

“I’ve not approached anyone because I want people to be really willing to do it to make it more fun and natural,” explains Ailsa. “People message me on the group asking me to photograph them and then we organise it for the hour of exercise. I’m quite proud of the planning of my routes to get as many people in as possible. I do about six people a day.

“It’s a project that is helping the community through this strange time in many different ways; it’s simply letting the village see that everyone is safe, smiling and well, when they can’t see them in person. This is quite a small village and everyone knows everyone, so it has been really nice. Everyone is quite social here and really missing each other, so it’s helped with that. It’s easy to imagine there’s nobody out there when you’re stuck in your house, so it has been really good to see people being chirpy and still doing their thing,” says Ailsa.

“I think people have really enjoyed looking at them on Facebook and, as has been pointed out to me by people, this is history we are living through. So although they are only photos, it’s history as well.

I might compile them into a book.”

Ailsa has used this time when she can’t go about her usual work as a photographer to be creative without the pressure of it being paid work. “It’s been nice to do something just for me and for the joy of it,” she smiles. And, of course, it’s a challenge, with the limitations on time and distance. “I like getting something into the foreground for the shots, to highlight the element of distance,” she says. “There have been people photographed who I kind of know but I’ve never spoken to before, so it’s been really nice to make connections,” says Ailsa. “Everyone’s got a common goal now, so it’s brought people together. I hope those new connections stay.”

ailsabeephotography.co.uk

Send your Cheshire lockdown photos to joanne.goodwin@archant.co.uk and see more Mobberley Corona Window Diaries at facebook.com/AilsaBeePhotography and Instagram @ailsabeephoto

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