Documenting the people of Mobberley during the lockdown
PUBLISHED: 00:00 22 June 2020
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.
Mobberley Corona Window Diaries
Adam Bower, 41, owner of The Old Garages, Wilmslow - I wanted to be involved to continue the community, making sure we are all still here as one, still supporting each other as friends who cant see each other but now can through this visual. Its been reassuring and lovely seeing friendly faces that we are used to seeing on a daily basis. (Pictured with partner Sean Fryer, 32, Barty the golden retriever and Norfolks, Scampi and Florence)
Bethany Kirkwood, 46, caterer at Cuisine by Bethany - Ailsa is a good friend; she lives almost opposite us and we couldnt not be involved in her wonderful project. The world is topsy turvy right now but were part of history and we need something to record that this was such a positive way to do that. (Pictured with Chris Sherwood, 41, company director, and children Rufus, 10 and Nat, 7)
Caroline Lambert, 35, HR in strategic partnership and performance - Ailsa has taken pictures of our family for many years engagement and wedding shoots and also bump shoots and newborn shoots for our two children. Shes fabulous and I think its so important to show lockdown 2020 as it is. (Pictured with Justyn Lambert, 45, director, and children, Evelyn, 6, and William, 4)
Elli Wilson, 30, full-time mum - We really like Ailsas lockdown project and wanted to join in to spread some positivity in these uncertain times. (Pictured with Alastair Wilson, 33, project manager, and Ozzie, 8 months)
Ian Blay, 54, Mobberley vicar - Were still working through this so I wanted to show both sides of the situation, with the more serious side and the other more informal side. We are all also kind of weirdly on holiday as well, hence the shorts. Its unusual to see whole families together all the time, you often see one person here and one person there in the village, so its really nice. It reflects the sense of us all being together as families and mirrors the sense of being together as a community as well. (Pictured with wife Suzanne Blay, 52)
Kim Hill, Love the Dentist, Mobberley - I thought Ailsa was capturing this moment in history perfectly so wanted to have a picture to show the children when they are older. I loved the cheeky shots she took and the way she was able to portray the fun side of these serious and challenging times. I feel we all need a little light-hearted fun at the moment. (Pictured with husband Matthew Hill, 41, and in IT management, and children, Max, 10, and Mollie, 7)
Laura Leighton, 39, Mobberley pub owner - We have the pub in the village so my parents did one outside the pub and we did it in the door of our house in the grounds of the pub it was saying, let us out and back into the pub. Its nice to see everybody still smiling, cheering each other on. (Pictured with George, 6, Zach, 9, and Harry, 4)
Lisa Miller, 46, textile developer for Lululemon - Jon considered the irony of having a UK biological threat, so wore his NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) mask from the Iraq war. (Pictured with husband Jon, 46, Global Procurement, and children, Tom, 12, Morgan, 10 and Verity, 8)
Paul Allman, 47, owner of The Butchers in Hale (and very proud partner of Ailsa) - Im trying my best to help the community with my business, and I thought this was also a great idea to help and to put together a historic document for the area. I know the children in the village have been enjoying waiting to see if their friends are in the photographs.
Paula Nolan, 43, sixth-form teacher - Its so community-driven and a way of recording a moment in history. Ailsa is lovely and her drive behind it to just capture a moment (not for money) and a community coming together really appealed to us. I hope it showcases her talent and that, after this, her talent wont be forgotten. (Pictured with Emma Hobin, 42, junior school teacher, and children, Connie, 8, and Edith, 6)
Penny Goostrey-Mansell, 46, specialist mortgage advisor - Mobberley has a real community feel, and this project really pulls all that together. We are all quite close-knit and while its hard for us to see each other, its nice to know everyone is still there and doing okay. (Pictured with husband Robert Mansell, 48, head of talent, Thomas Goostrey, 17, Jessica Goostrey, 15 and Poppy the dog)
Sophie Chadwick, 30, PR consultant - Were such a close community in Mobberley and everyone is really missing each other in lockdown. Ailsas project means that every day weve looked forward to a flurry of familiar faces popping up online and its really brought a smile. Its amazing to see everyones personalities shining through in the pictures and reassuring to know were all in this together. (Pictured with husband Rick, 35, MD of Roebuck Recruitment and Caspar, nearly 2)
Zoe Garner, 47, Mobberley Cottage Cattery - I saw a similar thing in The Guardian and thought of Ailsa straight away, as she takes a very honest photograph. Shes good at telling stories. Every village has people that live in them who arent necessarily connected, but I knew she could connect everyone through the photos. Its nice to see people in a positive light who you might have never seen before.
Zoe Hargreaves, 36, full-time mum - I thought it would be a nice memory for the children and something to look forward to doing plus, it was nice to see a friendly face. The children have loved seeing their friends with their families, and it reinforces that it is what everyone is doing were not just being mean parents. (Pictured with husband James Hargreaves, 40, IT consultant, Edward, 7 and Matilda, 5)
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.”