Saffron Walden – Locked & Unlocked
by Celia Bartlett
A photo-documentary of life during a pandemic time.
On Tuesday 23rd March 2020, the country went into a national lockdown as the Covid-19 virus swept around the world. Shortly after, a town clock stopped at 6:25, becoming a reminder that life as we knew it was on hold.
That year had begun much like any other for photojournalist and documentary photographer Celia Bartlett. She was pursuing her fourth photo-a-day series, with the chosen theme of Saffron Walden but within a few weeks freedom to travel was nationally restricted. Now confined within the boundary of her home town, her photo documentary series “Portrait of a North Essex Town” overnight became “Diary of a Town in Lockdown”.
Fourteen weeks later on 1st July 2020, the town clock was finally wound again, and at 2:40, time was called on The Great Pause. For a short while, life began to move forward until a second, then third lockdown was imposed, and time went on hold again.
Throughout these stop start months, Celia documented how, despite the restrictions, life continued and adapted in a locked and then unlocked Saffron Walden.
This book is her social documentary of the extraordinary years of 2020 and 2021.