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‘Lockdown Legends’ honoured in new exhibition

Published: 14 September 2020

Lockdown Legends Lockdown Legends

Devon’s ‘Lockdown Legends’ have been honoured in a new photographic exhibition.

The exhibition, which celebrates community’s response to Coronavirus, can now be viewed online. Later in the month it will go on display at venues across Exeter and Devon.

‘Lockdown Legends’ has been put together by Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM), alongside Liveable Exeter and Exeter City Council. It highlights local people who have shown particular kindness, courage, humanity or ingenuity during the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the summer, members of the public were invited to nominate their coronavirus champions, submitting both their stories and photographs to illustrate inspirational accounts of hard work, compassion and selflessness. Those nominated ranged from refuse collectors to face mask creators, fundraising heroes to taxi drivers-turned-delivery men, parents, grandparents, young people and many more. Lockdown Legends celebrates the resilience of the people of Devon, showcasing those who have given so much during the coronavirus crisis, helping some of Devon’s most vulnerable populations. It brings their stories together to be shared with everyone.

Award-winning broadcaster and presenter Angela Rippon CBE, Julian Tagg, President of Exeter City Football Club and a member of the Liveable Exeter Place Board, Cllr Amal Ghusain, Exeter City Council’s, Lead Councillor for Communities and Culture, and Camilla Hampshire, Museum Manager at RAMM, formed the panel which reviewed these stories, which will be recorded for posterity. The stories will be featured in a photographic exhibition on RAMM’s Showcase digital exhibition space, and in free physical exhibitions across Exeter and Devon, with necessary coronavirus restrictions and guidance in place.

Angela Rippon said: “There have been many uplifting stories about the heroic and selfless actions of individuals who have gone above and beyond to help others during this unprecedented time.  This exhibition is an opportunity to celebrate and honour them and provide those that have been supported, or seen the lives of others improved, a chance to thank those individuals.”

Cllr Ghusain said: “The Covid19 pandemic has brought suffering, restrictions and uncertainty into our communities, but in the face of these challenges it has also brought out the best in many. It was to recognise such positive commitment that the Lockdown Legends exhibition was created.

“As a member of the panel overseeing the nominations, I was humbled by the generosity, creativity and inclusivity of the entries, and the lengths people went to, to help and lift the spirits of the vulnerable and self-isolating. These 'legends' show us that good communities are not something mythical, but are realised in citizens' empathy, care, and neighbourly attitudes.”

Paul Mouland, whose team of volunteers at Freemoovement Exeter were nominated as Lockdown Legends for delivering food and medicine across Exeter on bicycle, said:

“When the pandemic hit, I knew we were well positioned as a local fitness community group to respond in a community-focused way. Our volunteers really stepped forward – not just the ride leaders and physical activity leaders, but also our normal members. They were keen to put the exercise they were missing out on during lockdown into a voluntary format. Seeing them so keen to lend a hand in any capacity has been really inspirational, and they deserve this nomination.”

Exhibition dates

The exhibition will be hosted online, on RAMM’s digital exhibition venue Showcase, from Monday 14 September:

From Monday 28 September the exhibitions will be open to visitors at the following venues:

Further dates and venues for November will be announced in the near future.

Lockdown Legends is kindly supported by Radio Exe and Archant, publishers of the Exmouth Journal, Midweek Herald, North Devon Gazette, Sidmouth Herald and the Torbay Weekly.

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