How Felixstowe can contribute to living history in a Covid-19 time capsule

By Derek Davis

19th Apr 2020 | Local News

With a rich history going back more than 1,000 years, generations Felixstowe and the neighbouring villages have been through everything.

From Viking raiders, the plague's final throes, two world wars, including with flying boats, there is enough to fill books just on the history here.

Now, as we all live through a new chapter in history, people on the Felixstowe peninsula are being asked to record their part in this grim episode.

Suffolk's archive service has launched a project to capture life under the coronavirus lockdown to be preserved for future generations.

The 'Life in Lockdown' archive collection will preserve items, which have recorded the experiences of people in Suffolk and be contained in the new facility being built in Ipswich, The Hold.

It will include an online survey, screenshots of social media posts, photos, artwork, diary entries, and art.

Rebecca Harpur, volunteer engagement co-ordinator, said: "We want to hear from people from all walks of life and all ages from right across Suffolk.

"In years to come we will want to look back on this important period of history, and the responses we receive could become a valuable part of Suffolk Archives' collection.

"It is up to you how much information you want to contribute; it could be a few immediate impressions or a more in-depth representation of life today."

The archive is expected to include some of the difficulties people have faced, as well as the extraordinary efforts of those who have gone above and beyond for their community.

Suffolk County Council cabinet member for heritage, Paul West added: "Suffolk Archives' role is not only to preserve and protect our archives, but also to record what is happening today so that future generations are able to look back on this time.

"It is important that we collect records that reflect how life in Suffolk is now, and document the changes and difficulties experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic."

Alongside the archive, a time capsule is being put together for young people to contribute towards. Called 'The Art of Being 2 Metres Apart', it will help children and teenagers express their feelings during the crisis through artwork, music or creative writing.

Mr West said: "It gives young people a place to express their emotions about the virus, how their lives have changed and adapted, and how they are managing hopes and fears.

"They will be helping to record Suffolk history from a different viewpoint and help people in the future understand what it was like. The selected entries will go into The Hold for future generations to see."

To find out more about the projects, visit www.suffolkarchives.co.uk/life-in-lockdown and www.thesource.me.uk/timecapsule.

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