COVID: Lockdown Stories

Linked below are the biographical elements of COVID: Lockdown Stories, the fourth phase of the project in 2020-2021, about our storytellers experiences of lockdown in the city, and living through a global pandemic. They are written by our writers in conversation with community members, a number of whom came to us via our new community partner Toynbee Hall, an amazing charity working to combat poverty and social exclusion in East London and elsewhere, that we felt very lucky to be working with. We conducted this phase remotely for the first time in CityLife history, for COVID-related and social distancing reasons – a significant change to our methodology which required us to move outside our comfort zone and into territory we had not yet encountered. Our writers and storytellers all rose to the challenge magnificently and it was a real joy to witness relationships developing and stories blossoming under the most unusual, and often unutterably sad, national and global situation. Thank you so much to all the storytellers who took part in this phase of CityLife – we are incredibly grateful for your participation.

Scroll down further for the writers own autobiographical pieces on their own experiences of the pandemic.


Lockdown in Newham, West Ham & William the Cat – for Eileen Wade

Irenee & George – for The Lowes

Lines – for Charlie Burke

Things That Miles Cannot Touch – for Miles Davis

Holidays – for Johnny Besagni

Plans Cancelled & Made – for George Freeman

Talk History – for Peter Shrimpton

A Jog in the Park – for Alov Odoglu

Music as Dependency – for Annette Morreau

Robyn: The Narration of Life – for Robyn Wells

A Story for Peggy – for Peggy Metaxas

Do Your Best and Leave The Rest – for Claire Chatelet

Getting On With It – for Joan Barham

Joyriding Down The Roman – for Denise Arbiso

From Russia To Toynbee, With Love – for Miry Mayer

The Wanderer – for Steve Brooks

Fascination and Horror – for Sarah Bancroft

Cricket, Lovely Cricket – for Max (Ferdinand) Maxwell


The below pieces are the autobiographical elements of COVID: Lockdown Stories; written by our writers about their own experiences of the pandemic. Thank you to all writers for taking part in this project.

She Goes from Her Room to the Kitchen to the Garden to Her… – by Catriona West

My Covid Year – by Denise Monroe

A Phone Call Away – by Imogen Ince

The Way of the Lockdown – by Jack Pascoe

Lachesism – by Jordan Aramitz

Turning – by Lydia Morris

Home is Where Safety Meets Empathy – by Marta Guerreiro

The Campus – by Nic Peard

The Shape Our Hands Might Be Making – by Rowena Price

Roaring in Tunnels – by Sam Dodd

Come You Back, You Norfolk Soldier – by Sophie Brown

Bathroom Window – by Suzanne Wilson

The Wii & I – by Zoe Mitchell