The History of Oswestry’s Lockdowns

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Find out more about the Lockdown project

The Museum

Oswestry Town Museum is researching how lockdowns through the ages have impacted on Oswestry, its residents and the surrounding area.

Although the lockdown of 2020 was the most far reaching and most inclusive countrywide lockdown that has been experienced in living memory, there have been other times when Oswestry has experienced lockdowns, sometimes affecting the whole area, sometimes the town and other times just certain sections of local society.

In WWI there were food shortages, stockpiling was an offence so no panic buying then and rationing was very much in force.

In WWII there were regulations about showing lights at night (something we didn’t need to worry about in 2020) and if you drove a motor car you had to disable it at night to restrict its value to any invading forces. And again rationing was in force for a long time.

During the Foot and Mouth epidemic of 1967, described as the worst of its kind, large parts of the farming community  were under a similar lockdown to that experienced by all of us in 2020, no access to farms or farm land, disinfectant stations by every farm yard gate, and hundreds of infected cattle slaughtered and burned causing distress to many farmers and their livelihoods

Mark and Cass from Oswestry museum are looking for family stories connected to previous lockdown restrictions, and are hoping to collate them into a record of Oswestry Diaries through the ages, looking at how folks coped in days gone by, times when there was no internet support, no on line learning and no way round the rules and restrictions of the day.

If you have a family story to tell, an anecdotal tale of hardships during past times of restrictions or even a piece of history or heritage to share please get in touch with us at the Museum.


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The Marches School

The Marches School is working on a community-wide project to collate and share lockdown experiences.

2020 marked a key point in history; for the first time in living memory everything stopped, and families were told to stay in their homes. Normal routines of attending school, meeting people, visiting shops, hugging friends and family couldn’t happen – a situation that has lasted for over four months.

The experience of lockdown has been different for everybody, as has its impacts and consequences, many of which remain unknown to us.

The aim of this project is to encourage all to share their lockdown experiences representing our diverse community using a range of platforms to showcase the work.

Darryn Robinson, Deputy Headteacher comments “Students are keen to positively engage with and understand how their community feels and see this project as a way to take the lead in supporting reflection on and recovery from this year. All submissions will be collated on a special Lockdown Diaries website, with a selection also published in a book. The book will be produced and sold locally, and will contain not just written pieces and imagery, but also a way to engage with multimedia submissions via QR codes. We hope the community will all get involved to mark this point in history and produce a record for communities to enjoy in years to come.”

Example artwork from The Marches School Lockdown Diaries

Watch the exclusive tour of the Muesum during the 2020 Lockdown

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