Promenade & Ormond Place | Cheltenham | April 2020

The first few weeks of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown coincided with the start of Spring and a period of exceptionally fine weather.  Shops, bars and cafes closed, and streets and car parks became deserted as people followed government advice to Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives.  Orderly queues formed outside supermarkets as people respected the need for social distancing and remain 2 metres apart.

I used my permitted daily walks and cycle rides to record these extraordinary scenes in the centre of Cheltenham.  As a photographer interested in the interaction between people and places, lockdown presented a unique opportunity to revisit familiar locations and observe how the essence of a place is totally transformed when it is devoid of human activity.

Without people other elements become more dominant.  For example, the shadows of trees on the Promenade and dappled sunlight falling through fresh foliage are more evident when people stop using this busy thoroughfare.  I felt slightly uncomfortable in some of these places and didn’t want to linger once I became aware of the CCTV cameras looking down on me.