CLEAR OFF! ‘Normal for Norfolk’ sign to enter historic archive of lockdown life

'Normal for Norfolk' by Martin Guppy, which has been selected as part of Historic England's lockdown

'Normal for Norfolk' by Martin Guppy, which has been selected as part of Historic England's lockdown picture selection. Picture: Martin Guppy - Credit: Martin Guppy

A photograph capturing a no nonsense sign on the Norfolk coast has been selected to enter an archive of pictures capturing lockdown life in England.

'Through the Window' by Connie Harrigan

'Through the Window' by Connie Harrigan - Credit: Connie Harrigan

In the past week, Historic England has been collecting photographs from members of the public to take photographic record of how the country has experienced the Covid-19 lockdown.

Almost 3,000 submissions were made, displaying a huge range of aspects of lockdown life - from empty beaches, to deserted streets and people waving through ajar windows.

The final collection consists of 200 images, 100 public submissions and commissioned works from 10 artists from 10 different regions of the country.

On top of their submitted work, each artist has selected their favourite photographs from their region.

'Little Free Library' by Peter Offord

'Little Free Library' by Peter Offord - Credit: Peter Offord

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And it was the work of a Norfolk photographer that was selected as the favourite submission of writer and broadcaster Scottee, who chose the photograph of Martin Guppy - titled Normal for Norfolk - which captured a straight-to-the-point sign across a Cromer gate.

It reads, in block capitals: “SELLFISH [sic] DAY TRIPPERS. GO AWAY. CLEAR OFF!!!”

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Of the photograph, Scottee, from Southend-on-sea in Essex, said: “I think this is really interesting moment where towns like mine are convincing people to stay away for the first time.”

Also selected to go in the archive from the region were Norwich-based Connie Harrigan’s Through the Window, Little Free Library by Peter Offord, also of Norwich and Connie Flynn’s picture of a postmark celebrating Captain Thomas Moore’s 100th birthday.

'Sign of the Times' by Connie Flynn

'Sign of the Times' by Connie Flynn - Credit: Connie Flynn

Through the Window captures two people and a cat staring longingly out of a window, while Little Free Library shows rubber glove suspended from a washing line inside a lirbary.

Claudia Kenyatta, director of regions at Historic England, said: “The fascinating response to our Picturing Lockdown call-out sheds light on our collective and individual experiences of lockdown and provides a snapshot into this unusual time that will be accessible for future generations to see and learn from.

“Our thanks go out to all who submitted work, to our 10 contemporary artists, and to our photography team who have produced an inspiring range of images.”

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