The pandemic and its Lockdown restrictions -and how it changed the residents of Winsham daily lives.

One said that it hadn't made much difference...but for others there were changes-some for the better:

Chloe Adams is a working mum, with a husband and young daughter. Her experiences described below are typical of those of many young women during the lockdown periods.

Lockdown Memories

It's probably a funny thing to say but my memories of the 2020 lockdown are mostly good.

I had worked in hospitality for 25 years, working unsociable hours 3-4 nights a week, juggling full time work life with parenting meant not being able to always do the school runs and spend precious time with my daughter, ironically there were times when I wanted the world to slow down for a minute and all of a sudden it did. 

I was working the late shift on Friday 20th of March (2020) holding a very small wake, numbers had dropped all week, less and less people coming into the hotel due to the increasing concern of the new virus.

The chefs and I listened to the prime minister's speech in shock, the doors were to be closed that night and no date was given as to when they would re-open. We had Mothers Day that weekend with almost 100 covers, we had weddings booked, fridges full of food and cellars full of drink. We finished our last shift that night, closing and packing down as much as we could and leaving the owners of the business to deal with the months ahead including the cancellation and postponement of many many weddings and events.

Being a person who needs some routine I set up a school in our caravan on the drive which was to become 'caravan school' for the next few months. I mainly did this to have a separate area for myself and my daughter to go to and leave behind at the end of our school days. It was also so we could still connect with neighbours and villagers on their daily walks and chat from a distance which made us feel less isolated.

Winsham School did so well delivering schoolwork by hand and my daughter looked forward to her teacher dropping off books at the door so she could wave at the window.

At this time in the pandemic the school was not set up for virtual leaning and we hadn't ever had a zoom lesson in our life! Of course like the rest of the world we became professionals at virtual meetings! Having never really had the need for a computer at home, we mainly used the mobile phone for anything virtual which proved to be quite difficult especially during the Joe Wicks PE sessions!

 I volunteered for the Winsham Covid response team and offered to walk a villager's dog as part of a dog walk share with a few others. This was a welcome break every morning to split up the school day and was even considered an extra walk to the one we were legally allowed to take as it was considered work so that really was a bonus.  

I made dinner every night for the first time in my life and had a regular sleeping pattern which was unheard of. Of course it wasn't always easy, there were times when I wasn't sure what to say to my daughter and it was scary. I thrive on having things to look forward to as we all do but all of a sudden this was taken away from us and I wasn't sure when we would see any of our family and friends again.

I am a positive and optimistic person but there were challenging days. 

My husband worked through the pandemic as manufacturing never stopped, he did the shopping for us and told us what it was like outside of Winsham, including the petrol prices which were at an all time low! Daddy bringing the shopping home on a Wednesday was a highlight of the week for us.

I can only remember sunny days from the first day of lockdown until the last, lots of family time, lots of garden time and lots of hours waiting but no one knew for what.

 When we were finally allowed to go out it was amazing to have things to look forward to again and see family and friends was very emotional but brilliant

It had certainly taught us never take anything for granted again

I returned to work for 5 months before we were closed down again, this time things were not so easy. 

The weather was cold and it was coming up to Christmas, a time which we love and look forward to as a family, but rules of 6 came in place and eventually not being able to see anyone again for many months.

Schools closed in January 2021 and and it was hard to get the motivation to do home school, it was too cold for the caravan and not so many people were out walking.

We lost some family in this time and it was incredibly hard not to be able to attend funerals. Virtual meetings had got tiresome and 'cabin fever' set in. We all celebrated birthdays in lockdown including my 40th where we had a party for the three of us and spent hours talking to friends on the phone. My husband continued to work and I was unsure if the hotel would ever reopen.

But we got through it and the days got brighter again, my daughter went back to school and I went back to work although only for a couple of months; it took a pandemic for me to realise that I needed a career change and the most important thing was to be with my family.

 Chloe Adams - Western Way 

The75th Anniversary of VJ Day was celebrated throughout the village on 8th May 2020, but with social distancing observed! Here Chloe is seen with neighbours outside her home in Western Way.


Jane Simkins, lives in Winsham, with her husband Andrew, who has distinguished himself championing Armed Forces Veterans causes, and other charitable work, following a very active 37 years in the Army Air Corps. He also served on Winsham Parish Council for several years, and , for a period was chairman .
Jane won the Grand Winsham  Poetry Challenge competition 2020, as well as four other competition categories, and this and another poem on the subject of the pandemic can be found below

Freefall in Lockdown

So here we are, Retirees both, just missed the Baby Boomers,

Jogging along life’s merry way, until we hear the rumours…

A dreadful scourge is on its way; Boris says to close all doors,

Must stay inside and wait it out, all British life on pause.


A fatal illness hits our Earth, to add to human strife.

What’s to be done? What can we do? Stay home, wash hands, save life.

 So I look at him and he at me, it seems we’re stuck together,

Well, here we are, let’s make a plan; Boris says it’s not forever!

 Click HERE to read the full poem




And so we all must now adapt,
To Lockdown’s strange new land,
We long for family every day,
Yet apart now we must stand.

Miss pudgy fingers squished in dough,
With concentration deep,
Make sausages and Chorley cakes,
And ginger-men to keep,.

Miss flour clouds and pouring milk,
Lick spoon when making cupcakes,
Gooey eggs upon the floor,
And fun-faced pizza bakes.

Miss sticky play and arty times,
With finger patterns swirling,
Florescent glitter butterflies,
Their straw antennae curling

Click HERE to read the full poem

Jane Simkins also added her thoughts for this 'Pandemic' gallery:

Back on well-trodden paths…

 Covid 19 has wreaked havoc, both globally and locally, in more ways than anyone could have foreseen. The mood has shifted from stoic optimism to, for some, moments of despair, and hopefully back again to a more positive outlook.

Here in Winsham, we have been fortunate to have escaped the worst of what this horrible illness has thrown at mankind.

Jane also expressed her support for the NHS during the pandemic, visually, with these self made banners displayed outside her home. Many other villagers did the same, but this was one of the biggest.

Today I continue to feel gratitude for our rural idyll. The Shop and Post Office remain a focal point, offering provisions and smiling support. The School and Pub similarly act as places of comfort and continuity, with the Parish Council overseeing the well-being of village life. Now, for me, chatting to folks, familiar and unknown, around the village, has become one of the great pleasures.

‘Winsham Village Open Gardens’ in July 2021 opened the door – gate! – onto a burst of joie-de-vie for everyone lucky enough to make the trek around 15 stunning gardens. The village quite literally took a fresh, buoyant step forward, emerging from a dead end, turning a few corners, and setting out onto new paths.

Thank you Winsham for providing such a secure backdrop in these unparalleled times.

 Jane Simkins. November 8th 2021.


Editors Note: For readers in the years ahead the 'Boris' referred to is Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, and leader of the Conservative Party during the pandemic period, and a colourful character.


Steven Corrick-a new-comer to the village:

Twas in the middle of January 2021 that my two furniture lorries drew up in the middle of the village, containing my worldly possessions.  A bright sunny day.  A good omen.

On the doorstep of my new home was a small package.  “Welcome to Winsham” and inside some flapjacks with a card from my new neighbours.  What a welcome.

In the following weeks I could meet nobody, and invite no one in for a coffee and a chat,  as everyone dutifully hid behind their masks or sheltered in their homes.

But every time I ventured out of my front door I was greeted by a wave and a smile.

Every time I went for a walk round the village, which I tried to do every day, people stopped (still social distancing of course!) and made a point of saying “Oh, you’ve moved into The George haven’t you. I’m Jill, we live at...... How are you settling in?”

Covid and lockdown might have affected everyone in all sorts of different ways, and sometimes disrupted their lives.  To a few, it brought tragedy.

But, thank goodness, it never affected the wonderful friendly feel that living in this village gives.

Thanks everyone!



Henk Beentje-a Parish Councillor, and a well known expert contributor (Ph.D) to The Parish Web site and  the Joint Parish Magazine on botanical matters

Of course the pandemic and its resultant lockdown(s) have been a nasty, horrible series of events for many people. For me the most negative aspect was missing out on more than a year’s visits to grandchildren (two in the Netherlands, one in South Ealing); several of my free-lance work projects fell through, which meant a fall in income, and missing the chance for some exotic fieldwork. But I would like to dwell here on some of the positive outcomes – a bit perverse, with so many people suffering, but this is a personal account.

·       For the first time since we moved to Leigh, we experienced all the seasons here – usually we are away part of the time, every other week a few days in London for work, or on foreign trips either for work or for fun. Linked to this were my lockup walks, discovering more of our surrounds and walking over 1800 miles from March 23rd 2020 (start of the first lockdown) to July 19th 2021, the end of the third lockdown. Walks in Winsham parish and surrounding parishes, mostly, with a very occasional car trip (in the later stages, when restrictions eased) to Wagg’s Plot, Horton or Crewkerne and doing circular walks from there.

·       A much quieter countryside, certainly at the beginning, when we could walk the Fosse Way without (almost) meeting any other traffic! Hardly any airplanes coming over also helped.  The only increase was… in other walkers.

·       So much spare time, with quite a bit of DIY and carpentry going. More chance of reading, too, and I finally got to read the 1875 Book of the Axe by G.P.R. Pulman of Crewkerne fame, from beginning to end. Heavy ain’t in it – it weighs in at several kilos! So much local information! And I read two (of five…) volumes of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, too, a book I had always heard about but never started.

·       And finally I had time to comply with John Sullivan’s request to write up nature notes for the e-letter/Web museum. This has been an enjoyable task, and it has made me learn a lot: from spiders to hoverflies, and even plants that I thought I knew but needed to be sure about before I put pen to paper, or plant to lens.

Henk Beentje


Brian Turner-a leading light in the cultural life of the community,  is also involved with St.Stephen's  Parochial Church Council and the Joint parish Magazine

During the first lockdown, my abiding memory of life in the village is of peace and solitude: no cars; no noise; birdsong; local walks to quiet streams; cheery greetings from fellow villagers who would have crossed the street or lane to avoid close contact. We have kind neighbours who offered to do our shopping. I remember spending hours trying to book a delivery slot from various supermarkets – unsuccessful, but the neighbours added our shopping list to their requirements. We followed the protocol over safe delivery, including the post, cleaning all items with sanitising wipes. This we still do. At this point it was not felt safe to produce and deliver the Joint Parish Magazine. One month’s issue was delivered by the editor’s daughter, then no magazine at all until now returning to normal.

 Church life  Everything shut down – the church was not open at all. The rector and his team did valiantly producing Zoom services. The first was on Easter Sunday from his garden and the birds did their utmost to drown out the liturgy. The services continued in this fashion and included a regular Thursday evening one. This one, and later the Sunday one, permitted a ‘social gathering’ at the end with people joining in conversation with each other. Of course there were the odd occasions when people forgot to mute and we had snatches of conversation interrupting the service. On one occasion, we had a scene of an elderly lady sleeping open-mouthed in her bed.

No funerals, of course, but a welcome innovation of the funeral director leading the cortege through the village en route to the crematorium, passing respectful crowds lining the village streets. An  idea which maybe continued forward to the post Covid era.


When churches opened again, we had: the QR code at the church entrance; sanitizers by the door; a sheet to sign on entry and exit; some pews marked with a green tick, others with a red cross. We had to turn the card over when leaving the pew. Communion involved only the wafer and these had to be fed via the mask – some material, some plastic visors. At the end of the services we had to leave without any chatting at the back or at the door.

On the Sunday when it should have been the London Marathon, people were encouraged to do 26 different things. I decided to dip in to 26 different church services on line. Of course, I ‘went to’ our Zoomed service and then to our daughter’s church in Poole, Forefront in Chard, the Little’s church in Canada, a friend’s church in Bratislava, another friend’s in Pittsburgh, All Souls, Langham Place, next to the BBC, plus a few more. By this time I was getting punch drunk and so sadly did not get to 26! We did, however, ‘go’ to All Souls every Sunday until life here returned to the new normal – whatever that is.

Clubs and Societies  In the early stages, when the weather was fine, all was quiet and we were allowed to have six people meeting in a garden, we held Poetry with two groups of six meeting in a large garden. When things livened up, when we had incessant lorry reversing signals and the weather got colder we ‘met’ on Zoom. This worked quite well. When the pub reopened, we met in the back room of The Bell. We have now had several months in members’ homes but the number has grown to such an extent that we have decided to return to The Bell.

Music did not lend itself to meeting in a garden or the pub so sadly we didn’t meet until quite recently. I tried to send members of the group a you-tube clip of a musical performance each month.

Play reading  I am afraid this didn’t function at all until quite recently and of course there were no performances by The Winsham Players


Bryan Goodman-Treasurer on the Jubilee Hall Management Committee, and expert beekeeper

Living in the village was I think good because we could still go out walking for recreation in conjunction with walking our dog, so we kept up our exercise routine, without meeting others, although we did, but it was easy to maintain social distancing.

Shopping for food was tiresome at first, having to go into Crewkerne for 0800hrs, but once I had mastered the Waitrose delivery schedules it was easy to order each week and wait for it to arrive. This was the only urgent shopping carried out and although we missed going out to local towns, Bridport, mainly, for coffee we did not really miss general shopping we just turned to the internet and ordered what was required on line. Since lock down ended it has been nice to go physically to stores and look/feel the merchandise, which I suppose on recollection is better than looking at a picture and then having to return something not suitable.

As a beekeeper I was required by DEFRA to maintain good care of my bees and having 4 hives at Magdalen Farm and 3 hives at home at the start of lockdown in 2020, I was able to go out and about to inspect them as per normal.  As Secretary of Somerset Beekeepers Association South West Division and a listed Swarm Collector and also a team member of the Asian Hornet Action Team I could legally respond to any reports of either swarms, of which there were 9 reported to me, these were all caught and re-homed in hives ,or reports of  hornets, which when inspected  were wasps. . This generally enabled me to remain sane and not go housebound crazy.


Liz Earl-a very knowledgeable nature lover, whose Wild Life Diaries from 2016-2020 can be found in the Flora and Fauna Gallery of Winsham Web Museum, also wrote the following poem:

Our Current Situation

The lockdown I thought would give me the chance
To do all those jobs which I normally can’t
So I’d look at my list. I would sow all those seeds
I would dig, I would prune, I would fork out the weeds

I would clean all the silver and polish the brass
I’d prepare some tasks for my Spanish class
I would clean the windows and wash the floors
I could find some gloss and paint the doors.

But of all those jobs did I even do one?
I’m afraid I did not – I’m blaming the sun
The weather’s been fab and the sky clear blue
So I’ll do the jobs later – honest, it’s true!

Liz Earl


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