Close-knit village of Cambs creates ‘bizarre’ group photo as pandemic memento

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A small village southwest of Cambridge created a souvenir of the coronavirus pandemic during the lockdown for their community.

Mentioned in the Domesday Book, the former village of Harlton has always been a thriving community and since the turn of the century a group photo has been required to hang in the village hall alongside two other taken in 1988 and 2000.

The administrators of the hall agreed that it seemed like a good year to mark the community spirit of the village.

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However, the restrictions did not allow a photo to be taken with the usual rows of people gathered on the glebe – a lot next to the parish church – so they had to find another way to create one.

Hall administrator Lucie Coleridge said: “We emailed and left flyers at every house in the village and asked them to send me a picture of their household.

“A selfie, or a photo taken from a social distance by a neighbor or by us.

“We enlisted the help of professional photographer Simon Murrell to take a beautiful photo of the church and the glebe to use as a background, like in the previous group photos.

“He then placed all of the individual selfies, a total of 204, in some kind of collage.

“The result was quite original, very colorful and joyful, and reflects the unique circumstances. A little social history.

She continued: “The village is very united, united and friendly and this project reflects this very well.

“We support each other through Covid, and for many years, if not decades, villagers have come together during difficult times and for national celebrations and occasions.

“To present the photo to everyone, we had to wait a bit because of the restrictions on gatherings.

“However, we were able to open the hall last Sunday when people could come and take a look.”

A smaller version of the photo has been added to the main photo with numbers on each head to identify each person.

Lucie confirmed that a few of their older residents had passed away within the past year, but managed to appear in the photo.

With community ages ranging from around four to 94 years old, some people appeared in all three photos as they have lived in the village all of their lives.

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