Looking Back, Moving Forward

Stories from Covid times. What has life been like during lockdown for people living in Dudley? The digital exhibition on this page sets out to give you a glimpse into this world.

The photographs displayed here were taken by (and in collaboration with) members of a photography group at the Queen’s Cross Network who have physical and/ or sensory disabilities, along with staff who support them.

All images were produced on film with single-use cameras. The quotes come from stories collected from local residents.

The exhibition is part of a wider initiative called ‘Looking Back, Moving Forward’ which aims to highlight just some of the experiences faced by individuals in our community during this unprecedented event.


Stitching Together our Memories

Communities across the world have come together over centuries to make patchwork quilts as a way of capturing memories.

This is Dudley’s memory quilt of the Covid pandemic. As part of our storytelling project people from all over the borough were invited to contribute squares which captured their own experiences of this time. These were then sewn together by members from the Crafting for Communities Group to create this vibrant, visual quilt as a legacy for the borough.


This project could not have happened without members of the photography group along with staff and carers at Queen’s Cross Network (QX) who contributed their time and energy. They have been open and vulnerable in sharing their experiences. For that we are hugely grateful.

Special thanks go to Shirley Bate, photography tutor, Michelle Hill, support worker and Paul Astley at Queen’s Cross for their dedication and enthusiasm.

Sam Pharoah is a photographer who helped to facilitate the work with the Queen’s Cross group to shape their thoughts and ideas and capture them using photography.

The quilt would not have been possible without all the creative people in the borough who have generously taken the time to commit their experiences of the Covid pandemic to a square of fabric. We are so grateful for their contributions.

Thanks also go to staff at the borough libraries who have acted as a focal point for the distribution and return of squares and have involved their craft groups in the project. We would also like to thank all the craft group organisers in the borough who encouraged their members to contribute.

Special thanks go to Gina Rees-Boughton and Lynn Wilding from Crafting for Communities who did such an excellent job of sewing the quilt together and helping us to create such a wonderful, vibrant legacy for the future.


This project was coordinated by the Ideas Alliance and was funded by Dudley Council.