Photographer brings Leighton Buzzard community together during coronavirus lockdown

A photographer from Leighton Buzzard has given his best shot at bringing the community together during lockdown.

By Lucie Green
Friday, 22nd May 2020, 12:13 am
Updated Saturday, 23rd May 2020, 12:32 am

Brad Gommon, of Billington Park, wanted to create a montage as part of his project #leightoninlockdown.

So he got on his bike, armed with camera equipment, to capture his neighbours on film.

He said: “I’ve been running a photography project during lockdown documenting local families, and have now combined all of the photos into a big montage.

Photographer Brad Gommon, wife Julia, and son Joshua, two.

“I visited their home, standing at the end of the drive or at least two metres away, to ensure social distancing at all times and take a portrait of whoever is currently living in the home during lockdown.”

Props have been incorporated to show activites like baking, running or working.

“There’s also been lots of great artwork on display from the children in the town, and even some grown ups who have been using the time to get creative,” said Brad.

Participants receive a digital file to keep as a special memory during this unprecedented time.

The final montage. Copywright Brad Gommon

“It’s completely free of charge,” said Brad. “I just want to keep busy and give something back to our local community at the same time.”

He has been posting some of the images on his social media each day and said the feedback has been encouraging.

“It’s cheering people up,” said Brad.

“I have created a collage to show what our community looked like during this unprecedented time in our history, and have a few ideas in the pipeline about how I could take this forward and display this in the town in the future.

Ron and Isabella. Copyright Brad Gommon

“This project has been such a positive thing to do, and I have really enjoyed meeting so many new people in our community and helping to spread some positivity during this time.”

After receiving many requests from people asking if they could donate something for his time, Brad has now set up a fundraising page for Age UK for locals to make a contribution if they so wish. Go to www.gofundme.com and search Leighton in Lockdown or click here.

> One heart-warming community story which is captured in Brad’s project is that of two neighbours of vastly different ages who have been drawn together during lockdown.

Resident Kelly Reid explained to the LBO: “At the beginning of lockdown my 10-year-old daughter saw an elderly neighbour taking a very slow walk up and down our road.

“She was concerned about him as she noticed he lived alone so made him a cheerful rainbow poster.

“He displayed it in his window and posted a letter back to her. They have since then kept up a penpal correspondence and my daughter has delivered more artwork, VE Day bits and cakes.

“It transpired that Ron is 96 years old and the fact that he is older than the Queen blew Isabella away. Brad took some lovely pictures of Ron and Isabella and they make such a nice little story and a reminder of kindness/community.”

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