‘It’s all so much harder now’: London’s second lockdown – in pictures

  • london
  • November 26, 2020
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  • On the first day of the four-week national lockdown, I loved meeting Peter and his dog, Digby, on their morning walk through Soho. They were happy to stop and chat, manoeuvre into position for me, and share a moment before the cloud cover eradicated the shadows of Chinese lanterns dangling above an uncharacteristically empty Chinatown.⁣ Such brief encounters will last a lifetime.




  • With the comedy clubs closed, Ivor Dembina takes his standup on to London’s streets. Three jokes for a pound




  • Happy birthday balloons in an apartment window in Shad Thames, south London. Many people are keen to get a decent fix of vitamin D from the sun but then hunkering down early after nightfall at 4pm. Or just deciding to hibernate completely until it’s all over.




  • During both the first and second lockdowns, with restaurants, pubs, cafes and amenities all shut, it’s been a total nightmare to find a public toilet. The men’s public toilets near Carnaby Street were open on this Saturday night.




  • Under a railway bridge near Borough Market, a display in lights in the shape of a Remembrance Sunday poppy is reflected in a restaurant window closed due to the pandemic.




  • A corner shop remains open in Soho. I suspected deja vu could be very prevalent in my photos but actually this time was very different. It’s all so much harder now the nights are longer. ⁣I’ve sensed a calmer vibe among people, a resignation. Once again London has taken on a quiet, magnificent beauty: with less traffic and fewer people, you notice more. ⁣And there is an unspoken respect between people. We all know the drill.




  • This is from a series I’m shooting on chandeliers. Just loved the colours of this window in Surrey Square, off the Old Kent Road.




  • A pedestrian tunnel in Deptford, south London is a shelter to two homeless people.




  • A clothes rail for donated items stands inside the tunnel in Deptford.




  • Cafe Bianca in Deptford, one of the best cafes I’ve seen in adhering strictly and excellently to the lockdown restrictions.




  • With all restaurants closed except for takeaway service, chairs are stacked on tables at Casa do Frango in Southwark Street.




  • The Wok to Walk takeaway restaurant on Argyll Street was busy on Saturday 21 November.




  • Throughout the second lockdown, groups of people have gathered in their respective bubbles to socialise and spend time outdoors. This was under the National Theatre on Saturday 21 November.




  • There was more panic-buying and ludicrous amounts of toilet roll being stockpiled prior to the second lockdown. This window on Grange Walk, Bermondsey, was half-filled with loo rolls.




  • The pandemic seems to have changed our shopping habits. When many supermarkets were sold out of items at the height of the pandemic, the corner shop like this family business in south London prospered




  • During the second lockdown, people have been encouraged to continue to work from home. This lady was working on her computer in an apartment near Tower Bridge




  • Tate Britain’s winter commission, by the artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman. She has created a wonderful illuminated neon display of lights on the facade of the building in celebration of Diwali




  • An ambulance window reflected the pretty illuminations.




  • A homeless person sleeping under a balcony on Tooley Street, central London. During the first lockdown, London moved more than 4,000 homeless people into hotels. In the second lockdown, the government has been urged to revive the policy of providing emergency accommodation.




  • An overloaded shopping trolley in Iceland in Brixton. During the second lockdown there has been far less of the panic-buying that was seen in the first.




  • A person wearing a face mask looking down on to Electric Avenue in Brixton from the blue-painted Pope’s Road bridge, part of Brixton station. Lockdown 2 had to involve a bike ride to Electric Avenue, which has, along with my local Bermondsey Street, always seemed like the land that lockdown forgot.




  • Tea and biscuit break at MM Quality Halal Meat butcher’s shop in Electric Avenue. Just like in the previous lockdown, some stores can operate as normal because they are considered to be essential. I hope he changed his gloves afterwards.




  • An elderly gentleman wearing a face mask carrying a Co-op shopping bag in south London. During the second lockdown, older people have been adhering to the regulations far more than younger people.




  • Saturday night on Oxford Street and Regent Street was so busy. It seemed to be full of families taking children to see the Christmas lights. Without the stress of shopping (shops all shut), it was actually quite magical to witness. notwithstanding the ongoing horror story of Covid-19. Martina and Sara are both au pairs from Poland and were loving checking out the window displays around the West End together. This one is the window of the Kate Spade shop.