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Coping With Lockdown

Poem: A Lockdown Birthday

Such a thoughtful community celebration it turned out to be!



Well I’d dreaded it but had to deal with it, my special needs daughter Lauren was going to turn 30 in lockdown. We’d had to cancel any party plans or meals out with family, it was going to be just us… or was it!

I’d got balloons already so very early one morning, a few days before, I popped balloons and a note through the doors of people in my road just asking if they hang them outside on her birthday… fingers crossed. Then I took to social media and asked if anyone was passing could they hoot and wave whilst we sat outside having afternoon tea.

Well, it still brings tears remembering it, the community spirit in our street and our town is amazing. Almost every house had hung up the balloons and gone even further by putting up banners and Happy Birthday signs. As we walked down the road to look, neighbours came out to wave, sing and give her cards and gifts, she was over whelmed.

She’d just about calmed down when the noise began, car after car decorated with flags, signs, balloons and whatever people had, started to drive past until the road was almost blocked. It was truly amazing, balloons arrived from shops in town who’d seen my post, cards signed by workers in shops in town, flowers and chocolates from total strangers and people who know Lauren from her volunteering in Basic charity shop.

She had the biggest smile I’ve ever seen and friends were wiping tear streamed faces.
A big birthday in lockdown, all with social distancing, shared with a community. A birthday made very memorable and one she’ll never forget.

Here’s a little poem I wrote for the occasion:

A Lockdown Birthday

We’d planned to have a party

We’d written out a list,

Of family and her special friends

So no one would be missed.

We’d sorted out a venue

A buffet full of food,

Music right for dancing

To get all in birthday mood.

Then suddenly the virus came

And stole away our plan.

So how to make it special

With help I know we can.

We put balloons through neighbours doors 

Attached a little note,

Then on to social media

A little plea I wrote.

The morning came, I rose at dawn

As quiet as a mouse,

I opened all the banners

To decorate the house.

She woke, her eyes a little blurred

Her face a little sad,

Would this birthday be forgotten

I felt for her so bad.

I said that we should take a stroll

Around the neighbourhood,

Reluctantly she got her shoes

I hoped this would be good.

As she opened up the door

And took a step outside,

Her face lit up so brightly

I think I could have cried.

For almost every single house

Had banners and balloons,

Signs with Happy Birthday

Their gardens were festooned.

And as we walked, they came outside 

And shouted out her name

I’ll never look at this whole road

Ever quite the same.

Then neighbours brought our cream tea out 

And on her chair she sat

And people passed and left her cards 

Flowers, things like that.

Then cars began to hoot their horns 

As people drove on by

Waving, cheering, singing

And she began to cry.

Cars with flags and bunting

Balloons all flying high,

As people from all over town

Gave a special day drive by.

Friends drove down from out of town 

To see her on this day,

To make this Lockdown Birthday 

The best in every way.

A birthday to remember

Turning 30 and to get

Such love from friends and family, 

It’s one she won’t forget.

Copyright (c) 2020 Penny Parker

Coping With Lockdown

A Lockdown Wedding in Felixstowe



When we heard about Annette and John, we just fell in love with them and couldn’t wait to share their story with you all. Here’s Annette to tell the tale of how their love story started…

John and I met quite by chance on the Felixstowe prom last year. We both used to walk the prom on our own every day and for several months we would just say hi and pass the time of day as we passed by each other going in opposite directions. 

One day towards the end of August, as I joined the prom from the bottom of Bent Hill, John was walking in the same direction. That day, we had our walk together, and found that we had plenty in common and the same sense of humour. At the end of the walk, we arranged to meet up the following day for another walk together, and as they say, the rest is history!

We began spending time together on a daily basis and love very soon blossomed for both of us (although John maintains that for him it was love at first sight!).

By the end of October John had proposed, although by then I think we both knew it was a foregone conclusion.

We had planned to marry on the 28th May at St John’s Church with Reverend Andrew Dotchin officiating, but that was of course prior to Covid19 and the lockdown, and our plans (along with many other people’s plans) had to be put on hold.

However, Reverend Dotchin came up with a lovely idea so that we could still mark the proposed date of the 28th May, by having a socially distanced Betrothal Service. This is an unofficial ceremony in which one makes a promise to marry at a future date. We had a lovely day which could almost be described as a dress rehearsal for the real thing. The ceremony was held in my sister Jo’s garden, and she did us proud with her efforts of decorating the garden in the appropriate colour scheme which was absolutely magical.

Obviously, we have been avidly watching the news for information on when weddings would be allowed to resume after lockdown, and we are very glad to say that we got married officially this morning at St. John’s Church at 11.30am. We were beyond excited! 😍😍

Because of the Betrothal Service which took place in May, we already have a gorgeous collection of photos.

A big thank you for the photos must to to our good friend Fran Comer who did a wonderful job of being the official photographer.

Annette and John

On behalf of us all at The Felixstowe Magazine, HUGE congratulations to Annette and John… your story is adorable and you’re a truly lovely couple! x

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Coping With Lockdown

Doing Her “Handmade” Part to Help Key Workers



It’s been such a pleasure to see so many articles come in from local people doing their part to make a difference. Though lockdown is going through the process of lifting, we’d still like to continue to shine a light on these local gems. This article is by the lovely local lady, Bev Lambert…

During lockdown I have been making various sewing items. I have donated 242 face coverings to people/key workers in my community. I have since been selling these to the wider community.  I have been making a number of little bears ‘(as below) which have been donated to many people within my community just to bring a smile on a face.  I have also donated some of the below pocket pillows which I make to sell. 

My sewing page can be found on Facebook/Twitter & Instagram “Berty Lamb Handmade“.  I make various items using my sewing and embroidery machines. 

I am also the founder of Over the Rainbow Children’s Charity, a charity to support local children across Suffolk who are living with a life limiting or serious illness, by providing specialist equipment to help day to day living.  The charity is run 100% by volunteers. I also made this large key worker hanger and raised £100.00 through a silent auction. I donated the £100.00 to Captain Tom Moore’s JustGiving page.  The winner if the auction was Glebe House Residential Home in Hollesley.  I have donated various sewn items to Glebe House including some lavender filled hearts which I initialled with each of the residents first names.  The staff all received a Ginger Ginger key fobs, including care staff, kitchen staff, maintenance staff etc all key fobs were relevant to the jobs they did within the home. 

Thank you to all the key workers, charities and local people out there. We’ve been in this together and it’s be an honour to be part of the positivity.

Bev Lambert

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Coping With Lockdown

Local Bin Man & Son Spread Happiness



I live in Felixstowe and am a key worker in Ipswich for the local council working as a bin man. I used to go out every Thursday at 8pm with my stepson so he could clap and beep the horn in my recovery truck. 

I have been on the front line all the time whilst this has all been going on and it has been nice to get letters and pictures from local children in Ipswich to show their appreciate for us bin men. It’s a very hard and physical job but is rewarding when we get little gestures like that from the kids so I just wanted to do this with my stepson every Thursday to show our appreciation too. 


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