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Lockdown Resources

Lockdown Resources

We will be using this page to share useful resources to help you keep informed and stimulated during lockdown

The governments current guidance and support

Coronavirus (COVID‑19)



At this time of lockdown and social distancing, we are unable to get out and enjoy first hand, galleries, concerts and the cinema. We therefore have to resort to the written word, by way of books, magazines, newspapers, electronic devices, such as Kindle.

Radio and television are also useful alternatives, but from time to time we are dragged into the real world by news bulletins.

I have always been interested in nostalgia and social history. My life memories of the 1947 winter and the Festival of Britain in 1951, are still fresh in my mind, so for me, comparing the sights, sounds and attitudes with those of today are of interest.

So, amongst the myriad of channels on our televisions, I came across Talking Pictures TV Freeview Channel 81, which has been operational for 5 years.

Its content is wide ranging, from old footage of places and events, to film of variety acts and dance bands of the 30’s and 40’s, under the collective title of Glimpses.

It also shows films, second features, and some which I missed because; at the time they had A,AA or H certificates, which barred my admission. Also of interest are old TV series such as Rumpole, and the drama series Armchair Theatre. At the time of writing they are repeating the half hour films, Robin Hood (Richard Greene), William Tell (Conrad Phillips) and Sir Francis Drake (Terence Morgan)

The programme schedule can be found in most listings, or in the guide on your TV.

Cliff Hind



The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam


This world-famous and very beautiful museum building is best known for housing a huge collection of Dutch paintings, prints and drawings.  However, it also has an extensive collection of sculpture, applied arts, artefacts and furniture from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. There are a variety of sources for online ‘visitors’:


Feel like trying your hand as a Dutch master?

On You Tube go to RijksCreative –  for a selection of entertaining and short (20 minute) films on to paint/draw in the style of …. Eg Rembrandt, Vermeer.


A quick walk through the museum to get an overview?  (20 mins)

You Tube: go to ‘Amsterdam’s Best Art Museum, The Rijksmuseum’.    This is a camera tour with spoken commentary.  The museum is packed with visitors, so it does remind you of life before lockdown!


A detailed tour of eight of the most famous paintings?

Google ‘Rijksmuseum virtual tour’ (

Select ‘Masterpieces Up Close’ – an excellent audio tour of eight paintings including ‘The Jewish Bride’ and the most famous possession in the museum, ‘The Night Watch’.  You guide yourself around rather like on G Maps, and point at the picture to find out more information.  Unlike in real life, there are no other tourists getting in the way and you can sit and enjoy each painting for as long as you like….


A look at the rest of the museum?       then select ‘Explore Rijksstudio’ – this will allow you to explore a wide range of the museum’s possessions including furniture and sculpture.

 The Sistine Chapel in all its glory. 

click here


A Trip to Salisbury Cathedral





In lieu of a real trip, we can do a three –D visual tour of a wonderful cathedral – no need to get on a coach.   The cathedral is around 800 years old, and has the largest Close in the UK, with several historical buildings and museums including the home of the late Prime Minister, Edward Heath.  It is also famous for its connection with Magna Carta.


The virtual tour covers much of the cathedral including its contemporary art exhibition. We obtain a splendid view, including of the ceiling and stained glass windows.  We can even see the café – and imagine having a coffee there!  You can put the tour into ‘play mode’ but I found that went a bit fast, it’s easier to click on each shot in turn and take your time.  By holding the mouse down, you can tilt the shot around to obtain 3D, and even swing upwards to see the ceiling – much better than all that neck straining.  There are some magnificent hammer beams.

Find this tour at the tab ‘Spirit and Endeavour Virtual Art Tour’



In addition, the website has a life-cam link to the nest of four peregrine falcons chicks that have a nest on the tower!   The cathedral is very proud of its feathered guests.  There are two live cams, the first is muted and the second is exactly the same but with sound – ie the wind whistling!   When I looked the chicks were sound asleep, and looked very cute and fluffy. But when mum brings home something tasty they all wake up and show their wild side….

Find the birds under the tab on first page ‘Peregrine Falcons’.


The National Theatre on Youtube

 For us the one bright spot in this dreary episode is the chance to watch some first-rate theatre productions streamed by the National Theatre on Youtube absolutely free!
They’re only available for one week at a time, but so far we’ve seen plays as varied as One Man Two Guvnors, Frankenstein, Twelfth Night, James Graham’s This House and Coriolanus from the Donmar Warehouse. This week they’re showing a superb production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream from the Bridge Theatre in the City of London. I didn’t think a new ‘take’ on this was possible but somehow they’ve managed it by reversing the roles of Titania and Oberon, so it’s Oberon who’s tricked into falling in love with an ass – and it’s actually very funny (which Shakespeare’s comedies so often aren’t.) It’s on till Thursday, after which it’s back to the National itself for Helen McCrory in Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea.
Also on Youtube I can recommend Andrew Scott in a half-hour monologue The Wall. And there are productions from other theatres including Shakespeare’s Globe. (We watched The Two Noble Kinsmen, directed by Barrie Rutter, another gem!)
For members who don’t read the Guardian (it’s free online) there’s a regular update on their culture page of theatre productions available on Youtube and other websites.
Maggie Pearson

National Theatre at Home

The Guardian Culture Page


The Arts Society Connected

The Arts Society has launched a new “free lockdown program aimed at the over 70s” (Guardian). The education charity’s new online platform, will broadcast lectures, films and live A&As.




What have we been watching on television during lockdown?

Well, to be quite honest, I have had enough of cookery shows, antique shows and shows where people make something peculiar from rubbish they pick up at the tip and very smug men making fitted wardrobes and cupboards.

Can someone tell me if Michael Portillo and David Harper of Bargain Hunt share a tailor as one seems to wear the bright and weird coloured jackets and the other the trousers?  Then there are the quiz shows, how do they pick the contestants for these programmes as some of the answers given are beyond belief.  However, all is not doom and gloom.  I have been watching Seagull and Monkman on Monday evenings, these two manage to make history interesting, then on Tuesday at 9.00pm there is the interesting programme on the house in Bristol going through the history of the house through the ages.  My husband, on one his flicking through the channel moments, discovered the Smithsonian channel which has some very interesting programmes.

Now for something different, why not travel from your sofa, armchair, bed or wherever you fancy to various sites around the world.  I have listed some of the places I would love to visit but know that I will never get the chance to do.


  1. Take a virtual tour of Petra, known as The Rose City in Jordan – in your search engine type Google Street View Treks Petra. You will be able to have a 360 view of Petra.
  2. Tour the Taj Mahal by typing Google Street View Treks Taj Mahal
  • Whilst in India don’t miss The Red Fort – Google Street View The Red Fort
  1. Now go a bit further on your world tour by taking a tour of The Great Wall of China –
  2. Why not visit Peru – go to Machupicchu – just type
  3. The go to Brazil –

Enjoy your travels and remember no passport required and definitely no lost luggage!

Barbara Burn


If you have discovered anything during this time of change that you think other members would find interesting please send details to

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