Lockdown Inspiration with Chippenham Museum

7th January 2021 / Museum blog

As we find ourselves in lockdown at the start of 2021, lets look to our growing Covid Collection for ideas to stay safe, well and entertained. Since the start of the pandemic Chippenham’s community and businesses have donated items that represent their experiences during Covid-19. We’re still documenting our town’s response to this time in history, if you’d like to add to the collection please get in touch by emailing heritage@chippenham.gov.uk

There’s lots here to keep you busy, including learning a new skill or boosting your Chippenham knowledge to impress your friends on your next Zoom call!

But most importantly, keep safe and well. Its OK to not be OK in these times, and there’s help out there including the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub  and Wiltshire Minds’ Five Ways to Wellbeing.

We can’t wait to welcome you back.

The Museum Team


Virtually Visit a Museum

Our Covid Collection was displayed in exhibition ‘The New Normal – Collecting Covid’, which we opened in October and appropriately closed during November for the second lockdown. You can still visit virtually with the 360° tours above. If you have a VR viewer and search for Chippenham Museum in the Google Street View app you can even visit in virtual reality!

There’s an amazing array of exhibitions available to visit online. You could start with walking around the British Museum  or stay local with a trip to Bristol Museum & Art Gallery  or Wiltshire Museum.


painting of two children on a sofa, one is reading a book
Image: Inside by Mike Wilson, painted during the first Covid-19 lockdown, 2020

 Home School Help

With schools closed, teaching and learning at home begins again. We have several activities to hopefully help with those history lessons. Our downloadable resources shine a local focus on the Anglo-Saxons, Brunel and World War II.


painting of a garden
Image: Lockdown retreat by Keith Bennett, painted during the first Covid-19 lockdown, 2020

Get Outdoors
Chippenham has many beautiful walking and cycling routes, with the River Avon or open fields within reach for many of us. Why not explore the great outdoors and combine it with a hobby such as photography or watercolour to document what you see? Visit Watercolour World here to discover how the local landscape looked a century ago compared to now.


empty egg box and bag of flour
Image: Flour bag and egg box, used during the first Covid-19 lockdown, 2020

Get Creative in the Kitchen
During the first lockdown we all baked for Britain, so much so that flour and yeast became hard to find. Why not give that sourdough a go, or try some of the 1940s recipes featured in our VE day celebration blog.


rainbow nhs painting, multi coloured crochet hearts and painted rocks
Image: Rainbows created during the first Covid-19 lockdown, 2020

Look for Rainbows

During the first lockdown we painted, knitted and crafted rainbows. Why not show your continued support for all the keyworkers out there by making a new rainbow? This time try a different technique, maybe crochet, playdoh or even lego. The bigger and bolder the better!


Video: Museum team’s musical tribute to volunteers, visitors and key workers, April 2020

Have Fun!
Do something silly that makes you smile. Why not get dressed up and dance around your living room like no one is watching! Perhaps taking inspiration from our Rick Astley tribute filmed at the start of the lockdown!  Keeping with the 80s theme, view our online Goldiggers exhibition and watch the Goldiggers documentary produced by Wiltshire College students. You could also put your local knowledge to the test with our Chippenham Pubs Quiz, 30 questions with 50 points up for grabs!


drawing of sewing machine and other craft materials
Image: My Covid-19 Table by Terry Ford, painted during the first Covid-19 lockdown, 2020

Learn a New Skill
We were all really good at trying out new skills during the first lockdown, but how many of us have kept them up? Why not see if you can stick with it, finish that dress you started making or that showstopper cake you never got round to baking.  Creatives can find inspiration in our Spotlight On Vlog Series where we meet local artists in their studios. Crafters will enjoy this 1940s turban video tutorial filmed by Coupon Couture for Chippenham’s Virtual VE Day Celebration.


bottles of hand sanitiser, face masks and shop signage
Images: Hand sanitizer bottles, face mask and shop signs used during 2020

Hands! Face! Space!
And finally don’t forget to stay safe if you do head out. Remember to wear a face covering, stay two metres apart and wash your hands, reusing or recycling our hand sanitiser bottles as we go!