Swanage reflects one year on since the start of lockdown

As part of the National Day of Reflection, a minute’s silence will be held at 12 noon and in the evening, buildings across the UK will be lit up in yellow, including The Mowlem in Swanage, to remember those who have died during the pandemic.

Tuesday 23rd March 2021 marks one year since the country responded to the coronavirus pandemic by entering lockdown for the first time.


Help those who are grieving

Supported by the charity, Marie Curie and many other organisations, people are being asked to take a moment, not only to remember those who are no longer with us but also to help those who are grieving.

Alongside the minute’s silence, residents are being encouraged if they wish, to place daffodils in their windows and light a candle at 8 pm.

“This is our chance to reflect”

Swanage Town Mayor, Mike Bonfield said:

“March 23rd 2020, the start of lockdown, is a date that will always be remembered. Today, one year later, March 23rd 2021, we look back over one of the most trying years many of us have ever experienced.

“The charity, Marie Curie backed by the government, is asking us to use our time today to reflect on the past year. A minute’s silence at 12 noon and a collaborative lighting of our doorsteps in the evening.

“This is our chance to reflect, remembering those that are no longer with us and their families, remembering all those that have been extremely stretched working in such difficult times, remembering all the volunteers that have supported others in so many ways and remembering all those that have worked so hard in ensuring that we have been able to have food on our tables.

“Thank you does not seem sufficient but I know that you will all join with me in thanking each and everyone for all they have done.

“The best way we can help and support is to make sure that we all do everything we can to keep Covid at bay. Please carry on following the guidelines and help all of those who have helped us over the past year.”

Daffodils on window sill

The pandemic has had a huge impact on Dorset

Over the last 12 months, the pandemic has had a huge impact on Dorset. Despite the number of cases being lower than the national average, a report by the Director of Public Health Dorset, Sam Crowe, lists these sobering statistics for the Dorset Council and the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council areas:

  • 36,193 people tested positive for Covid-19 (and possibly many more before community testing introduced)
  • 1,364 people died within 28 days of a positive test result
  • 365 incidents and outbreaks affecting education settings
  • 588 incidents and outbreaks in our care homes
  • Outbreaks in all three of our major hospitals
  • 40 outbreaks in other healthcare settings

Within days a whole army of volunteers were offering to get shopping and pick up prescriptions

When it was clear that the most vulnerable in our community would have to shield from Covid, mutual aid support groups to help those staying at home, quickly sprung up across the country and Swanage was no exception.

Laura Rowan, inspired by friends in Gloucestershire, set up the Swanage Community Coronavirus Response Group and within days a whole army of volunteers were offering to get shopping and pick up prescriptions for their neighbours. Despite the best efforts, Swanage has not been untouched by coronavirus. Laura Rowan said:

“Each death brought about by this pandemic is a tragic loss, and sadly Swanage has not been without its own losses this year.

“On this day of reflection, I am sure the community joins me in reaching out to those who have been bereaved this year – as it has done throughout this tough year – and stands with them in solidarity as they grieve and remember their loved ones.

“I will place my daffodils, with their hopeful yellow colours, in my window for them.”

The Mowlem lit up in yellow

The Mowlem to shine like a beacon of hope

In the evening, prominent buildings and landmarks across towns and cities will be lit up in yellow for remembrance and to shine like a beacon of hope.

These include the London Eye, the Royal Albert Hall, Blackpool Tower, Belfast City Hall, Colmer’s Hill near Bridport, the Twin Sails Bridge in Poole, the Jubilee Clocktower in Weymouth and The Mowlem in Swanage.

Matthew Haysom on behalf of the trustees and staff of The Mowlem said:

“This has been a difficult year for so many. The least we can do is to bring some light to the seafront as local people reflect on the crisis we’ve all been through. Hopefully in the coming months, we can light up the stage again and we’ll all be in a happier place.”

Further information

To find out more about the National Day of Reflection visit the Marie Curie website

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