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Thank You Sign in Window

I created this picture to show my appreciation for all the workers and delivery people who, no matter what, leave the protection of their homes to make sure we have everything we need. Mummy and I couldn’t have been happier in lockdown together in any other place than Port Sunlight because there is still a kind community, beautiful scenery and hardworking people who always try to put a smile on your face.

Contributed by Sarah Mannion and Elisabeth

Thank You Sign

We noticed that households around the UK had started to display handmade pictures of rainbows, thanking NHS staff and keyworkers. With Adrian being a keyworker and myself having been a keyworker in the past, we felt we wanted to show our appreciation to all these special people in another way. We had made seating for our back yardin (garden) in the past from old pallets, so we decided to make a sign with the rainbow colours, adding in clouds and the NHS sign. The sign became a talking point with locals and visitors to the village and we had many a conversation with people. It also became a focal point for our 2020 floral tribute, which was blue and white to honour all NHS and keyworkers. But this is a small contribution to those who have worked so hard throughout this pandemic. We have kept the sign out into 2021 as unfortunately COVID-19 is not going away as quickly as we would like, and we feel that all the keyworkers and NHS should not be forgotten anytime soon. With the vaccine now being rolled out, we can now see light at the end of the tunnel. This time has made us reflect on the importance of family, friends, life and would like to take this opportunity to pray of all those who have lost their lives during 2020-2021.

Contributed by Jeanette Rudock

Sunlight Stitchers

The Sunlight Stitchers, like the rest of the world, has been badly affected by the pandemic. Unable to meet as usual, face to face in Bridge Cottage, we have had to tackle the challenges of modern technology and instead meet virtually over the internet. This has enabled us to share our projects with each other, help each other out where we got stuck on something and even continue with community projects, and all safely socially distanced! During the first lockdown we knitted small hearts in pairs for hospital patients, one for the patient, one for the family, and several baby items for the maternity unit at Arrowe Park. We made lots of rainbows and hung them in our windows – one even made it into the windscreen of the bin lorry to remind our waste operatives how much we appreciate them! Over the summertime, when things relaxed a little, we were able to meet up on the grass by the museum and enjoy a coffee together, always within permitted numbers and always well-spaced apart. More recently we braved what must have been the coldest day of the year to spread a little love and cheerfulness by yarnbombing the hanging basket ‘tree’ by the museum. As spring approaches and vaccination progresses, we are hopeful that perhaps later in the year we will once again be allowed to return to Bridge Cottage. In the meantime, we keep calm and keep knitting.

Contributed by Sunlight Stitchers

BLM Sign

I often chat to neighbours about current events but because of COVID-19 that wasn’t possible. So I printed out three powerful words that were being held up around the world at that time. Pinning them onto the beam felt important to me since my house faces the Leverhulme Memorial. Around the time this house was built, Lever bought 750,000 hectares of natural palm groves in the Belgian Congo for palm oil. The use of forced labour in these plantations is now under scrutiny and his legacy re-evaluated. To what extent is this beautiful house associated with wealth generated on the backs of others suffering? I love the house and the community that live here, but I feel it’s important to ask these questions and be willing to listen to the answers. Before the Black Lives Matter movement shook the world in 2020, only Lord Leverhulme’s work as a philanthropist was discussed rather than his dealings in Africa. I look forward to the Village Trust, The Museum and the Lady Lever Art Gallery honouring the truth in the village and I hope Leverhulme Estate and Unilever look at reparations for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Contributed by Julie Beacall

First Day Of Lockdown

It was spring and we’d just been blessed with an early heatwave. Dressed for summer, I left the house for my first hour-a-day walk around my neighbourhood, Port Sunlight Village. As I tried to process the news, I quickly became distracted by the calmness in the village. It was vacant. There was not a car or person in sight, and it all felt somewhat surreal. The sound of the birds seemed louder than before and the cherry blossom appeared more vibrant. I quickly realised how lucky I felt to be spending the future months in such beautiful surroundings and to establish a new creative project.

Contributed by Scott Woolley

Allotment VE Day

The allotment experience has always played a huge part in my life, from accompanying my parents as a young child to becoming a tenant myself many years ago. As the lockdown of 2020 began, the freedom of being in such a space was instrumental to helping maintain a healthy work/life balance within the constraints put upon us. The sowing, planting and nurturing of seeds was symbolic of hope for the future. Along with cultivation, friendships too were founded on our plots and a sense of community and comradeship thrived. Our own piece of heaven where we could escape the limitations placed upon us by the pandemic. As the VE-Day celebrations drew ever closer, I thought about the similarities of that time of hardship with the present day. Once again people were coming together to offer support to those in need. I decided to mark the occasion by dressing up as a Land Army Girl on the allotment, as a tribute to this historic event. The cycle of growing is comparable with the cycle of life. Transformation happens when conditions are favourable. The growth of our community has deepened and flourished in these adverse conditions and will always be remembered as a time of togetherness.

Contributed by Judith Bond

Sunlight Unplugged

We are a workplace-based a capella choir, set up over six years ago and meeting for one hour per week. When lockdown happened, we really wanted to keep going so started running our rehearsals via Zoom as a way to keep connected and still get that hour of wellbeing through singing. But we really missed performing and connecting to others. Our amazing choir director Amy Chalmers had written a song expressing all the things we were missing. We covered ‘The Little Things’, recording our parts at home and sharing photos of what we missed, which were then brought together to create our first video. The Black Lives Matter movement really affected us, so we next covered ‘Rise Up’ to coincide with Black History Month and through this we raised over £500 for the Anthony Walker Foundation. Choir has been a beacon of light in our lockdown world, a chance to connect with our choir friends, enjoy singing and also reach out to others via our videos, who can hopefully enjoy what we are creating.

Contributed by Unilever R&D Choir

Kaleidoscopic Village Walk

Walking around the beautiful village of Port Sunlight Village on a daily basis throughout 2020 Spring lockdown was a gift. The village was so quiet compared to how it normally is, with much less traffic and visitors. At that time, all of my work as a videographer and digital motion artist was postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic and I was quite stressed about the future. Being creative isn't easy when feeling anxious but I took a one-hour walk around the village each day, mindfully taking in the details of what I saw and heard, and capturing them with my camera from unusual perspectives. I focused on the texture, shape, colours and sounds of my surroundings – walls, architecture, paving stones, pathways, trees, plants, skies, and reflections – whatever captured my interest. It was a way to distract my busy mind, finding calm and inspiration. When I got home, I enjoyed playing around with the photographs and video clips I collected, using creative digital apps to make simple abstract videos. This daily creative practice ignited so many ideas that I could take into my video and animation professional work, as well as being good for my wellbeing.

Contributed by Kirstie Henderson

Book Of Poems

Poems of the Pandemic is a poetry book I wrote during the first COVID-19 lockdown in Spring 2020. I found inspiration in isolation, and so the poems are a collection I wrote exploring themes such as isolation, grief, and ultimately, hope. Each poem is based on observations of the human side of the Coronavirus crisis. I believe the COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on trauma – whether the collective suffering from this generation-defining crisis, or personal traumas, amplified by the uniqueness of the situation. The coronavirus pandemic has acted as a global trigger-warning. It has ignited long-suppressed feelings, for many, and it would not surprise me if it caused a mental health pandemic. I hope these poems can shine a light on difficult subjects and provide both comfort and recognition of the emotional price we have all paid during this crisis.

Contributed by Anna du Noyer

Chalk Rainbow

With our group of children, we had painted a large rainbow on a window at the front of the house. But they suggested that we should put something on the wall at the back of the house too, to brighten the back entrance and to thank the refuse collectors and other key workers. They created a beautiful rainbow using chalk and were really pleased with their joint effort. Many people who were passing said they loved it.

Contributed by Anne Darby & Vicci Thompson

Dingley Dell Fairies

Having three girls to keep entertained during lockdown, we often would go on lots of walks. We spotted a little fairy tree in Eastham and decided it would be cute to do one of our own in Port Sunlight, choosing the Dell as it’s our favourite place. We made little fairy items, added painted stones, trinkets and signs around our favourite tree. More people came and added little gifts, notes for the fairies and homemade craft items. It just got bigger and more popular as more people came. We moved from the tree to a little designated area and re-named the fairy tree into Dingely Dell. We made houses from tree stumps, wooden reels were made into toadstools and lots of hanging ornaments, dreamcatchers and fairies in the trees. It just became more and more magical as every time we went more items had been added by local families. We set up a Facebook page for The Dingely Dell Fairies so people could post pictures when they visited. It meant so much to us as a family that it brought some happiness during the worrying times we found ourselves in.

Contributed by Claire Holden


My item is a flowerpot cat called Puss-in-Mask. I decided on doing a cat for the village competition, as all my flowerpots were black, so the idea of a black cat was born. I had the idea of calling it Puss-in-Boots, but I thought that during the difficult times we are going through, that a cat wearing a mask was a better representation. I enjoyed doing the cat and made his mask out of material with cats on, an exact copy of the mask I have myself.

Contributed by Sheila Lucas

NHS Thank You

Both my wife Sonia and I found the communal clapping in appreciation of the work carried out by all the front-line staff, and in particular the NHS staff, to be so emotional yet insignificant when the realisation of the task they were and still are performing puts their very lives at risk. My limited talents allow me to produce a reasonable painting and, being retired, there wasn’t much more I could contribute to making such brave peoples’ working lives any easier or safer. So I thought at least I can show our appreciation with a large rainbow and hearts representing our love of the NHS and all that they do to protect us, and do it with a passion.

Contributed by Harry and Sonia Koffman

Virtual Pub

During the initial lockdown, six friends, who have known each other for 30 years plus, decided that rather than not see each other regularly, we would meet up virtually on a Friday night. It was suggested we could take turns in selecting records to listen to in the week and then discuss them, reminisce and of course have a pint, and that's how the Goose and Growler started. Two of the regulars, myself and Craig, are both separate residents on Lower Road and one of the events we celebrated was Craig’s 50th birthday in October. It had to be done virtually due to the pandemic but we still managed to surprise him. We have regulars from Yorkshire, Liverpool, New Brighton and have had guests from places as diverse as Coventry and Dubai. It's a great way to catch up and has become almost normal now. Whenever possible we try and support local businesses and have used The Railway, The Rose and Crown, Glen Affrick Brewery and The Bow Legged Beagle, amongst many others, to source our refreshments. There have been beermats, pint glasses, t-shirts and even Christmas cards produced as souvenirs of this strange time.  

Contributed by Steve Owen

Lockdown Love Bench

The lockdown love bench was made in the first lockdown. Due to restrictions, we had to upturn all of our outside seating and after watching so many couples walking round the village we thought it would be nice for people to be able to sit and rest, take photos and make memories of the lockdown. The bench was constructed from old pub chairs and the artwork is by local artist Grant Walker. The tree of hope and wishes was made in the second lockdown. It was inspired by holidays in a small fishing village Alvor in Portugal where locals and visitors would pin ribbons and put messages to a tree on the seafront near the harbour. Being born in Port Sunlight, knowing the community spirit within it, we thought it would be good to make one for the people here. People can tie ribbons and their own messages or write a message on tags provided and we will laminate them. The responses have been great and good to read, and to see people reading what is on the tree. The tree was recycled from an old fence panel.

Contributed by Colin Gill