People's lockdown secrets revealed in postcards
Catherine Newman

During the latest UK lockdown, Eleanor Tattersfield decided to create a postcard project, in which people can write down their deepest, darkest lockdown secrets on anonymous blank postcards at her family's stationery shop in central London, Marby & Elm.




The initiative has become wildly popular, leading to hundreds of cards flying through the letterbox, with confessions ranging from food anecdotes to lockdown hygiene stories and even relationship revelations.

There is a mixture of happy stories and sad tales.



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One wrote: "I fell in love in lockdown." While another said: "I spent lockdown 1.0 locked up, it was the most terrifying experience of my life to date."

On one postcard, the author noted: "I was made redundant and now I feel useless."

Another person revealed: "I cheated on a Zoom quiz and regret nothing."

All kinds of lockdown secrets have emerged in the postcards.

"There's a lot about food and funny odd food habits," said Tattersfield. 

"Things that you sort of feel like you can indulge in, because we're locked away. There are hygiene things, so there's like the washing of the hair and that sort of thing and letting the leg hair grow and those things that we haven't been able to attend to as easily." 

With regard to the stories shared, both big and small, Tattersfield said she feels "enormously privileged." 

She added: "I love the idea of the anonymous." 


People have been sharing their lockdown secrets through the anonymous postcard project. /John MacDougall/AFP

People have been sharing their lockdown secrets through the anonymous postcard project. /John MacDougall/AFP


Tattersfield says that when she first started the idea, the main challenge was encouraging people to give it a go.

"I started by giving them to customers who came to the door to pick up the click-and-collect [items], explaining it to them, persuading them to post them back," she said. 

"So, the difficult thing to begin with is persuading people to do it and then as soon as you have a few coming in, then people understand the concept and it gains traction, almost immediately."

Now that the idea has taken off and postcards are flying through the stationery shop letterbox every day, Tattersfield is considering making a book or an exhibition with the private anecdotes penned by people. If that is the case, these postcards will forever act as a slice of pandemic life, showing the reality of people's emotions and experiences during such unprecedented times. 

Video editor: Jason Wright

Source(s): AFP

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