Letter from behind the camera

POSTED ON June 2, 2021

How one video turned into an ongoing collection shot over thirteen months. A guest blog from local film-maker Jim Sheach.

On Tuesday the 9th of April 2020 I decided to bolt my GoPro to the bike handlebars and set off for a cycle around central Edinburgh.

My plan was to capture the impact of lockdown on the city “before things get back to normal”. I couldn’t have imagined when I cycled along a deserted Princes Street and Royal Mile that over a year later things wouldn’t be “back to normal”.


That first video developed into a project to capture life in Edinburgh during the COVID pandemic. The videos include travelling along the main thoroughfares of Edinburgh deserted of traffic, pedestrians and with most shops, pubs and other facilities closed.

The series records the opening up of society in summer 2020 before the second wave forced Lockdown 2 across Scotland in December. Here’s Edinburgh in August – 2020 Style!

And Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2020 Style! demonstrates the impact of COVID on Edinburgh’s tourism industry.

2021 saw the gradual easing of restrictions, including sport without fans in the stadia with the streets around Murrayfield deserted for the Scotland v Wales six nations match in February. The snow on the ground made it all the more desolate.

Hairdressers, non essential shops and finally hospitality reopened. The 26th April was a cold damp drizzly day but that wasn’t going to deter people from having their first drink outside in the rain:

While the streets may be busier and much of the economy reopened as we move into June, Edinburgh is certainly not “back to normal” so I’ll keep adding videos to the 46 already published on my Coronavirus Lockdown 2020-21 Playlist on YouTube.

Jim Sheach.

You can follow Jim and keep up to date with his continuing adventures documenting Scotland’s capital city during these unusual times on his Twitter account or by subscribing to his YouTube channel.
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