Collecting UWL’s Covid-19 memories

UWL archives NEED YOUR HELP to record the experiences of students and staff during the Covid-19 pandemic

UWL Archives

The situation has had an impact on all our lives and we need your stories to record what life has been like during lockdown. Future generations will look back at the pandemic as a key point in history so collecting records of our experiences will be crucial to help people understand how we have all lived through these past few months.

CC. Philafrenzy

We welcome anything that you have created/collected relating to the pandemic. You may have taken photos during your daily exercise around Ealing or your own local area; perhaps you created video diaries of your studies from home, or were inspired to record musical compositions or performances. We are also interested in collecting physical artworks, social distancing notices or messages of support for key workers hung in windows. Whatever it is, we encourage you to send it to us in order to create an archive of Covid-19 memories.

We are particularly keen to focus on the following areas for collecting:

  • How the physical spaces at UWL and the surrounding area have been transformed from busy and bustling to quiet and eerie;
  • The effects on students and staff working in the NHS and social care;
  • How students have reacted to and coped with the changes of moving learning online;
  • The changes to ways of working for staff including the challenges of working from home

Please contact for further information about this project. Any material donated will be safely stored by UWL Archives indefinitely and will be available to researchers of the future. Donations containing sensitive personal information are subject to the Data Protection Act 2018.


Spotlight on the archive: London College of Music student and piano teacher Mona Blackman

Within the archives of the London College of Music (LCM), there exists a file of papers and photos dedicated to Miss Mona Blackman. These include LCM certificates for Pianoforte playing, notices of examinations, compulsory diploma papers, diploma examination result slips, photos of Miss Blackman and articles relating to Mona’s long service working on the buses as a ‘clippie’ (female conductor or ticket taker on a bus).


Mona Grace Perrin Blackman was said to have travelled some 750,000 miles in her career running one of the strictest buses in the South East. With a keen love of buses Miss Blackman joined a private bus company, Southdown, in Sussex in 1942 at age 21. But a few years’ later men returning from war service wanted their jobs back, while the women had been employed on a temporary basis. Miss Blackman applied to four different bus companies but only London Transport were interested in employing conductoresses so she moved to WATFORD.


Miss Blackman was the last of the clippies at London Country’s Garston bus garage. In 1979 London Country changed to one man buses and Miss Blackman was moved ‘inside’ onto administrative duties. On retiring and in celebration of her long service Miss Blackman took an old fashioned route master double decker from Hemel Hempstead to London and back, surprising many passengers along the way. Mona enjoyed her job and was recognised for her achievements, in 1970 receiving the Road Operator’s Safety Council Diploma for “Freedom from Accidents of a blameworthy Character whilst serving as Conductor of a Passenger Road Vehicle”.

In the 1940s and 50s, Mona sat many examinations in Pianoforte playing for LCM as well as Trinity College of Music London, receiving certificates of merit for her talents. Mona also taught Piano to diploma standard at LCM and continued to do so after retirement from the buses.







Following retirement Mona continued to enjoy her love of music and ‘growing dahlia’s’. The Mona Blackman bursary was established in her memory and is kindly supported by the Estate of Mona Blackman. The Bursary is awarded to an outstanding classical music student at the London College of Music.



UWL Archives

UWL Archives contains historical collections relating to the history of UWL as well as the Heathrow Archive.

The archive is based on the third floor of the Paul Hamlyn library at the Ealing Campus. Visits are arranged by appointment only, please contact the archivist in advance using the contact details on our web page: