On Monday 23 March – the first day of UK lockdown – the Parliamentary Archives received the devastating news that a much-loved and long-standing colleague, Simon Gough, had died at the weekend. Simon’s knowledge of the contents of our repository – the Victoria Tower – was unrivalled and his fascination with our plan collection was well-known amongst staff and researchers alike.
It hit us all hard and was a cruel start to our new working from home regime, unable to be together to comfort each other or to attend his funeral a few weeks later. To his family, to celebrate Simon’s life, I sent a small mosaic star. Having picked up my mosaic nippers again I then started out on a personal lockdown project and so, at the end of each working day, I turned off my work laptop – now residing in my living room – and set out to create 41 mosaic stars, one for each of my colleagues, no two the same, being as distinct in character as they all are themselves.
The very nature of a mosaic is that it comprises individual tesserae (e.g. small pieces of glass or tile) brought together to form a whole. Hanging the starts together symbolised that whilst we were apart in person we were together in spirit.
By Annie Pinder, Office Manager, Parliamentary Archives
Thank you to AfL member Annie Pinder for her contribution