Letters of Lockdown

Welcome to the Time Travel Club’s version of ‘Letters of Lockdown’. We would like you to contribute to our project by writing your own letters in response to the archive documents and your experiences of lockdown.

These special letters from The National Archives’ collection cover the themes of separation, kindness, strength and hope. We will provide an image of the real letter as well as background information about it with letter-writing prompts to help inspire your own writing.

Letters can be a wonderful way of connecting with people you miss, whilst you cannot see them so easily. Imagine the sound of a letter dropping through the door, or the excitement of opening your letterbox to find something inside.

How to participate

Read and be inspired by our examples of letters from the collection.

Using our letter-writing prompts, write a letter to a family member, friend or anyone you like! It could even be a letter to The National Archives, telling us about your experiences of lockdown/Covid-19.

Take a photo of your letter and email it to us using the contact address: withlove@nationalarchives.gov.uk.

Please do not include any identifying information about yourself in your letter. Please only include your first name and age.

Please refer to this page for full terms and conditions, and information on how your data will be used in accordance with GDPR.

Submissions which meet our criteria will have the opportunity to be featured in a selection of letters in our online resources.

We look forward to seeing how these letters from many years ago can inspire your creativity and communication today.

Noor Khan was a British secret agent for SOE (Special Operations Executive) during the Second World War.

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) was a South African anti-apartheid political leader.

This letter was written by Princess Elizabeth (later to become Elizabeth I) to her sister Mary I.

This is one of many letters sent by staff of the Great Western Railway Audit office at Paddington who had enlisted to fight in the First World War.