Our Lovely Essex: it’s time to draw the feature to a close and remember those we have lost to the pandemic

Back in April, in response to the Covid-19 lockdown, we asked the people of our extraordinary county to send us images and thoughts of what made Essex so special to them.
The idea was to dream and share memories of happier times that we knew would ultimately return once that troubled period came to an end… our spirits needed lifting.
We called the feature Our Lovely Essex and the response was almost overwhelming. Not only did you demonstrate how stunningly beautiful Essex is – as if we needed any reminding! – but we discovered the astonishing range of talent that resides in this most glorious of counties.
The struggle is not yet over, but we do appear to be moving out of lockdown and it is time to bring the feature to an end. So thank you to all who have contributed to Our Lovely Essex!
Uplifting though the feature was, we must never forget that this awful virus has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people across the world. We commiserate with all who have lost friends or family. As such, it seems fitting that the final picture, taken about a month ago by 85-year-old Gordon Ridgewell, captures a field of poppies.
Although originally symbolising remembrance of those who fell during the First World War, for many the poppy flowers as a tribute to those we have lost across a wider spectrum. We remember them.
Of the picture itself, Gordon tells us: “As I was allowed out today, I strayed over the border into South Cambridgeshire and, driving round the lanes near Whittlesford, I found this field of poppies.”
And we’re glad you did, Gordon!