One of the UK’s best-known street photographers was joined by hundreds of amateur photographers between 2017-2019 in a unique social experiment to capture the spirit of some of the UK’s biggest cities in 24 hours.

Building a visual library of what Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool and Newcastle looked like in that day in history, the A Day In The Life experiment compiled thousands of images of the people and places that made those bustling cities tick – from buskers to office workers, students, skateboarders, OAPs, tourists, and many more.

But as we entered 2020, life as we knew it was about to change…

As the Coronavirus pandemic swept across the world, the UK officially entered lockdown on March 23rd 2020. 

Millions of people were now working from home, furloughed from jobs or made redundant; non-essential businesses were forced to close their doors to customers and public travel was limited. 

Our cities and streets had become ghost towns. 

As lockdown measures begin to ease, our cities will see people return — but what type of ‘new normal’ awaits us? 

Photographer, Mark Waugh, took to the streets of Manchester once more to capture life as the city’s bars and restaurants reopen on what was known as Super Saturday, 4th July 2020. 

Today this library provides a stark reminder of what our cities looked like before and after lockdown. View the ‘before’ and ‘after’ images of these cities, available for free use, here:



The experiment has huge poignance today. Describing why it was created in the first place, event organiser, Ian Cowley of Cartridge Save, explained: “The project was created because we recognised the potential to capture pictures that would last for years to come, as a snapshot of the city on that particular day. 

“Life is fast, nowhere more so than in cities. That’s what made A Day In The Life so appealing – we were taking moments in time and freezing them. Little did we imagine that only a few months later, life in cities would be put on pause.”

Super Saturday in Manchester Market Street
Super Saturday in Manchester Affleck’s Palace mosaic murals






Super Saturday in Manchester pubs busy in the Northern Quarter
Glasgow Busker
Street performing down Church Street

Cardiff Brexit Protest

Jumping down the River Tyne, Quayside

Historic floating harbour Bristol city centre