Derbyshire town’s quirky lockdown ritual moo-ves into a new chapter

A quirky ritual which began in Belper to ward off stress, loneliness and boredom during lockdown stars in a new book.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 8:11 am

The Belper Moo united residents who mooed like cows for two minutes every night. The habit went viral and moo-ved people in India, America and Australia to follow Derbyshire’s lead.

Now this amazing story is back in the spotlight as the town prepares to launch a book about it on Sunday, June 13.

Jasper Ward, who has a teaching background, founded The Belper Moo after finding the technique worked on schoolchildren confined to the classroom in wet or bad weather. In the book, he shares the story behind the ritual and the Moo milestones that occurred throughout the entire lockdown.

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Carol Brewer with The Belper Moo! book.

The Belper Moo! book was instigated by Carol Brewer whose poem appears in it. Carol said: “The poem, originally written for children, was created in response to this unique event that brought a lot of happiness, laughter, unity and for some, real respite from the loneliness of isolation. This simple idea linked generations, connected communities and forged friendships.”

Pictures of mooing maestros in action, taken by award winning photographer Tony Fisher, of Riddings, are in the 20-page book which is illustrated by award winning Derby based creative artist and animator Mair Perkins.

Project D, the Derby based doughnut bakery team, has sponsored the book and will be central to Sunday’s launch with a pop-up shop and moo inspired treats.

The first copies of the book will be available on June 13 outside No28, Belper Market Place, from 10am to 3pm where Carol Brewer will man the Moo book stall. Ten of the books for sale that day will also at random, have a special ticket inside too, to win a Moo-inspired prize.

From June 14 onwards, the book can then be purchased online from the Belper Fringe website www.belperfringe.org, the Belper Moo Facebook page:

@thebelpermoo and Carol’s own website www.pencilpoised.com The book is available at £5 (plus postage and packing) with free delivery to all DE56 areas.

Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to The Mental Health Foundation. Carol, who is based in Belper, said: “The pandemic and lockdown have been the cause of much grief, sadness and heartache for so many. An unprecedented situation such as this is likely to take its toll on mental health and well being for a long time to come. The simplicity of the Moo was the triumph of human spirit in real adversity, from a grey and uncertain time, both literally and metaphorically, to a time of brightness, happiness, togetherness. We hope, with the creation of the book, the benefits of The Belper Moo continue to contribute to community well being in a practical way.”

The Moo story doesn’t end there…..plans are now in the pipeline to hold an annual Belper Moo Day.

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