Coronavirus: Locals in 'crazy' Derbyshire town moo like cows to relieve lockdown misery

Residents use range of home-made contraptions to amplify nightly chorus of cries

Harry Cockburn
Monday 13 April 2020 11:04 BST
Locals in 'crazy' town moo out of their windows to relieve lockdown misery

It was a cold bright day in April, and the clocks were striking 6.30pm. As though possessed by a collective mania, the residents of the Derbyshire town of Belper threw back their heads and began to moo like cattle…

Though it sounds unlikely, this scene has become reality in lockdown Britain in 2020.

Every afternoon at the allotted time, “hundreds” of people in Belper have broken the silence of the coronavirus lockdown to channel the plaintive cries of incarcerated livestock.

The bizarre ritual is the creation of local man Jasper Ward, who told BBC Radio 5 Live the bovine bellowing had made staying at home “a little bit more bearable”.

“The crazy people of this town have taken to it like cows to grass,” he said.

Mr Ward said he expected the project to last for a few days and would end with him being “ridiculed on social media”.

The opposite has happened.

Jaw-dropping video reveals supermarket workers using microphones to announce that they are about to commence mooing, and inviting shoppers to join in.

“We’re three weeks in and at six thirty there’s a chorus of moos,” said Mr Ward – who is now assuredly a hero in his hometown.

A twitter page has even been created cataloguing the caterwauling citizens of Belper – many of whom are using additional rudimentary contrivances to amplify their guttural calls.

According to the BBC, one resident, Isabel Kennedy, “has mooed since day one”.

She told the broadcaster: “It’s a great way to get the community together – be part of something in these crazy and weird times. It’s the highlight of my day.”

The last time Belper made international news was in 2001 after the town rejected the gift of a large fibreglass Mr Potato Head model from the US city of Pawtucket – which Belper is twinned with.

At the time, Belper residents described the sculpture as “hideous”. Despite their protestations, the statue was refurbished and eventually arrived in the town in 2015, though opinion is apparently still divided.

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