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Caring bakery sponsors book about the famous “Belper Moo”

Caring bakery sponsors book about the famous “Belper Moo”

A bakery which moo-ved the community during lockdown has helped immortalise a Derbyshire town’s quirky daily ritual in a book.


The Belper Moo features a funny rhyming tale penned by local writer Carol Brewer all about the daily ‘moo’ practised by Belper residents during the three Covid-19 lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.

Illustrated by Mair Perkins, the book has been produced with the help of sponsorship by Project D, a Derby-based bakery whose own contribution during the first lockdown was to deliver eggs, flour and yeast because of the general shortage of bakery supplies.

The company went on to make dough-nations of ingredients to the city’s food banks and gave away more than 10,000 doughnuts to NHS and emergency services staff across the county.

The ‘moo’ took place in Belper every evening at 6.30pm during the lockdowns and saw residents take part quite simply by mooing loudly. Soon, an infectious ingenious spirit kicked in and a variety of amplification devices such as ‘MooMoozelas, DidgeriMoos and Megamoophones’ began to feature.

Poems, painted rocks, tapestries, garden sculptures and colouring sheets were produced along the theme, while local Octogenarian singer Bill Gordon joined in the fun by repurposing some classic hits with a cow theme.

Fleet Arts, a Belper based community arts organisation, organised an initiative allowing local people to produce stop motion ‘moovies’, which were screened at Belper’s local independent cinema. Competitions were held for achievements such as the longest continual moo, and the loudest.

The aim of the daily moo was simply to raise spirits during the dark lockdown days when the virus was sweeping through the UK. Becoming a symbol of hope, it attracted considerable media attention, was featured on BBC Breakfast, and was praised by the likes of comic Russell Howard. TV presenter Jeremy Vine even joined in on one occasion.

Although Project D has become a national company, it is still very much in touch with its local community, never more so than during the pandemic.

It dough-nated 5,000 eggs to the city’s food bank during the first lockdown and throughout 2020 the company donated more than 10,000 doughnuts to staff at the Royal Derby Hospital, Derbyshire Police, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue and staff and residents of city care homes as a thank you for their good work.

Most recently, Project D has donated doughnuts to staff delivering Covid-19 vaccines in the city.

Project D co-founder Jacob Watts said:

“We were really pleased to be able to sponsor this excellent book. Everyone at Project D had to think quickly to stay on our feet during the virus and it was fabulous that the residents of Belper thought about what they could do to keep people’s spirits up.

“Both the Belper Moo and Project D doughnuts helped provide a little bit of positivity during such a bleak time. We’ve even got our own poem in the book, and we love to think our own lockdown journey has been immortalised in print.”

By turns funny and moving, the 20-page book also features pictures of mooing maestros in action, taken by award winning photographer Tony Fisher, of Riddings.

Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to The Mental Health Foundation. The book can be purchased online from the Belper Fringe website, the Belper Moo Facebook page: @thebelpermoo and Carol’s own website It costs £5 (plus postage and packing) with free delivery to all DE56 areas.

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