Covid-19 Archive

Podcast script - Sunday, June 14, 2020

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Good Morning Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise it’s Sunday 14th June and this is Adrian Dale with the final podcast of the emergency in this Parish. I chose that music as it sums up the way that the people of Chelson-cum-Cawcud have worked together throughout this storm. And for the rainbow of hope which was the symbol of support for the NHS.

We started this journey with no idea of what was going on. On that Friday night when the Prime Minister closed the pubs, and then the churches, our lives were turned on their heads. Nothing made sense. We all wondered, surely things weren’t that bad. Aren’t we over reacting?

But oh yes they were that bad and oh no we weren’t overreacting. Over 50,000 deaths later and we know just how bad things were. On that night, the virus was already embedded in all parts of the United Kingdom, being carried around by people not showing symptoms. We just didn’t know it.

And we had our scares. Eight households in this Village have suffered from the virus. I was devastated by each one and I can only hope that they felt supported as we held those virtual hands together. Several others have had to lock themselves away for over 3 months, shielding from the virus. We didn’t forget them, and still won’t as long as they continue to shield.

I said at the start of this emergency that no one would have to face this crisis alone and I meant it. But this community has delivered more support than I could ever have hoped for.

Volunteers have stepped forward to help those isolating and I must say thank you all. I am sure I will miss someone out if they’ve been kept quiet, so I’m sorry to have failed you!

Thanks must go to Vicky Austin, Sam Mace, Rachael Maywood, Jennie Ranson, and Candy Thornton-Scott, who have worked week in, week out to do shopping and pick up prescriptions for households who were isolating.

And thank you of course to Chris, Elaine, Michael and Amanda for our tulip bonanza during the emergency. Those tulips brought joy to those self isolating and to everyone who bought them on VE Day and in the competition.

Carol Parsons, Tricia Buckman and Jenny Harwood from the Events Team have been keeping spirits up and I’m thrilled that Liz Potter and Pete Rawlins have stepped forward to help for the future.

Then there was Sarah Stopps with her book swap stall at the end of Water Lane, and all those who donated puzzles to the puzzle library. Saturday night quizzes have been great fun but must have involved lots of hard work from Mike and Rachael Maywood. Thanks to you both.

We’ve had other people doing great community work throughout the emergency. Vanessa and Bob, Clinton, Jack and Leighton at Chelston Rise, Vicky and Martyn in the lay-by. All have been working hard to smarten up the place in which we live.

And people like Ray Knight, Cuffy and Michael Farrow have kept doing what they’ve always done, unfazed by the crazy world outside, just doing their bit.

The ministry team from the Church stepped up to the mark very quickly indeed, with a service broadcast on the Sunday after the Churches closed. Michelle and Brenda have been relentless in their wish to connect with everyone who needed support and comfort. And you’ll have heard the voices of Lesley McCormack, Linda Bond and Paul Needle as they’ve put the broadcasts together. Please be reassured that these online services will continue and that I will be helping them with publication every week.

And then we have the rest of us. Joining in, giving the positive feedback, oiling the wheels, making contributions. What a great place to live!

But whilst many of the Village were working from home or furloughed, we mustn’t forget those key workers from the NHS, the emergency services and the supply chain who had to keep going to work. Joann Card was our inside track at Asda early on during the shop shortages. Her daily intelligence was invaluable. At the start of the epidemic, many of these key workers were quite rightly worried for their health. Some of these did indeed catch the virus and were very poorly with it. It was such a relief once they pulled through.

I felt quite guilty. I had the freedom to be out in the open air all day, doing what I always do. Yes I had many hours each day working on the emergency but realistically that gave me the freedom to live my life almost as normal, so I really can’t complain. As for shortages, again I was very lucky, my beer ran out twiceand so I had to switch to a stronger brew for lunch. Hardship indeed!

Actually, the hardest part for me has been not seeing relatives for so long. My family, Lynne’s and Helen’s all live within a few miles of each other in the Midlands. It normally makes family visiting easy, but they might as well be on the other side of the world as I haven’t risked a journey up there. None of them are in good health and have been shielding as much as practical. So I am not going to risk breaking into their shielding bubble just yet. I’m sure many of you are facing the same dilemmas. Modern communications technologies have undoubtedly helped us, but it isn’t the same as meeting in person.

These podcasts have been the surprise hit of the epidemic, particularly for those who were shielding. Peggy and Rosemary have both commented that it helpful to have this window on life outside their houses, a voice from outside coming inside, when no-one else could visit them.

We have many people listening to these podcasts from outside the Village. They have all commented how good it has been to listen in and to be a fly on the wall as a community pulled together. They’ve even enjoyed hearing about our local characters and the history of this great place.

It has actually been a privilege to share some of the Village history with you. We moved here in 1987, but showed no interest whatsoever in the Village until our children were born in the mid 1990s. It was then that I first met Aitch when he did some building work for us in Duchy Close. He used to delight in telling me stories of the Village when he was growing up.

Mark Hunter of course has formalised our history on the Parish web site. It is a fantastic resource, and hopefully unfinished business. The more we can learn about the place we live, the more grounded in it we can be.

Although we are winding down the formal side of the emergency provision, I hope it isn’t the end of the community spirit we’ve built. So many new connections have been made between families from all parts of the Village. I cannot leave the house now without bumping into someone I have met through this emergency. Over the years Village connections have served us well, and these new ones are some of the positive outcomes from the ordeal that we have been through.

And wasn’t yesterday’s competition a great way to bring our emergency to a close. The weather was just fantastic – how does Michelle do it eh? It was lovely to see so many households out and about with a little more freedom to walk the Village. I even saw some of the families who are shielding out and about in their cars. I can’t tell you how nice it was to see them again.

Even Elliot joined in the fun yesterday. We’d had a chat early in the week about the competition and he said he’d come in costume for the day. It was great to see him in a photo next to Lucy’s tribute to him. He also took advantage of the walk-in Covid-19 test at Rachael’s house.

Pete the Worzel Rawlins was the inspiration for yesterday’s competition and he did us all proud, going out round the Village on Allis his tractor all day yesterday. There were some great photos with the kids. He’s had a really tough week getting her going but it was worth it in the end. So I hope you all got chance to meet the latest of our Village characters, who will now be joining the ranks of Aitch, Cuffy, Andy and Pong in the history of the Village.

So there we have it folks. This phase of the Emergency is now formally over for the people of Chelson-cum-Cawcud. We’ve emerged a stronger Village, and hopefully a wiser Village, understanding what is really important in life, family, friends and hopefully good neighbours. Long may that continue.

And thank you to for listening to the end.

But where is the result of the scarecrow competition, I hear you say, go to the newsletter folks. You can’t describe a winner in a podcast, so I’ve put pictures of the winner and runners up in the newsletter.

Bye for now