Making masks from knicker elastic, telling Groucho Marx jokes, sharing ‘worship workout’ YouTube clips, cooking Bali-style on Zoom, trampolining for charity and recording a song a day are among the ways people have been coping with the Covid crisis.
Such pandemic adventures are revealed in a new A-Z called Lockdown: Lexicon & Legacy. More than 400 copies have already been sold by publisher Revd Robert Davies, an MMHS resident. And he’s considering a reprint.
Bob had already written an A-Z of football as fanzine articles for his favourite club Wrexham. ‘I always thought I’d love to do an A-Z of something else,’ he said. ‘I got this inspiration – why not about lockdown?’
He knew many people with stories. Some folk wrote prayers, others stories – such as church bells silenced for the first time since World War II. There were ripping yarns like a father creating ‘cuddlesticks’ with gloves mounted on long poles. There was a simple gift of flowers for a couple who felt alone.
Bob’s granddaughter Emily created the cover, son Peter wrote the foreword, son Martin and grandson Leo both contributed to the book. Although Bob saw it as an A-Z of lockdown, a friend told him he had made a document of our time.
North Wales born and bred, Bob felt drawn to Methodist ministry at an early age: ‘I was influenced by parents, Sunday school teachers, youth leaders and ministers’. He attended Hartley Victoria College, Manchester, at age 20 in the early 60s.
Ordained at 26, Bob’s Circuit ministry included 17 years in Buxton where his publishing ventures started. He was a prison chaplain for many years. On retirement, he sought the Society’s assistance for a home, and was shown a property at Oldham in 2009.
‘The house needed a lot doing to it,’ Bob laughed. ‘I made a list. Straightaway MMHS said, “We’re going to do a lot more than that”…the Society were excellent.’
The irony is that Bob’s football A-Z still hasn’t become a book. He’s busy helping others tell their stories. ‘It’s something that absorbs me,’ said Bob, whose interview appears in full in the Winter 2020 edition of Roof ‘n’ Roots. (Pictured are Bob and his granddaughter Emily with a copy of his lockdown book. Photo: Peter Wooding)