As we draw breath after our experience of Covid-19 and hope that normality will return to our Island, it is perhaps worth reviewing how we all
managed to stumble through what has been probably the greatest threat to our Nation since World War 2, and certainly the greatest test for our
Island and its people. To that end, I commend to you a series of Tales put together by residents in Chillerton under the title of
Chillerton and Gatcombe Parish Pump, in which ordinary people have recorded their thoughts,
fears, and anxieties throughout the lockdown.
Reading the stories makes me understand how little it all affected my family in Niton and how very lucky I have been. With my elderly mother living with us in her Granny Flat and my work setting up the Crab Niton Ops Room, I was happily back in my old world. I had selfishly found the reason 'to be' again. As the Ops staff settled in, I think we all found it all rather stimulating, what with new faces and friendships and responsibilities and all with a sense of apprehension mixed with a pleasure in being able to actively help others. The reality never hit our villages, thankfully, but reading some of the Pump Tales puts it all into a very different light. It is a fascinating document and will become an important part of local history, to be reread by the children of contributors when they remember their great grandparents to their own grandchildren. A sort of "And this is what we did in the Lockdown of 2020".
To those children, as they grow up, mature and age, their means of information transmission will make our enthusiastic, yet careful, grasping of Zoom seem as dated as the post boy carrying notes in a forked stick, and their interpretation of, for example, my instructions to our team on the use of such a media tool will appear somewhat naive and entirely unnecessary. However, to us, the Zoom tool became as vital as our mobile phone, although in 50 years, that will no doubt be seen as a mechanical dinosaur, perhaps replaced by a 'thought screen' loaded into one's left or right ear with messages being transmitted to and from the associated nerve and the brain, with letters, pictures and words being merely transcribed by thoughts and not by slow, painted and worn fingers. Ah, the soul shudders at such advances!
Thus, in order for history to be written, not 'thought screened', by those that lived it and not by those who later researched it, I would urge other Town and Parish Councils to send their own memories and thoughts of their Covid-19 lockdown to Jill Webster to be included in the Web Page so that it might ultimately grow, evolve and become the Island's view of the Pandemic of 2020 and our own little bit of local history.
Stay well, until the next one!
John Boileau Goad
(Niton & Whitwell Parish Council)
Chillerton & Gatcombe Parish Council Pump July 2020
Crab Niton activity report July 2020
Brading Buzz Summer 2020