This weekend we would normally be holding Collett Festival in our lovely park. You can guarantee the weather will be good as we are not holding it due to the ongoing restrictions on public gatherings. I thought I would say a bit about John Kyte Collett, after whom the park is named. We are fortunate to have a benefactor with a past we can be proud of.

The land the park is built on belonged to John Kyte Collett who was born in Longbridge House in Cowl Street. His Father died when he was very young and his Mother started a grocery business to support the family. Legend has it that John, as a child, was evicted from private land behind Langthorne House, which many of you will know better as St Paul’s Junior School, and young John Collett vowed one day to make sure the children of Shepton Mallet had somewhere to play. The family moved to Cardiff and became successful grocers which gave John the finances to buy fields plot by plot in Shepton and on June 20th 1906 he officially handed the land to the town.

That’s your potted history lesson for this week! Collett Festival will return next year to those wonderful 13 acres of park, that thanks to one man, we are lucky to have as the centre piece of our town.

People have been asking several of us on the council when The Friday Market will return and we have been assured that it will be back very soon. Although we haven’t yet got a date for you, as soon as we know something concrete it will be announced. It is important to many people and to the cafés in town and has been sorely missed.

Talking of cafes, I’m off for coffee as I’m Zoom-meetinged out (that’s a new word not liked by spell check!) and in great need of a caffeine fix.

Although the weather has been slightly cooler for a few days, Somerset Prepared have some helpful advice on how to stay safe and well during the holiday season – http://www.somersetprepared.org.uk/are-you-weather-ready/. Check it out to make sure you are ‘Weather Ready’.

Edric Hobbs, Chair, Shepton Mallet Town Council