This weekend is the anniversary of the end of hostilities in World War Two, as the Japanese surrendered after the dropping of two Atomic bombs. The death toll from these actions was over 200.000. The Blitz killed in excess of 40.000 and the fire-bombing of Dresden killed about 25.000. One hopes we never see an atomic detonation again as we could see the end of civilization as we know it. The book On The Beach by Nevil Shute, written during the cold war, chronicles the aftermath of a fictional war in depressing detail. We need to remember the loss of all lives from hostilities, both service personnel and the civilian casualties from all actions. Many people get displaced by war, Syrians seeking a better life in Europe, the Vietnamese boat people escaping hostilities to name a couple. My father-in-law escaped the advance of the Russians in Europe and came to England after the war from Latvia. He never saw many of his family again. The same will be said of many people fleeing war zones to seek a better life and sanctuary in a friendly country.

On a lighter note, it is National Allotment Week so no doubt, whilst glad of the warm weather, the allotment holders will probably want some rain! This year’s best allotments will be judged by Tristan Faith and Chris Inchley as they have green fingers – mine only have cycle grease on them – so I delegated to people with greater knowledge!

In other news, Shepton Mallet Football Club had their stand-naming draw – we didn’t win that sadly but we were pulled from the hat to be Sponsors at the game against Clevedon Town. I will endeavour to represent The Council at that one and sit in one of the seats we sponsor.

Continuing the sporting theme, I have had an update from parkrun regarding a framework for starting again. When we do come back, we will be trying to social distance and be moving the start and finishes to discourage crowding. As soon as we hear more I will let you all know. It’s been a long time, over 20 weeks now, since the last one. I definitely need to run more as I did a charity hilly run for Brain Tumour support last week and it was hard work!

Finally, a reminder that the deadline to apply to the town council for a donation of up to £2K is 01 September. This is open to any community group, charity or organisation to use in a way that benefits local residents. This can be anything from a couple of hundred pounds to pay for a day out, to £2K for a new piece of equipment. If anyone has any doubt about whether they are eligible to apply, do contact our town council office and look at the information on our website: https://sheptonmallet-tc.gov.uk/community-grants/

On that note, I’m off for a run as it’s just cooling down enough to go out!

Edric Hobbs Chair Shepton Mallet Town Council.