Looking Back: The Amulet
The building of Shepton Mallet’s Amulet in the early 1970s was closely followed by the Shepton Mallet Journal. This week for Looking Back the Journal has pieced together a few snippets from stories it published around the time of planning and construction.
In 1973, drinks millionaire Francis Showering unveiled his ambitious new town centre project – suitably named The Centre. All financed by his own wallet, the ambitious proposals included plans for ten shops, a supermarket, public hall and museum. Such a modernising development was opposed by only four of 140 at a local vote.
Mr Showering had Shepton’s interests at heart, promising not just to retain the town’s character but to enhance it.
Mr Beckerleg, urban council clerk, welcomed the businessman warmly, stating: “We shall sell the site to him as I know he is only interested in doing something which is right for Shepton.”
Despite the scheme’s costs rapidly escalating from the forecast £750,000 to £1,250,000, Mr Showering vowed there would be no corner cutting or reduction in the quality of the development.
Once building had commenced, we reported: “Shepton is changing – growing. There’s an air of determination about the place to make it a town that will not only be a centre of local government, but an important shopping and industrial town in its own right.”
Part of the development went on to become what is now known as the Amulet, named after the infamous ‘ancient’ amulet of Shepton Mallet.