Radstock honours unsung heroes with Make a Difference award
An award night has celebrated the generous contribution community-spirited Radstock residents make to keeping the town looking its very best.
The main Make a Difference award was given to a man who for the past 25 years has voluntarily dedicated his time to creating and watering the town's hanging baskets.
John Chiswell, 67, can be spotted twice a day during the summer drenching the floral displays, which have won the town top marks at the annual In Bloom gardening competitions on numerous occasions.
Mr Chiswell, who retired from his duties this year, said: "Watering the stand and the baskets gives me a chance to really express myself, like a work of art. I'm glad people like them."
Stella and Les Yarde, who are in their 90s, were rewarded for their dedication to supporting people in the town.
Over the past 60 years the couple have worked with the community through Radstock Baptist Church by visiting people in need of cheering up with flowers from the church.
Radstock Town Council staged the awards for the first time to celebrate those who make a big contribution to the community.
Chair Lesley Mansell said the idea for the awards had come to her one sleepless night and developed into something which had seen numerous entries from local people eager to express their thanks to the unsung heroes that glue the community together.
She added: "I was thinking about what makes Radstock unique. We all know about its geography but more importantly it is the people who live here who do what they can to make this a community."
The evening also celebrated recent success at South West In Bloom, where green- fingered residents beat competition from Dartmouth to win gold and the overall champions cup.
Ms Mansell said it was a huge success for a town once described in its coal mining heyday as "an ugly little place". This year's entry celebrated the 40th anniversary of the closure of the last mine in the Somerset coalfield.
To congratulate the gardening team, the National Union of Mineworkers sent a special plate to display alongside the gardening competition silverware.