Great excitement this Monday morning in the small Shropshire town of Church Stretton, where usually the most dramatic law-breaking is perpetrated by drivers double parking in Sandford Avenue, rather than walk the extra fifty yards from the car park round the corner.
As I walked out from the Flat, I saw that the road was blocked at both ends by police cars and incident tape. Presently a fire engine and other emergency vehicles arrived. The story, as it appeared from shopkeepers, was that a suspicious package had been discovered outside the HSBC Bank, and was being treated as a potential bomb. It looked, after all, like a backpack – the kind of thing a suicide bomber might carry. Or, indeed, a walker about to go for a hike on the Long Mynd…
Which was, in the end, what it turned out to be.
Things didn’t get as far as a controlled explosion by the Bomb Squad. Still, it proved to be an opportunity for Shropshire’s emergency services to practise their major incident drill. In totally safe circumstances.
I’m guessing that the likelihood of a real IRA or Al Qaeda attack on Church Stretton is still somewhere around nil.
Report in the Shropshire Star.