Search

Do tell ‘em! How Dad’s Army Museum has given Thetford a valuable tourism boost as it opens for its 10th year

PUBLISHED: 21:12 18 March 2017 | UPDATED: 21:12 18 March 2017

The Dad's Army Museum in Thetford is now open for the 2017 season. 
Captain Mainwaring (Mick Whitman) is ready to welcome visitors to the museum. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

The Dad's Army Museum in Thetford is now open for the 2017 season. Captain Mainwaring (Mick Whitman) is ready to welcome visitors to the museum. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

©archant2017

For fans, it is a fitting tribute to one of the nation’s best-loved television shows.

The Dad's Army Museum in Thetford is now open for the 2017 season. 
Museum visitors Clint and Carol Stevenson.
 Picture: NICK BUTCHERThe Dad's Army Museum in Thetford is now open for the 2017 season. Museum visitors Clint and Carol Stevenson. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

But as it opened its doors for its 10th season this weekend, the Dad’s Army Museum has not only kept the memory of the comedy classic alive but provided a valuable tourism boost to the Norfolk town which is the show’s natural home.

With the BBC hit largely filmed in the Thetford area during the 1960s and 70s, the town seemed a perfect location for a museum when it first opened in 2007.

MORE: About Dad’s Army and its links to Thetford

Stuart Wright, chairman of the museum in Cage Lane, Thetford, said at first organisers thought they would mainly get interest from the older generation who remember the show from its original broadcasts.

The Dad's Army Museum in Thetford is now open for the 2017 season. Museum visitor Philip Sharpe in period costume with his Austin 7. Picture: NICK BUTCHERThe Dad's Army Museum in Thetford is now open for the 2017 season. Museum visitor Philip Sharpe in period costume with his Austin 7. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

But as the programme is often repeated on BBC Two, Mr Wright said: “We now have new generations of fans coming through.

“We suddenly realised we would have something here that would bring visitors to Thetford.”

The show gained even more popularity when a modern film version of the show starring Billy Nighy and Toby Jones was launched last year.

It provided an extra boost to the museum, which was featured on The One Show and later went on to welcome 10,000 visitors last year.

The Dad's Army Museum in Thetford is now open for the 2017 season.
 Christine Sanderson in the tearoom. 

Picture: NICK BUTCHERThe Dad's Army Museum in Thetford is now open for the 2017 season. Christine Sanderson in the tearoom. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

“We have got worldwide appeal,” added Mr Wright, who has seen visitors travel from across oceans to Thetford just to see the museum.

“It seems to be pulling people in and it has been lovely to give Thetford a shot in the arm for its tourism.

“Thetford has got so much to offer. It’s the Dad’s Army hook that brings them into the town. Once we’ve got them here, they realise the wealth of heritage we have in the town.”

Volunteers are hoping to attract a record number of visitors this year, with a new exhibition in tribute to writer Jimmy Perry – who supported the museum before he died in 2016.

The Dad's Army Museum in Thetford is now open for the 2017 season. 
Rita Aho and Denise Jones in the tearoom.

 Picture: NICK BUTCHERThe Dad's Army Museum in Thetford is now open for the 2017 season. Rita Aho and Denise Jones in the tearoom. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

MORE: What’s in the Dad’s Army Museum in 2017

The museum’s organisers are planning to hold events to mark the 10th anniversary later this year, including a 1940s dance. It is also looking at holding Dad’s Army-themed breaks at the town’s Thomas Paine Hotel.

For more information about the museum, email dadsarmythetford@googlemail.com

The Dad's Army Museum in Thetford is now open for the 2017 season.
 Museum volunteers are ready to welcolme visitors to the Norfolk based attraction.

 Picture: NICK BUTCHERThe Dad's Army Museum in Thetford is now open for the 2017 season. Museum volunteers are ready to welcolme visitors to the Norfolk based attraction. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Diss Mercury visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Diss Mercury staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Diss Mercury account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other news

Yesterday, 16:22

A brick was thrown through the window of a train on the Norwich to London line as it left Diss station this morning.

Yesterday, 13:40

The region’s ambulance service has more than doubled its spend on private ambulances in just one year, new figures reveal.

Yesterday, 12:18

A carers’ organisation has suggested family carers in Norfolk need to keep up-to-date with technology to make caring easier.

Yesterday, 11:03

The region’s mental health trust has topped the list for the number of referrals to treat children and young people it turns away.

Most Read

Mon, 14:50

Staff from a bookies saved the life of a pensioner punter from Norfolk who collapsed in a diabetic coma and was alone at home for four days.

Read more
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
Yesterday, 16:22

A brick was thrown through the window of a train on the Norwich to London line as it left Diss station this morning.

Read more
Norwich
Monday, January 11, 2016

It is famed for being the longest- running strike in British history.

And now the story of the Burston School Strike, fuelled by the sacking of two loved teachers, will be told on the big screen.

Read more
Anglican Church
Yesterday, 13:40

The region’s ambulance service has more than doubled its spend on private ambulances in just one year, new figures reveal.

Read more
Monday, September 11, 2017

A woman destroyed the home of a 96-year-old man who had died by setting fire to it after a burglary, leaving his family “devastated”.

Read more
Norwich Crown Court

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 10°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Diss Mercury e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter