Award for Diss Museum

A Norfolk museum manager said he is 'over the moon' to have scooped a top prize at an awards ceremony known as the Oscars of the museum world.Diss Museum stood shoulder to shoulder with the likes of the National Maritime Museum and the British Library to take home the accolade for the Best Project on a Limited Budget at the Museums and Heritage Awards for Excellence.

A Norfolk museum manager said he is 'over the moon' to have scooped a top prize at an awards ceremony known as the Oscars of the museum world.

Diss Museum stood shoulder to shoulder with the likes of the National Maritime Museum and the British Library to take home the accolade for the Best Project on a Limited Budget at the Museums and Heritage Awards for Excellence.

Museum manager Basil Abbott collected the award at The Church House, in Westminster, London, last Wednesday for its Tom Paine Festival.

'We're over the moon. It was a wonderful night for the museum,' said Mr Abbott. 'We've built up a good reputation over the years so this will increase that and raise our profile further.'


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The award-winning festival commemorated the bicentenary of the death of Thomas Paine who worked as a staymaker in Cock Street, now Denmark Street, in the 1760s. He went on to write the three best selling works of the 18th century including Rights of Man.

Opened by comedian Mark Steel, the festival featured talks, tours, concerts, dance, film, re-enactments and a debate. Awards for All provided �6,625 for the project which attracted 2,000 people and raised �2,300 for the museum.

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The museum previously won an East of England Market Towns award for its Skelton Festival in 2004, which celebrated the life of Tudor poet laureate and Diss rector John Skelton.

Next year it hopes to devise a programme commemorating Thomas Manning - an intrepid Victorian traveller who trekked across the Himalayas and was the first to meet the Dalai Lama.

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