£46k project to tell story of Madame Abdella, elephant 'buried in Diss'
- Credit: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
The mystery surrounding two elephants apparently buried beneath a park in Diss is being brought to life by a new arts programme.
Diss Corn Hall has received a £46,400 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to develop and produce a project about the legend of Madame Abdella.
The 20-year-old Burmese elephant is believed to have died on and been buried under Fair Green in 1867, while travelling with a menagerie.
What's more, another elephant is said to have suffered an identical fate in the 1940s when another travelling circus came to town.
Now the Corn Hall, in partnership with Eastern Region Media CIC, is set to deliver a series of workshops on the fascinating tale for local schools and the wider community.
They will consist of activities including poetry writing and puppet making, as well as the creation of animation and films.
You may also want to watch:
Lee Johnson, operations manager at the hall, said: "Being awarded this money from the National Lottery Heritage Fund is a great opportunity for the communities of Fair Green, Diss and the Corn Hall to celebrate this really remarkable story.
"We really are not sure if there is an elephant under Fair Green, but this story is part of Diss folklore and what better way is there to bring the story to life with a project for all the community?"
The Corn Hall previously worked with Eastern Region Media (ERM) on Brush With the Past, which examined Diss' history at the centre of the brush-making industry.
- 1 GP surgery in special measures after inspectors find range of faults
- 2 ‘Inadequate’ private hospital closes after patients ‘put at prolonged risk of harm’
- 3 Your favourite pub, café, restaurant and hotel in Norfolk revealed
- 4 Consultation launched on plans to merge primary and secondary schools
- 5 Heartbroken parents’ appeal over final 13 hours before son’s death
- 6 7 cheap or free things to do in Norfolk this weekend
- 7 Town mayor officially welcomed in with civic ceremony
- 8 Tractor fire leads to barn blaze
- 9 Norfolk survivor of 9/11 'can still hear the screams' 20 years on
- 10 Council leaders congratulate Liz Truss on reshuffle promotion
In 2019, ERM made a short film as UEA student, Elena Damian, carried out a geophysical survey of Fair Green in search of elephant remains.
Their latest offering will feature a series of public talks and screenings at the famous Diss performance venue on subjects such as animals in captivity and the history of Victorian circuses.
Tim Edwards, who heads up ERM alongside Fiona Muller, added: "It was a natural process to work with the Corn Hall on the creation of this project, and we cannot wait to bring the story of Madame Abdella to life by working with the local community.
"We are also really excited to be back in Diss after the success with A Brush With the Past."