Descendant of the man who built Diss Corn Hall to hold celebratory concert in the town

PUBLISHED: 11:00 19 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:00 19 January 2018

Ann Ward, celebrating her 100th birthday in November. Picture: The Royal British Legion Diss branch

Ann Ward, celebrating her 100th birthday in November. Picture: The Royal British Legion Diss branch


It is one of the most historic buildings in Diss and the centrepiece of the town’s Heritage Triangle regeneration project.

A photo of Diss Corn Hall from 1968. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARYA photo of Diss Corn Hall from 1968. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

And now the great granddaughter of the man who built it is inviting residents of the town to join her in celebrating a landmark birthday - raising money for the town and the Royal British Legion in the process.

Ann Ward, the great granddaughter of Thomas Lombe Taylor, the man who commissioned the Corn Hall in 1854, turned 100 years old in November 2017.

To celebrate Mrs Ward’s birthday and in remembrance of her father John Lombe Taylor, who passed away in 2016, Sue Taylor - Mrs Ward’s niece and also a descendant of Thomas Lombe Taylor - is organising a classical music concert in St Mary’s Church.

Ms Taylor’s family have a long history of throwing charitable concerts in Diss.

In 1854, when Thomas Lombe Taylor - then known as Lord of the Diss Manor - officially opened the newly-built Corn Hall, he did so with a grand concert in aid of the families of soldiers fighting in the Crimean War.

More than 160 years later, his relatives will be doing the same.

From 2.30pm on Saturday, January 20 classical musician Charlotte Tomlinson will be introducing and performing some of Mrs Ward’s favourite classical pieces, including works by Bach, Schubert, Chopin and Debussy, in St Mary’s Church, Diss.

When asked why she had decided to organise the concert Ms Taylor, 64, said: “My family has such a long history in Diss and has had a big influence on town.”

“Growing up it was always lovely coming to Diss and it meant so much to my father.”

When asked what her aunt thought of the newly-redesigned Corn Hall and Heritage Triangle, Ms Taylor said: “She thinks it’s wonderful and hopes it will help Diss blossom.”

The concert will take place in St Mary’s Church, in Market Hill, Diss on Saturday, January 20.

Entry costs £10 and includes tea, cakes and cucumber sandwiches.

The proceeds of the concert will be shared amongst St Mary’s Church, The Royal British Legion - an organisation Mrs Ward has been a life-long member of - and Diss Museum.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Diss Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Diss Mercury