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Diss Carnival to honour flamboyant character with new trophy

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:49 04 April 2019

Peter Gillings was a familiar sight at Diss Carnival and a new trophy for the most flamboyant entrant in the carnival procession is to honour his memory. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Peter Gillings was a familiar sight at Diss Carnival and a new trophy for the most flamboyant entrant in the carnival procession is to honour his memory. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2016

Diss Carnival is adding a new trophy to the carnival procession award categories this summer in honour of the late Pete Gillings.

The Diss Carnival 2019 parade will again be headed by Peter Gillings' iconic PG2 number-plated car with his daughter Toni at the wheel. Picture: Denise BradleyThe Diss Carnival 2019 parade will again be headed by Peter Gillings' iconic PG2 number-plated car with his daughter Toni at the wheel. Picture: Denise Bradley

Mr Gillings, often known as PG, was a central figure in the town parade, his iconic PG2 number-plated car leading the parade.

In obligatory Union Jack waistcoat and bowler hat he was a familiar and much-loved sight as he chauffered the many Carnival Kings, Queens, Town Mayors and even Dinsdale Duck through the town over the years.

Mr Gillings, who ran Gillings of Diss Ltd junkyard, died last October aged 69 after a three-and-a-half year battle with colon cancer.

Peter Gillings who died last October is being honoured with a new Diss Carnival trophy for the most flamboyant entrant in the carnival procession. Picture: Diss Town CouncilPeter Gillings who died last October is being honoured with a new Diss Carnival trophy for the most flamboyant entrant in the carnival procession. Picture: Diss Town Council

An Honoured Citizen of Diss as well as a Freeman of London, Mr Gillings moved to the town with his parents in 1962, when he was 14.

“The Pete Gillings Trophy” will be awarded to the most flamboyant entrant in the carnival procession.

Claire Keen, vice-chairman of Diss Carnival Committee, said: “The committee is very aware that this year’s carnival will not be the same without Pete, and want to make sure that his contribution to Diss Carnival is remembered and honoured, not only this year, but for years to come.

Diss Carnival 2019 will again draw thousands on to the town streets on June 9. Picture: Denise BradleyDiss Carnival 2019 will again draw thousands on to the town streets on June 9. Picture: Denise Bradley

“We like to think that the category of “most flamboyant entrant” will encourage others to enter into the same zany and outrageous spirit that Pete Gillings was loved for.

“In addition, we can also confirm that, after a meeting with Toni Gillings, Pete’s daughter, who has kindly given her approval for our new trophy, we will also be hoping to have Pete’s car once again leading this year’s parade, with Toni at the wheel.

“And we will also be raising monies for Pete’s chosen charities, in a move that we and his family agree Pete would find amusing - Diss Funeral Care will be supplying a rainbow-coloured, balloon-filled hearse for the parade.”

Carnival revellers will be asked to guess the number of balloons in the car with all monies being split between the EACH hospice at Quidenham and Cancer Research.

This year’s carnival will be taking place on June 9 with a pun-laden theme — Pre-Diss-Toric — so expect plenty of dinosaur and cavemen themed costumes.

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