Diss museum hails funding success
DISS Museum is celebrating yet another successful funding bid with £6,625 for its Tom Paine Festival. The Awards For All grant will enable the museum to commemorate the bicentenary of the death of Paine, who worked as a staymaker in Cock (Denmark) Street and went on to world fame in the late 1700s.
DISS Museum is celebrating yet another successful funding bid with £6,625 for its Tom Paine Festival.
The Awards For All grant will enable the museum to commemorate the bicentenary of the death of Paine, who worked as a staymaker in Cock (Denmark) Street and went on
to world fame in the late
He wrote the three best-selling works of the 18th century - Common Sense, Rights of Man and The Age of Reason - and was a huge influence on modern society.
The festival will begin on November 7 when TV and radio comedian Mark Steel, described as “the funniest Marxist since Groucho”, comes to Diss Corn Hall.
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On January 10 storyteller Hugh Lupton comes to the UR Church with his presentation of The Liberty Tree, a history of dissent from Robin Hood to Tom Paine.
There will be a day devoted to 18th century underwear and a rollicking 18th century evening. A debate will give the audience the chance to decide whether Paine was a great man or not. Eighteenth century tapestries and food, a museum display, a concert/ceilidh by Horses
Brawl and dancing at the Mere's mouth by the Norwich Early Dance Group will add to the
American War of Independence re-enactors will visit the town, as well as Peter Clarke, author of The Lefties Guide to Britain, who will lead a tour of Radical Diss.
Music includes Burgate Singers performing Tippett's A Child of Our Time; and folk-rock band The Men They Couldn't Hang, whose song The Colours mentions Paine.
There will be free transport to Thetford for its bicentenary weekend celebrations early in June 2009.
A film and CD are being made, along with a booklet, postcard packs, bookmarks and other memorabilia.
Museum manager Basil Abbott said: “Diss has a good record for cultural projects. Having celebrated John Skelton and John Betjeman, Tom Paine was the obvious next one.”
He said there would be a printed programme nearer the time, or phone Diss Museum on (01379) 650618 for more details. Tickets will be available in Diss Library and Tourist Information Centre in due course.