November 24 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, June 1, 2014
An action packed afternoon of events is to take place in Diss today to commemorate World War One - including a guest appearance from a star of TV show ‘Allo ‘Allo.
Richard Gibson, who played Gestapo officer Herr Flick in the hit BBC series, will be appearing in the Market Place today where he will read Arthur Machen’s story The Bowmen, which may have led to the so-called Angel of Mons legend that angels helped British troops fighting the Germans at Mons.
A Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will also be making a flypast as one of a number of entertainments being arranged by the town’s museum for the afternoon, called Over The Top.
The Norwich Early Dance Group will perform in the Market Place from 2pm on the theme of the vanished England swept away by the world war, featuring dances mentioned in Thomas Hardy’s novels.
Drama groups will also be in attendance dressed in Edwardian costume, with the public also encouraged to dress up.
There will be a recruiting tent where prospective Tommies can have their medical and take the King’s shilling, or risk getting a white feather from stern Edwardian ladies.
Mr Gibson, who also starred in the films The Go-Between and England Made Me, will make his appearance at 3pm.
Period teas will be served on the church lawn by staff from Fairchild’s Tea Rooms, in St Nicholas Street.
The museum will be open, with the Family History Society in attendance to give advice on wartime research.
World War One and airships are featured strongly in the museum displays and the Camera Club will make a photographic record of the day.
There will be an art exhibition on a first world war theme, at the back of the church, by Diss High School pupils.
Basil Abbott, manager of Diss Museum, said he was able to arrange Mr Gibson’s visit as he knew him from having appeared in plays with him, including Cymbeline at The Minack outdoor theatre in Cornwall.
He added the museum had received funding to stage the day from a variety of sources, including the Diss Community Partnership and South Norfolk Council.