A Norfolk town’s residents and businesses are being called on to show their support for the Royal Anglian regiment when they receive the freedom of the town.

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The November 7 date for the regiment to parade through Diss town centre is fast approaching and the town’s mayor Graham Minshull said he hoped shops and businesses would get into the spirit by hanging out the red, white and blue bunting and Union flags.

A signing ceremony will take place beforehand for the Freedom honour to be bestowed and the troops, who returned from Afghanistan two weeks ago, will then march through Mere Street, which will be closed to traffic, to the Market Place where the mayor will give a welcoming speech and Canon Tony Billett, rector of Diss, will read a blessing.

The procession will then head to the town’s Corn Hall for a civic reception with a host of dignitaries including Richard Bacon, MP for south Norfolk and Richard Jewson, Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk.

Mr Minshull said he was expecting a large crowd from across Norfolk to attend the procession.

South Norfolk Council-owned public car parks in the town centre will be providing free parking and Mr Minshull said a “collapsing cordon” would be set up whereby spectators watching the parade would be able to follow on behind the troops after they have passed.

No vehicles will be allowed in the town centre between 8am and 4pm.

Mr Minshull said: “We want to send a message out to all the folks in the town to come out on the day and support our troops. Hopefully, businesses will consider decorating their shops to honour all the troops who have been in Afghanistan.”

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