In pictures: Crowds line streets of Diss to salute homecoming heroes from Royal Anglian Regiment
15:18 07 November 2012
Scores of people lined the streets in Diss this afternoon as they showed their support for troops recently returned from Afghanistan.
Up to 150 members of the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment received the freedom of the town as part of one of five parades for the regiment, which returned home last month.
Led by a regimental band, the men paraded through the bunting-lined streets to the Market Place where Diss mayor Graham Minshull gave a speech and Canon Tony Billett, rector of Diss, read a blessing.
The troops then continued to the top of St Nicholas Street for a reception at the Corn Hall.
Lance Corporal Peter Howell, of the 1st Battalion, said it was nice to see so many people show their support for the men.
“It makes a lot of difference to morale to see the people and to see all the bunting like this,” he said. “It makes it all worthwhile.”
Lance Corporal Terry Findley said that the parade had been the best he’d seen in his time with the 1st Battalion.
“I’ve done five tours and it’s never been like this,” he said. “It’s nice that people come to see us.”
Drivers are being warned four roads in Diss town centre will be shut including Mere Street, Market Place, Market Hill, St Nicholas Street and Roydon Road from Denmark Street to the junction of Louies Lane.
There will be no through traffic from Chapel Street, but there will be temporary two-way traffic during the closure of Mere Street.
The roads will be closed from 8.30am and should be reopened by 2pm, while Diss Town Council is warning any cars left after roads have been closed will be removed by police at the owner’s expense. South Norfolk Council will be providing free car parking in town centre public car parks.
A special wall has been set up in an empty shop window at the bottom of Mere Street where well wishers can leave messages of support.