Don’t panic! Revisiting days when Dad’s Army was filmed in Norfolk

Dad's Army actors in Thetford

Some of the cast of Dad’s Army including Arthur Lowe who played Captain Mainwaring and John Laurie as Private Frazer, grabbing a bite to eat and some refreshments while filming in Thetford. Date: August 24, 1971. - Credit: Archant Library

Any Dad’s Army fan knows the show is set in the fictional town of Walmington-on-Sea on the south coast of England.

But you’d be as hapless as Private Pike if you tried to locate scenes from the cult comedy classic in that particular corner of Britain.

In fact, much of the beloved BBC 1 sitcom, written by David Croft and Jimmy Perry, was filmed in Norfolk.

Dad's Army filming in Norfolk at Leziate

John Le Mesurier as Sergeant Wilson and Clive Dunn as Lance Corporal Jones in Leziate on October 19, 1970. - Credit: Archant Library

The programme was based on the Local Defence Volunteers - later the Home Guard - in the Second World War and many of the episodes feature recognisable county locations.

These include Thetford, Diss, Winterton and Sheringham.

Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) looks out to sea

Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) looks out to sea from the shelter of his brolly while filming Dad's Army in Norfolk. Dated: June 1970. - Credit: Archant Library

Dad’s Army being filmed on the platform at Weybourne station in north Norfolk in about 1972-1973.

Dad’s Army being filmed on the platform at Weybourne station in north Norfolk, circa 1972-1973. - Credit: Archant Library

 John Laurie who played Private James Frazer in Dad's Army on Winterton Beach

A pause from filming on Winterton Beach for John Laurie who played Private James Frazer in Dad's Army. Date: 1970. - Credit: Archant Library

Members of the cast and crew often stayed in The Bell or Anchor hotels in Thetford. 


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And their number was boosted by an army of extras from the town and surrounding areas, particularly members of the Thetford Music and Drama Society or the Thetford Senior Citizens’ Club.

Dad's Army at Diss

Filming for BBC sitcom Dad's Army at Diss. Pictured the cast during filming, including John Le Mesurier as Sergeant Wilson (front) and Ian Lavender as Private Pike (wearing scarf). Dated: October 5, 1972. - Credit: Archant Library

Dad's Army being filmed in Diss.

Dad's Army being filmed in Diss. Pictured Clive Dunn as Lance Corporal Jones, John Le Mesurier as Sergeant Wilson, Arthur Lowe as Captain Mainwaring and Bill Pertwee as Warden Hodges. Dated: October 5, 1972. - Credit: Archant Library

Dad’s Army ran for nine series with 80 episodes between 1968 and 1977. 

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The sitcom later spawned a stage show, film and radio series before a revival for the silver screen in 2016.

Dad's Army on set while filming at Winterton beach

Members of the cast of Dad's Army on set while filming at Winterton beach. Date: 1970. - Credit: Archant Library

Captain Mainwaring played by Arthur Lowe captured while filming at Lynford Hall

Captain Mainwaring played by Arthur Lowe captured while filming at Lynford Hall in south Norfolk in the early 1970s. - Credit: Archant Library

What are your memories of Dad’s Army being filmed in Norfolk? Did you meet the cast or maybe even feature in an episode? 

Contact benjamin.craske@archant.co.uk if you have a connection to the series and would like to share it.

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