Mystery head with ‘cheeky grin’ pulled from water in town
PUBLISHED: 13:31 26 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:31 26 August 2020
When a father and son saw an item bobbing on the surface of Diss Mere, they thought it was another piece of litter.
But after fishing it out with a broom, Stuart Carpenter, 49, who is one of the general managers at the Waterfront Inn, and Jack, 23, were shocked to discover an acrylic head.
“It was floating just underneath the water,” Mr Carpenter’s wife, Sarah, who is also a general manager at the pub, said. “We thought perhaps something had dislodged it but we were surprised when it appeared to be a mannequin. It had probably been there for a while as it was covered in algae and stank.”
After cleaning the head, which was pulled out on Sunday morning, the family discovered a stamp dated 1976 and the maker’s trademark.
Mrs Carpenter said: “It led us to believe the head was probably a mannequin. It must have been quite expensive as he has got really good features. He has even got crow’s feet and a right cheeky grin on him as well. We think he might have been a hat model.”
They believe the head belonged to Hopgoods, a menswear store in Diss Market Place, which closed 13 years ago.
Mrs Carpenter said: “That seems to be the most logical conclusion although we don’t know for sure and the date remains a bit of a mystery.”
The family have now named the head ‘Bobbin’ and have put it to good use modelling for the pub.
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Mrs Carpenter said: “We’ve taken a few pictures of him which we have put on our Instagram. We’ve also showed him to our customers and they think it’s amazing. Most people think we should have him in the garden or use him as a prop.”
Currently, the head is living in Mrs Carpenter’s office although she plans to donate it to Diss Museum.
Mrs Carpenter said: “The next step is to see if the museum would like him as he is just tucked away at the moment.”
The family, who have lived in worked in the pub for 11 years, added they had never seen anything like this before at the Mere.
Mrs Carpenter said: “This is certainly the first time I have ever come across anything like this. I have never fished anything out other than empty bottles so it was certainly a surprising discovery.”
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