Museum hopes for a busy season after film success

Let's Talk visits the Dad's Army Museum in Thetford.Stuart Wright.

Let's Talk visits the Dad's Army Museum in Thetford.Stuart Wright. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

The Dad's Army Museum in Thetford is hoping for a bumper season following the soaring success of the series' cinematic adaptation.

Jones' Van undergoing repairs in Dagenham

Jones' Van undergoing repairs in Dagenham - Credit: Archant

After its recent advance on the box office, the new Dad's Army film is being used in a new campaign – to encourage an invasion of visitors at the museum dedicated to the show.

Staff at Thetford's Dad's Army Museum are hoping the cinematic adaptation will lead to a bumper season at the attraction, which opens this Saturday.

As well as increasing interest in the original 1960s comedy series, the new film – released earlier this month – has also provided the Cage Lane museum with several new exhibits.

In time for the museum's opening weekend, Corporal Jones's van is returning to the town after a thorough renovation at the Ford factory in Dagenham. It will be on display outside the museum for its opening day. It will then be on display at the Charles Burrell Museum from Easter Sunday until the end of October.

Jack Jones' butchers van, pictured here in 2013, will on display at the Dad's Army Museum's opening

Jack Jones' butchers van, pictured here in 2013, will on display at the Dad's Army Museum's opening day. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

The museum is also looking to put on a temporary exhibition later in the spring with props it has secured from the film.

Stuart Wright, museum chairman, said this display would be in the old Cosy Carpets building, in Minstergate, but a date is yet to be finalised. For this exhibition the museum has secured some signs that were used above shops in Bridlington, Yorkshire – where the majority of the film was filmed – inflatable tanks, and costume pieces including a case used by Catherine Zeta Jones and a costume which featured on a special episode of The One Show dedicated to the film.

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The museum has also updated some of its permanent exhibitions. One of the new features, on display for the first time, will be a tunic worn by Warden Hodges, played by Bill Pertwee, which the late actor bequeathed to the museum.

The museum will be open from 10am to 3pm every Saturday from February 27 to November 29. It will also be open on Tuesdays during school holidays and in July, August and September. Entry is free.

There are also a number of public tours, which include a visit to the museum and a guided tour of Thetford. These can be booked via the museum website at dadsarmythetford.org.uk

Do you have a story about Dad's Army? Email bethany.whymark@archant.co.uk

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