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Don’t panic! Dad’s Army Museum volunteers to feature in London Lord Mayor’s Parade

Captain Wainwaring (Mick Whitman) outside the Dad's Army Museum in Thetford. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

Captain Wainwaring (Mick Whitman) outside the Dad's Army Museum in Thetford. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

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Volunteers from Thetford’s world-renowned Dad’s Army Museum have been given the honour of taking part in the London Lord Mayor’s Parade dressed as characters from the popular television show.

Jones' Butchers van a the Dad's Army Museum, Thetford. Picture: STEVE ADAMS Jones' Butchers van a the Dad's Army Museum, Thetford. Picture: STEVE ADAMS

The museum’s Jones’ Butchers van from the series will also be a focal point of the parade in the capital on Saturday, November 11, which volunteers believe will help to put Thetford on the map.

The invitation to take part came from Geoff Gillo, master of The Worshipful Company of Butchers, who invited the museum in Cage Lane, Thetford to become part of its entry.

The company is given a slot in the show, as it is one of London’s most historic firms.

Dad’s Army Museum chairman Stuart Wright said: “It is a great privilege for the museum to be able to participate in this historic event.

The Dad's Army Museum in Thetford. Picture: NICK BUTCHER The Dad's Army Museum in Thetford. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

“The worldwide exposure will help put the museum and Thetford on the map.

“As part of the float, we will have some museum banners on display and have commissioned some new flyers about the van and the museum.

“Dad’s Army is a national treasure and to be able to put ourselves in the shop window will raise the museum’s profile to the country at large.”

The Dad’s Army Museum, which opened its doors for its 10th season this year, has not only kept the memory of the comedy classic alive but provided a valuable tourism boost to the Norfolk town, which is the show’s natural home.

Dad's Army Museum chairman Stuart Wright. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN Dad's Army Museum chairman Stuart Wright. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

With the BBC hit largely filmed in the Thetford area during the 1960s and 70s, the town has been the perfect location for the museum and has attracted visitors from around the world.

2017 has included a display in memory of Victoria Wood, as she made a film about the history of the show in 2000, as well as many old photos from filming which took place in the Thetford area.

For 800 years, the newly-elected Lord Mayor of London has travelled from the City of London to Westminster to swear loyalty to the Crown.

Over the centuries, this medieval pageant has grown into the Lord Mayor’s Show.

The three-mile procession sets off from the Mansion House via St Paul’s Cathedral and pauses at the Royal Courts of Justice while the Lord Mayor swears their allegiance.

The procession then returns to the Mansion House via the Victoria Embankment.

However the Lord Mayor’s Show will not be the van’s first visit to London this year.

In July the van, accompanied by the museum’s own Captain Mainwaring - Mick Whitman - was a popular attraction at the 500th anniversary annual Cart Marking Ceremony in London’s Guildhall Yard.

For more information about the Dad’s Army Museum, email dadsarmythetford@googlemail.com

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