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Council Office Changes In order to improve the service we provide to our customers, enhance the working environment for our employees and increase efficiency, Diss Town Council has changed the way in which it provides a face to face enquiry service. The former reception desk in the lobby area has been removed and this part of the building is now used primarily as a waiting area for Norfolk County Council’s Registration Service. Town council staff are still available and will be pleased to deal with your town council related enquiries between 9.30am – 1.30pm when the offices are open to the public. Enquiries relating to Diss Town Council properties and amenity areas for which we are responsible are welcome. These include the Market Place, Diss Sports Ground, The Park, Mere and Mere’s Mouth, Diss Youth & Community Centre, The Entry, The Lowes and Diss Cemetery. In the past we received funding and support from Norfolk County Council and South Norfolk Council to carry out services and provide information on their behalf through the Council Information Centre. Due to cuts in Government funding to the higher tier authorities we are no longer able to provide the same level of service to customers. However we will still endeavour to help with enquiries not related to the Town Council by providing a telephone number or web address to point customers in the right direction. In addition we still issue discounted senior rail cards on behalf of South Norfolk Council with payment by cheque only.

Many of the enquires we receive can be reported directly to Norfolk County Council & South Norfolk Council from the comfort of your own home using a free phone number. Here are a few which may come in handy: Norfolk County Council – Street Lights – 0344 8008008 Pot holes & other highways matters – 0344 8008009 Blue Badge enquiries – 0344 8008020 Concessionary Bus Pass enquiries - 0344 8008020 South Norfolk Council – Bin collections – 0808 1684444 Housing Advice – 0808 1682222 Planning Advice – 0808 1683000 Council Tax – 0808 1787141

Introducing a new apprentice at the Council offices Diss Town Council has recently appointed an apprentice, Mathew Yellop, aged 17, through the Saffron Apprenticeship scheme. During his year-long apprenticeship Mathew will be learning a variety of administrative skills at the council offices. He writes about his apprenticeship below. I am very pleased to have been given the opportunity to become an apprentice with Diss Town Council. When I initially heard about the Saffron Apprenticeship Scheme in year eleven I immediately jumped at the opportunity because there are very few roads into work for a school leaver. Initially there were only seven apprentices but already

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Saffron has recruited two more. There are four people with an apprenticeship in business administration (including myself) a further three doing customer service apprenticeships, and two more doing an apprenticeship in construction. We all work four days a week with our host employers and have one day of training at the vocational centre at Diss High School. Although most of my year group have pursued further education (e.g. A levels) I was keen to make my way into the working world. Now, not only am I learning about things that will help me progress to become a useful member of society I’m also getting paid for it which allows me to have my independence. In the short time I have been in work, I have completed a diverse set of tasks and discovered what the Town Council do for the community.

The Real Facts About Our Town week that the government announced that Inewn1 theindata 7 shops is empty, Diss Town Team published showing that Diss is doing much better

73% of town centre users visit Diss at least once a week

than the national average. While the national sto- A number of other reports were commissioned by the ry is that empty units are “stubbornly refusing to Town Team and prepared by retail expert, Sue Dougal. reduce below 14.2%”, only 8% of shops in Diss These included a signage survey, a shoppers’ car park are empty. survey and a survey of shoppers using Morrisons. The report also highlighted that, of those surveyed, 27% made a special trip to Diss from over half an hour away. The report, prepared by Action for Market Towns (AMT) and funded by the Town Team, has looked at 12 Key Performance Indicators for Diss. These show that: • • • • •

Diss has double the national average footfall for towns of this size 60% of businesses surveyed were confident that business was improving 55% of our shops are independent The town has sufficient parking spaces, even on market days We have more market traders than the average for East of England towns of a similar size

Speaking at a recent meeting of the Town Team, leader Oliver Chapman of TW Gaze said “this report backs up what we all know: Diss is a great town with so much going for it. Other towns will be looking with envy at how we’re performing, and yet time and again all I hear is that Diss is down on its luck. The trick is to use this data to tell the outside world all the good things about Diss, and to improve the areas that need work through the three C’s communication, consistency and co-ordination.” The Town Team, Diss Town Council and other organisations in the town will be working with South Norfolk Council to develop a marketing and communication plan for Diss (along with the other market towns in the district). Diss is a great market town with a lot of positives - we just need to tell more people about it so they visit our town and help to keep it vibrant and economically viable. 7

Junior Good Citizen 2013 Following nomination by her teacher and head teacher at Diss High School, Shelby Baker was presented with the Junior Good Citizen award on 11th September at a meeting of Diss Town Councils Policy & Finance committee. The presentation was witnessed by a proud member of Shelby’s family as well as town councillors and the town clerk. Shelby was nominated for voluntarily organising a programme of exercises and physical development for a disabled youngster, giving up her own free time before each school day and working with the youngster, who is unable to exercise without support. This year saw the 7th Junior Good Citizen award presented to a young person who has given their time and effort without reward, which shows exemplary good citizenship and is the exact ethos for the award. As with all recipients, Shelby received a framed scroll and her name is inscribed on the Roll of Honour Board in the Council Chamber at the Corn Hall.

Search for the Honoured Citizen of Diss 2013 Diss Town Council is seeking nominations for the town’s ‘unsung heroes’ to be considered for the Honoured Citizen of Diss Award 2013. The award is an opportunity for those people in our community who give up their time to help others without seeking any reward, to be recognised and honoured for their service to the community. If you know someone who gives up their time and enthusiasm to make a difference, then you could nominate them for the Honoured Citizen of Diss Award. Any resident of Diss may be nominated for the award although nominees who do not live in the town will be considered at the town council’s discretion. Nominees can include people who run a club, raise funds for charities, or who are always there to help neighbours or vulnerable people in the community without seeking any reward. To nominate your ‘unsung hero’ please contact the Council offices on 01379 643848 or email for a nomination form. The closing date for receipt of forms is 11th November.

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The previous recipients of the Honoured Citizen Award Charles A Gardner .................. 1994 Henry R Judd.......................... 1995 Arthur Wood .......................... 1996 David R W Bell ....................... 1998 Reginald Wright ..................... 1998 Gladys Hancock ...................... 1999 Jack M Lee ..............................2000 Denis I Clarke......................... 2001 Revd Ben Sasada .....................2002 Geoffrey R Tebble ...................2004 Francis N Bradley ................... 2005 Michael John Booty ��������������� 2006 Clifford Bird ...........................2007 Stuart C Ballantyne ��������������� 2007 Sue Brazier .............................2008 Basil Abbott ............................2009 Anne Dutton ........................... 2010 Doreen Collins ....................... 2011 Alan Rowe .............................. 2012

Diss Heritage Triangle & Diss Corn Hall Project T

he Diss Heritage Triangle Project Team continue to make good progress in developing the second stage bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund including: applying for match funding; developing architectural plans for the Corn Hall, Heritage Triangle streetscape and Mere boardwalk; developing the heritage story; planning how best to ‘tell’ the story; and, talking to the community about the project including the public, traders, landlords and other organisations. Many Diss residents will have seen the conceptual designs for the Corn Hall and Heritage Triangle when they were exhibited in July. The exhibition was well attended, and an encouragingly high number of visitors completed the feedback form, which posed four simple questions. Respondents were asked to state whether they liked or disliked proposals to change the Corn Hall, the Heritage Triangle and a Mere boardwalk linking to land behind the Council Offices, and to provide comments on each if they wished. A fourth question asked whether respondents were interested in the history of Diss, and, again, to comment. Overall, there was a very high level of support (85%) for all three areas of change, with the Corn Hall – which is the least controversial and/or affects fewer people – gaining almost 92% support. Interestingly, no Diss resident opposed the plans for the Corn Hall. Broadly, the people of Diss were more supportive of the proposed changes for the Corn Hall (96%) and the Heritage Triangle (83%) than those from outside Diss (92% and 82%); however, for the Mere Boardwalk/ Path, this was reversed with 2% more people outside Diss supporting the proposal. Interest in Diss’ history was high across all respondents, and 100% of Diss residents who responded stated they were interested in their history and would like to know more. This last feedback is particularly encouraging, because the project team has been working hard to uncover the fascinating history of the commercial centre of Diss. This is the area broadly contained within the “Heritage Triangle” of St Nicholas Street, Market Hill and Market Place. The first steps have been taken on a long-term project

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to document the evolution of every building in the Triangle. This work covers the architecture of the building itself, but also researches the occupants, the industries and the activity within them. Fascinating details are emerging: for example, if you’ve ever looked closely at No. 13 wine bar on Market Hill, you may have noticed the “devilish” heads decorating the upper facade. The team has found that this building was once Gostling’s the chemist and maker of mineral waters. It’s thought that the heads are in fact of Acheloos, the Greek River God, “a giver of sweet water that is the source of all nourishment” reflecting the high quality of the waters for sale! Already there are several local residents and landlords within the Triangle involved in this research, and it’s hoped that more people will take part as the work continues. If you would like to participate, or have information about any of the buildings in the Triangle, please contact the project team c/o Diss Corn Hall. There is also a further opportunity to share your memories of Diss. Throughout November, there will be an exhibition in the Corn Hall Gallery entitled “Corn Hall Memories”. This will be based on memories of “their” Hall by the people of Diss and round about, including photos, documents and oral memories, and there will be a special preview night on 6 November introduced by Prof Alun Howkins, honorary professor of History at UEA. The team want your input too. If you remember the Corn Hall from ten, 20 or even 50 years ago, come along to one of our ‘memories’ sessions, and tell us about it. Bring your photos, documents and memorabilia to share. For more info, please see the Corn Hall website Finally, the team needs assistance with fundraising, because it is important to show local support – including financial – to other grant funders. If you can help with raising funds locally, please get in touch with the team via the Corn Hall, the Museum or Diss Town Council.

NOVEMBER A selection of forthcoming events

Dear Reader It's going to be fun, laughter and entertainment with a capital E at the Corn Hall this autumn. We are thrilled to be presenting our first ever Christmas show The Wind in the Willows, produced jointly with The Keeper’s Daughter. Based on the classic tale by Kenneth Grahame and written by the peerless Alan Bennett, the adventures of Ratty, Mole, Mr Toad and the rest will be a glorious treat for all the family. And there’s lots more fun on offer. For those who like a laugh, we have Shappi Khorsandi, ‘Britain’s best young female comic’ (Guardian), the Seagull Rep’s hilarious stage version of Blackadder II and regular favourite, The Corn Hall Comedy Club. There are some rocking nights out with blues legends, The Blues Band, folk dance band trail-blazers Blowzabella, Ira Bernstein & Riley Baugus’ Appalachian Roots, the supreme big band evening with Jonathan Wyatt and the Moonglow Sisters, plus three great tribute bands – The Bohemians, Whole Lotta Led and The Doors Experience. This amazing musical line-up is rounded off by that ultimate festive concert, The Searchers Christmas Show. We have an impressive programme for drama-lovers. In October we are proud to welcome Transport Theatre’s production of As You Like It, and the following month Eastern Angles perform their highly-praised evocation of the poet John Clare. Finally, three very different but equally extraordinary nights out. As part of Black History Month, the Osiligi Maasai Warriors entertain us with a fascinating insight into their unique culture. The one and only Griff Rhys Jones talks of rivers, boats and his life. And the Merry Opera Company, who mesmerised us with their version of The Messiah, is back to delight us with The Magic Flute.



SUN 3 NOV | 6PM | £15 / CONS £12 FAMILY £45


HERITAGE THE CORN HALL MEMORIES EXHIBITION An exhibition based on the memories of 'their' hall by the people of Diss and round about including photos, documents and oral memories covering the hall’s history. Each Friday and Saturday from 11am-2pm during the exhibition, Peter Hyde or Alun Howkins will be in the Corn Hall Gallery to talk to people about their memories of the hall and to look at any photos or memorabilia they have of it. They will also be there on Saturday 30th November 4-8pm for the Diss Christmas Lights Switch On event. Do come along and share your memories! 1-30 NOV | BOX OFFICE HOURS | FREE OPENING VIEWING WEDNESDAY 6 NOV | 6-30-7.45PM | INTRODUCTION BY PROFESSOR ALUN HOWKINS AT 7PM.

The Seagull Rep have taken you to Fawlty Towers and visited the Vicar of Dibley. Now it’s time to drop in on one of the most cunning dynasties of all with the first three episodes from the classic BBC comedy, Blackadder II. Featuring episodes ‘Bells’, ‘Head’ and ‘Potato’, this is a rare chance to join Lord Blackadder and Queenie, Melchy, Nursie and Percy, Flashheart, ‘Bob’ and Baldrick, as they are recreated in meticulous detail, live on stage. THUR 7 NOV | 7.30PM | £10 / CONS £9

MUSIC THE BLUES BAND The individual members of The Blues Band – Paul Jones, Dave Kelly, Tom McGuinness, Rob Townsend and Gary Fletcher – were already held in admiration by generations of rhythm & blues fans when they formed back in 1979. Almost two and a half decades and over 16 albums later they continue to add to their growing army of followers, and it’s not unheard of to find three generations from the same family at a gig. Today they are acknowledged throughout Europe and beyond as being amongst the very finest purveyors of rhythm & blues. THURS 14 NOV | 8PM | £20


Diss Corn Hall Manager FILM

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WED | 6 NOV | 8PM | £5 / UNDER 18'S £2.50

Kit Hesketh-Harvey’s new production recreates The Magic Flute’s sublime music and triumphant opening night in September 1791. Lofty divas and low comedians flourish, while the shadowy forces of Freemasonry watch closely. And the composer – Mozart – fears he is being poisoned... A delight for opera connoisseurs and newcomers alike.

Angela Sykes BOX OFFICE 01379 652241

– is based on a very fine short story (Why don’t you dance?) by a master of the form, Raymond Carver. The film will be introduced by Dr Karina Aveyard from UEA’s School of Film, TV and Media Studies. The distinguished author and lecturer will talk about how Carver’s stories have been used in the cinema.

EVERYTHING MUST GO (15) This comedy-drama – with a subtle and powerful performance by Ferrell

The Burgate Singers – Magnificat by J S Bach, Magnificat by CPE Bach and Missa Brevis by Zonltán Kodály The Burgate Singers are one of Suffolk’s leading amateur choirs. Under the musical directorship of Alain Judd they perform these three works with professional musicians and soloists.


For full listings go to

A selection of forthcoming events SAT 14 NOV | 7.30PM | £15 / UNDER 12S £6

Comedian, actor and writer Alistair Barrie has been performing all over the world for nearly an entire century (this one). He has made numerous radio and television appearances and hosts 'No Pressure to be Funny’ in London's West End. Rob Collins

THEATRE EASTERN ANGLES PRESENT THE LONG LIFE AND GREAT GOOD FORTUNE OF JOHN CLARE This play about the ‘peasant poet’ John Clare has received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. Clare is often remembered for his life more than his poetry – lime-burner, labourer, walker, depressive – with his experiences increasingly used as a yardstick for our own issues. In Tony Ramsay’s play, a new Clare emerges, set free from the story of his life. FRI 15 NOV | 7.30PM | £11 / CONCS £10

Always a sell-out, we have only a few seats remaining for this spellbinding show featuring 50 hits in all, plus a non-stop medley of Christmas songs and carols. FRI 6 DEC | 7.30PM | £19.50 / CONC S £15.50

Kieran Boyd (compère)


With his inventive, high-energy Stand Up and easy charm, Kieran Boyd is in great demand across the country. Food and bar from 6.30pm FRI 29 NOV | 8PM | ADVANCE £9 / DOOR £10

MUSIC DISS TOWN CAROL CONCERT An annual ‘sell-out’ favourite, Diss Town carol concert is one for all the family with the singing led by the Waveney Choir together with the Diss Salvation Army. The evening also includes performances from the choir of Diss Church Junior School and pupils from Diss High School. Everyone is invited to stay after the concert to enjoy mince pies, mulled wine and soft drinks. Booking recommended.

JONATHAN WYATT BIG BAND Swing into Christmas - Jonathan Wyatt Big Band and The Moonglow Sisters Come and experience the excitement of East Anglia's premier Big Band as they play a selection of timeless jazz and swing numbers, along with Christmas favourites. Including renditions of festive numbers including Sleigh Ride, Let it Snow! and White Christmas along with classics made famous by Michael Bublé, Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters and Harry Connick Jnr, the evening also features two of East Anglia’s top big band vocalists as well as the ever-popular female vocal trio, ‘The Moonglow Sisters’. The perfect evening's entertainment with friends, family or colleagues. SUN 8 DEC | 7.30PM | £12.50





SAT 16 NOV | 2PM | £5 / CHILDREN £3 (3-8 YRS)

FILM THE WORLD'S END (15) Madcap and heartfelt, Edgar Wright's apocalypse comedy The World's End benefits from the typically hilarious Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, with a plethora of supporting players. WED 4 DEC | 8PM | £5 / UNDER 18S £2.50

Immerse yourself in the magic, mysticism and music of one of rock music’s most influential and legendary bands with The Doors Experience, one of the few bands to capture the true essence of The Doors. With a front man who could actually pass for Jim Morison, the Lizard King himself, relive the excitement of an original Doors show as The Doors Experience take you through classic hits such as Light My Fire, Backdoor Man, When the Music’s Over, The End and many more. Is everybody in? The ceremony is about to begin... FRI 13 DEC | 8PM | £12


COMEDY CORN HALL COMEDY (18) Alistair Barrie

SUN 15 DEC | 7PM | TIERED £7 / LEVEL £5

Since reaching the final of the ‘So You Think You’re Funny’ competition, Rob Collins has been wowing audiences on the UK comedy circuit and at Festivals such as Glastonbury, V Festival and Reading.

TUE S 3 DEC | 7PM | £3.50 / CHILDRE N £2

Big Mouth who brought us The Snowman are back with an exciting new story about a boy called Aldred. He meets a magical White Reindeer and finds himself flying and having a midnight feast! But when he is caught by the Scary Squire, only the audience can help him escape - they must sing, act, dance, and above all, listen to the music wherein lies the key to the mystery of The White Reindeer.

by carols for the audience to sing-along with in the second half.


Perhaps because The Searchers have been coming to play at the Corn Hall for an incredible 26 years, the atmosphere and rapport with the audience makes it the show that die-hard fans never miss.

MUSIC SOUTH NORFOLK YOUTH SYMPHONIC BAND CHRISTMAS CONCERT SNYSB'S ever-popular annual Christmas concert includes a mix of seasonal music and show tunes, followed

CHRISTMAS SHOW DISS CORN HALL WITH THE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER PRESENT, WIND IN THE WILLOWS (6+) The charming tale of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad comes alive this Christmas as we head downstream to the riverbank and embark on a glorious adventure. In pursuit of his latest obsession – the motor car – the incorrigible Mr Toad turns their tranquil life upside down and lands himself in a whole heap of trouble – “poop poop”! An exciting tale unfolds as the friends try to outwit the weasels of the Wild Wood and fight to reclaim Toad Hall for its rightful owner. With music and merriment, this warm and wonderfully funny adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's classic story of friendship and bravery, will take you on a journey through the seasons and keep you entertained and enthralled, no matter what your age. FRI 20 - SUN 22 DEC | 7.30PM | SAT 21 & SUN 22 DECEMBE R | 2PM | £9 / UNDE R 16S £7 / FAMILY (2 ADULTS, 2 CHILDRE N £30






Diss Matters  

Autumn 2013 Edition