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Dad's Army museum reopens after refit

PUBLISHED: 05:00 13 April 2009 | UPDATED: 08:54 06 July 2010

A Norfolk town received a tourism boost at the weekend with the opening of a refurbished and extended tribute to the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard.

The Dad's Army Museum in Thetford was opened by writer David Croft 18 months ago as a shrine to

the popular sitcom's links with the area.

A Norfolk town received a tourism boost at the weekend with the opening of a refurbished and extended tribute to the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard.

The Dad's Army Museum in Thetford was opened by writer David Croft 18 months ago as a shrine to

the popular sitcom's links with the area.

But officials from the tourist attraction were celebrating after completing a major refit and expansion at the venue in the town's Guildhall.

Hundreds of visitors got a first peek of the new-look former fire station and council store room, off Cage Lane, over the bank holiday weekend following the completion of the project, which was funded by a £10,000 grant from the National Lottery.

Officials from the Friends of Thetford Dad's Army Museum spoke of their delight at the improvements, which are hoped to attract even more fans of the BBC comedy series to the town.

The lottery funding has allowed the group to double the size of the museum after securing permission from Thetford Town Council to take over a neighbouring store room.

Work began in January to transform the site with new timber flooring and lighting, and to

furnish it with more displays, photographs and memorabilia about Dad's Army, which was filmed in and around Thetford between 1968 and 1977.

It comes after thousands of

people descended on the town

last summer to mark the

40th anniversary of the hit

television show featuring Captain Mainwaring and his band of Home Guard misfits.

The museum, which is open every Saturday between 10am and 2pm,

has received more than 6,000

visitors since its opening in December 2007.

Corinne Fulford, project manager

of the refurbishment scheme, said the interest in Dad's Army had increased since the anniversary celebrations.

“It is huge. The interest has been there all along and we are tapping into that. The anniversary sharpened the imagination and people come from all over the country to see us. A lot of people are finding us online and the tours are going from strength to strength.”

“We have achieved so much in

12 months, but we have so

many more ideas and we don't want to stop. We do need to get more volunteers on board though,” she said.

The Friends group have their

eyes on another adjoining building

in the Guildhall to create a 1940s-style tea room and are almost halfway

to reaching a £20,000 target for a

Capt Mainwaring statue in

Thetford.

For more information, visit www.edp24.co.uk/dailylinks.

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