All set for the Army to return to Thetford

Thetford will become a hub for all things Dad’s Army once again as the annual pilgrimage of characters and supporters is marked with the opening of a new 1940s-style tea room.

The Dad’s Army Appreciation Weekend will see Bill Pertwee, aka Warden Hodges, and Frank Williams, better known as Reverend Timothy Farthing, arrive at the town, alongside other “special guests”.

But the annual visit, which will include a book signing by Mr Pertwee at the town’s Dad’s Army Museum on Cage Lane, this year will coincide with the opening of the Marigold Tea Room.

Built in the museum, the idea of a tea room has long been mooted but now thanks to a modern day army of volunteers has been completed in just a matter of weeks.

Dad’s Army Museum manager Corinne Fulford said: “We’re really pleased. It’s always nice when you see an idea taking shape. It’s lovely to see it happening, and the camaraderie, and I’m always proud of all the people we have helping.

“It creates a very good feel-good factor and I’m hoping we’ve produced something a bit unique.”

Food and drink will be based on 1940s recipes and the interior has been styled in the theme of the decade. A limited amount of NAAFI - the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes - tea will also be avilable.

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A highlight will be a dresser made from the carcass of shelves which were once part of the now defunct Thetford Typewriter Service.

The cafe will open on May 7 between 10am and 4.30pm, and during museum opening times from then on.

Mr Pertwee will take part in a book signing on May 7 at midday and 3pm. Entance to the museum is free.