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Fans around the world to mark 10th anniversary of Dad’s Army statue

PUBLISHED: 13:34 18 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:57 18 June 2020

Mick Whitman in character with the Captain Mainwaring statue in Thetford
. Picture: Jerry Daws

Mick Whitman in character with the Captain Mainwaring statue in Thetford . Picture: Jerry Daws

©Archant Photographic 2010

Dad’s Army fans from around the world are set to log on to a live online celebration marking the 10th anniversary of Captain Mainwaring statue in Thetford.

The Thetford Dads Army Museum Captain Mainwaring statue was put up in 2010 after a three year fundrising campaign. Picture: Denise BradleyThe Thetford Dads Army Museum Captain Mainwaring statue was put up in 2010 after a three year fundrising campaign. Picture: Denise Bradley

A major event in the town has had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the Dad’s Army Museum was determined to mark the milestone.

They have turned to modern technology and will now broadcast a ceremony live on the museum’s Facebook public group on Saturday, June 20 at 11am, giving fans of the ever-popular sitcom the chance to watch wherever they are in the world.

Dads Army writer David Croft and actor Bill Pertwee at the unveiling of the Captain Mainwaring bronze statue in Thetford in 2010. Picture: Ian BurtDads Army writer David Croft and actor Bill Pertwee at the unveiling of the Captain Mainwaring bronze statue in Thetford in 2010. Picture: Ian Burt

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Heather Mead, events manager at the museum, said: “We had been due to hold a massive event in Thetford with children’s entertainment and the museum open with people planning to attend from all over the country, but obviously with Covid-19 we had to cancel it.

“So instead some of the museum management committee are going to attend at the statue observing social distancing and do a live Facebook link whilst toasting the Captain and doing a short video for the fans that aren’t able to come over.”

Arthur Lowe as Captain Mainwaring filimg outside the Guildhall in Thetford, now site of the Dads Army Museum. Picture: SubmittedArthur Lowe as Captain Mainwaring filimg outside the Guildhall in Thetford, now site of the Dads Army Museum. Picture: Submitted

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Dad’s Army writer David Croft and Dad’s Army actor Bill Pertwee were present when the bronze statue was first unveiled in 2010.

More than 30 years after Arthur Lowe last reprised his role as Captain George Mainwaring, the statue was designed to be a permanent reminder of Thetford’s links with the famous sitcom which was filmed in the town between 1968 and 1977.

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Ms Mead said: “It draws a lot of visitors to the town. Even the locals still sit next to him and have pictures taken. Children love it. It has become a meeting point for locals to sit by the river.

“Also Dad’s Army fans from all over the country and all over the world come just to have their picture taken with the statue. The last three years we have over 10,000 people through our doors of the museum and we are only open two days a week.”

The museum remains closed due to coronavirus restriction. The popular Dad`s Army Weekend will now be held in Thetford and Bressingham from May 7-9 in 2021.

“We are waiting for government guidelines to specify when we can reopen. We are planning at the moment to open in August if we can,” said Ms Mead.


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