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PUBLISHED: 19:30 11 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:07 07 July 2010

Thetford's growing reputation as a tourist centre - given a huge boost by the town's links to Dad's Army - has got a new shot in the arm thanks to £5,000 funding to help increase visitor numbers.

Thetford's growing reputation as a tourist centre - given a huge boost by the town's links to Dad's Army - has got a new shot in the arm thanks to £5,000 funding to help increase visitor numbers.

Breckland Council has approved the funding which will allow Thetford Town Council to carry out a range of tourism projects to promote the town's attractions and rich heritage.

And now the town is preparing a weekend spectacular to mark 40 years since the beginning of filming of Dad's Army in the town and surrounding area.

Better signs are being provided for the recently relocated Tourist Information Centre and for the new Dad's Army Museum, which fans of the series will recognise in its other guise, as the Walmington-on-Sea Town Hall.

Breckland funding will help provide signing for the museum, a white on brown tourism sign and new directional signs for the town's heritage signing scheme.

The town's tourism website www.visitthetford.co.uk will be refreshed and updated and the themed leaflet series is to be reprinted.

The Dad's Army theme has proved a real winner, with 28 coach companies bringing visitors to the town last year for a themed tour.

Town manager Susan Glossop said: “There is a lot planned for this year with the celebrations to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the first filming of Dad's Army. Visitors are very important to the town's economy and we are grateful to Breckland for their support which will enable a number of projects to be completed.”

As the Times reported last week, there are plans for a glitzy TV tribute hosted by Dad's Army fan Jonathan Ross and the Friends of Thetford Dad's Army Museum are joining in the fun with a weekend of special events.

The idea is to raise awareness of the Dad's Army Museum and raise funds for a bronze statue of Captain Mainwaring to be sited prominently in the town.

Among the highlights of the weekend will be the Norfolk Home Guard re-enactment society and a 1940s evening in the Guildhall on July 26.

The main events will be happening on Sunday, July 27 with the Western Front Association recreating Dad's Army sketches in their original locations, the original Dad's Army vehicles, military vehicles, displays and Jill Daniels and her Hits of the Blitz show.

Corinne Fulford, a member of the museum friends and one of the organisers, said the weekend would attract visitors from a wide area with many people donning appropriate 1940s costumes.

She appealed for volunteers to help on the day, adding that people were needed as stewards for the military vehicle parade or to be on hand with information for visitors.

For further information or to offer help please contact Corinne on 07802 701911.

Extras from Dad's Army are needed to take part in the TV Dad's Army tribute.

Hotsauce TV wants to hear from anyone who was involved with filming in Thetford in the 1960s and 1970s.

The one-off one-hour special will be presented by Jonathan Ross and will feature some of the show's stars, its creators and celebrity fans.

Simon Joslin, the programme's assistant producer, said: “We are planning to come and film in Thetford, which was used as the main area for location filming.

“We'd particularly love to hear from local residents who were used as extras, or who lived in a street where filming took place, or even in one of the houses whose front door was used.”

Filming should take place in June and the programme makers are hoping their search will uncover some hidden gems about the show. Meanwhile Jonathan Ross will front a studio tribute being filmed at BBC Television Centre on Thursday, July 17.

If you want to get involved email dainfo@hotsaucetv.co.uk or write to Jonathan Ross Salutes Dad's Army, Hotsauce TV, Leeder House, 6 Erskine Road, London, NW3 3AJ.

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