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Thetford poised for Dad's Army special

PUBLISHED: 10:30 04 July 2008 | UPDATED: 21:09 07 July 2010

A Norfolk town is bracing itself for its biggest military presence since the second world war as it prepares to celebrate the 40th anniversary of one the nation's most loved sitcoms.

A Norfolk town is bracing itself for its biggest military presence since the second world war as it prepares to celebrate the 40th anniversary of one the nation's most loved sitcoms.

Thetford is set to be brought back into the 1940s later this month when the town marks the special birthday of Dad's Army.

The BBC comedy series featuring the antics of the Captain Mainwaring's Home Guard platoon in the fictional place of Walmington-on-sea was mostly filmed in and around the south west Norfolk town between 1968 and 1977.

Locals are set to celebrate Thetford's links with the television classic with a series of 1940s events on the weekend on July 26 and 27. Proceeds from the weekend, organised by The Friends of Thetford Dad's Army Museum, will go towards an appeal to fund a Capt Mainwaring statue in the town centre.

Co-ordinator Corinne Fulford, from the friends group, said the “exciting” event, which will include World War II music and singing, re-enactment groups, a parade of military vehicles, and Dad's Army tours, have already attracted a lot of local and national attention.

She added that the surviving cast members of the sitcom had been invited and co-writer David Croft and Bill Pertwee, who played Warden William Hodges, have already agreed to appear on Sunday, July 27.

A 'Hits of the Blitz' show featuring Jill Daniels, Britain's top wartime WWII singer, on the Saturday is already a sell out. However, she will be performing on a stage in the Market Place on the Sunday as well as a 40s swing band.

A procession of military vehicles, miniature steam engines, and vintage cycles will take place from 12.30pm on Sunday and a Dad's Army fire engine and two Jones' vans will also be on display in the School Lane car park. The Dad's Army Museum at the Guildhall will be open and Ancient House Museum and Charles Burrell Museum will also stage special 1940s themed events to mark the occasion.

The celebrations come as the BBC films a special 40th anniversary salute to Dad's Army, which will be hosted by Jonathan Ross and will feature celebrity fans.

For more information, contact Corinne Fulford on 07802 701911 or visit www.EDP2.co.uk/dailylinks

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