September 2017 Part 1 – Going round in Triangles

The Corn Hall so far had been a great success since its re-opening, but the other part of the Heritage Triangle project: the streetscape scheme and the Wildlife garden and boardwalk behind the council offices was reaching its conclusion in early September. An event was planned for 8th September, to coincide with the national heritage open days, to show off the area to the general public and to give them a chance to walk on water…

2nd September – Volunteering Time

The Heritage Triangle is a community project and the final touches – the planting of trees and bedding plants around the triangle needed volunteers to help with it. So I dusted off my gardening gloves and got stuck in on a bright Sunday morning.

A green-fingered volunteer helping with theHeritage Triangle Planting – Sunday 2nd September 2017

In truth I did get my hands dirty with a bit of planting, but mostly I helped by barrowing around compost and sweeping up afterwards. But the results were quite stunning.

5th September – Norfolk Scouts Council AGM – Dereham

Not the totally dry and boring meeting you might have assumed. There was a fascinating presentation from a group of scouts from Norfolk who who had been to the  15th World Scout Moot in Iceland from 25 July – 2 August 2017. The Moot brought  together up to 5000 young adults between the ages of 18 to 25, for what seemed a fantastic time.

8th September – Heritage Open Day

One of the best bits of August, when we were supposed to be having a bit of a break from Council duties was walking round the Heritage Triangle devising a set of questions for people to answer on a prize quiz. The quiz utilised the “toblerone” boards as source of the information to answer the quiz. The board outside the Corn Hall held the answer to question 11 :

The Corn Hall “toblerone” before it was demolished by a dozy driver (Happily now (November) replaced).

Unfortunately, someone reversed into it a week before the open day, so we had to devise a new question.

The day itself was a great success . We had coffee from COW (coffee on wheels!) a barbecue provided by Browns the Butchers and  roving buskers (including a strange chap in a hat reciting poetry.

Leo Wainwright “the busking bard” (or was that beard?)

And of course the boardwalk was open. Dinsdale came to see, but didn’t venture down for fear of getting his feet wet.

Dinsdale Duck pays a flying visit to the Triangle 8th September2017

The next week was spent handing our the prizes for the triangle trail, of which more elsewhere on the website :

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August 2017 – Loud shirts and a Purple Patch

A little quieter in August, but we did have some time away in Devon for my Mum’s 80th Birthday in

Loud Shirts

We got back just in time for the Big Sing at St Mary’s Church (on our wedding anniversary – is there a theme here?). Partly because of the time of year coinciding with two family birthdays and wedding anniversary we had never managed to get to the Big Sing before. The legendary Gerry Hoskin organised it, as he has done the previous 12  years, and compered the event in a lovely light hearted  double act with the Rector, Tony Billett. I use the term legendary advisedly because… well easier to demonstrate with this photo…

Gerry Hoskin at the Big Sing 6th August 2017, St Mary’s Church, Diss

It was a great time (as you may realise by now both Fiona and I like a good sing). Gerry’s shirt was loud, but the singing was louder. It was all in a good cause of course, and a collection was made for the Fire Service Benevolent Fund.

A Purple Patch

A charity event of a different kind took us to Scole on the following Sunday for Clare’s game. This was a really fun way to commemorate the life of a young lady called Clare Mackmin who tragically died as the result of an epileptic seizure whilst expecting her first child, who also sadly could not be saved. Her friends and family rallied round to make something positive of it, and hit on the idea of a charity football match between a team of friends (captained by Clare’s husband, Shaun, and a team from Glazing Vision, who are based in Sawmills Road.

This is a photo taken before the match:

Clares Team and the Glazing Vision Team, Scole Football Ground 13th August 2017

 The purple strip belongs to Clare’s team. This was her favourite colour, and the colour of the Epilepsy Society, for which the match raised funds. Clare’s team won 10-1 in a really enjoyable and light-hearted game. It was a humbling experience to see a group of people pulling together to make something so positive out of such a tragedy. There was a piece in the Diss Express at the time, and they have done some more fund-raising events since.

The last day of the month saw an invitation to Splice Creative – one of Diss’ hidden gems in the form of a media company in Mere Street that was having a party to celebrate its first birthday.

Trevor Wenman

Town Mayor

July 2017 – Memories

Diss Museum AGM 18th July

Fiona and I had time to attend the AGM of the Museum, and it was very interesting to hear about what they had been up to and how they do so much with so little.

They have a wonderful collection of volunteers with a passion for the history of Diss.

Ian Lavender at the official  re-opening of Diss Museum for the 2017 Season in March

 

22nd July -Memories and Music

History is our collective memory. The memories of a family are a bit different.  I had the privilege of sharing in a service of remembrance for the family and friends of Harold Rackham at his funeral at the Salvation Army on 22nd July. The place was packed, with standing room only, even in the overflow hall from where we watched  live video relay from the Church itself. Harold was previously Town Mayor and we were reminded (or told for the first time) of a lot of the generous things he did for the town, including the gift of the land on which Diss Sports Ground stands. He had a great send off, with the Salvation Army Band  escorting the cortege to the Cemetery.

Later that same day we went down to the Park to Diss Fest.  I had to go to work for a few hours in the afternoon so I sadly missed some of the acts, but the quality of the performances was, as usual very high. Do check it out next year. That didn’t fit in with the theme of memory, but the next event that same night did…

A memory walk is a really neat idea for raising awareness of and money for the Alzheimers Society. About 100 of us took part, starting in the Market Square at midnight on the Saturday, dressed in night attire – pyjamas, onesies etc paying £10 each for the privilege. We then followed a walking route around Diss and Roydon, ending up back at the Market Place where refreshments were available (I have never enjoyed a burger so much at 1.30 in the morning). I leave you with this photo, not because it puts me or my selfie skills in the best light, but to scotch the scurrilous rumour that I did the walk in the Mayor’s robes. That is of course ridiculous. Night attire was specified, and I never wear the robes to bed.

27th July – Down on the Farm

The final memory related Mayoral jaunt for July was at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Museum where John Ward, the Chairman of Norfolk County Council was holding his annual Chairman’s reception. We had been there before a few years back, but a lot has changed, as we could see when we took a horsedrawn cart ride around the working farm – actually ploughed by horses and cultivated as near as possible to the way it would have been in Victorian times when the museum was a workhouse.

The Mayoress admiring the Suffolk Punch horses that took us on our ride around the farm.

Later in the evening  we chatted amiably with the Norfolk “chain gang” and there were, as ever, some speeches, including by those retiring County Councillors who were given long service awards by the Chairman. Jenny Chamberlain, who stepped down as our County Councillor for Diss and Roydon in May was one of them. Well done to Jenny (below) for sticking it out for 12 years.

 

 

 

Trevor Wenman

Town Mayor

Park Radio is on track to be on-air before Christmas!

 

Park Radio took another step closer to it’s launch on Sunday 1st October, when the broadcasting mast that will transmit from Diss was installed.  The mast, originally owned by Peachman Investigations of Long Stratton, had not been used for several years. The mast was then reconditioned for it’s new use by Mike Harper Engineering and his team based at the Heywood and transported to it’s new position at the Diss Youth and Community Centre (DYCC) which is also set to be the new home for the Park Radio studios.  The mast will transmit to Diss, Eye and surrounding areas including Redgrave, Botesdale, Mellis, Dickleburgh and New Buckenham.  A second mast will be installed at a later date in Harleston to increase coverage.  

Park Radio’s Diss mast will operate on the FM frequency using 107.6FM with the Harleston mast using 105.2FM, and the station is on course for being on-air before Christmas, after winning a five year community broadcast licence from OFCOM.

To keep up to date with Park Radio, you can follow them on Facebook @parkradiodissImage may contain: 9 people, people smiling, people standing, sky and outdoor

 

Congratulations to Dinsdale’s Triangle Trail winners!

Well done!

A big thank you to those who attended the HTP launch event last Saturday. It was great to see so many of you enjoying the new gardens and boardwalk space. The Triangle was busy with visitors exploring the lovely independent shops, The Corn Hall and new streetscape.

Dinsdale’s Triangle Trail was a great success with over 50 individuals taking part for their chance to win prizes donated by local traders! Well done to you all for getting involved. The trail was enjoyed by all ages who discovered more about the history of Diss from the information signs around the Triangle. A local resident commented: “I’ve lived here 20 years and didn’t know that!”

PRIZE WINNERS:

1st prize:  Indigo and Tam Bradford – Signed copy of Mike Webb’s Dinsdale drawing with frame donated by Photo Elite and voucher for 50 free prints.

2nd prize: Penny Killian Anderson- A whole crispy aromatic duck from Happy Palace worth over £30!

3rd prize: Amie Chessman- Heritage Triangle Traders goodies hamper including free afternoon Tea for Two at Armandines.

4th prize: Ava Peck- Luxury Hamper.

5th prize: Joshua and Oliver Clements- Homemade duck shaped cake. (made by Dinsdale)

6th prize: Xenthe Bennet- £25 Weavers voucher.

7th prize: The Armstrong family- £25 Voucher The Flower Shop hand tied or gift wrapped bouquet.

8th prize: Martha Wyatt- Cut ‘n’ blow dry voucher for Market Hill Hair Salon.

9th prize: Jane Williams- £10 voucher from Bella Nail Salon

10th prize: Tommy Howard- £5 voucher from the Wool Shop.

 

Heritage Triangle Project Completion

Heritage Triangle Project Launch Event- Saturday 9th September 2017

After months of hard work and effort with this fantastic project, the end is in sight! To celebrate the completion of the boardwalk & gardens, the Corn Hall renovation and new streetscape scene, we’re hosting an event. From 11am-4pm, the Triangle will be filled with entertainment including street performers, organs, poetry reading, a yummy BBQ and the lovely Heritage Triangle Traders welcome you to visit them on your way round. Take a walk through the beautiful gardens and admire the Mere from the new boardwalk. It really is a spectacular sight!

Our favourite duck Dinsdale will be waddling round to greet you all and encourage you to take part in “Dinsdale’s Triangle Trail”. Starting at the Corn Hall, collect your trail form to begin. Follow the clues, spot Dinsdale’s duck friends in local shop windows and answer his questions around the Triangle for your chance to win some fantastic prizes donated by local traders!

This is a fantastic opportunity for Diss and we hope you all enjoy the new space. Spread the word!

 

Neighbourhood Plan- Have your say!

Are you fed up with the traffic congestion on Victoria Road? Rat running in your local area? Concerned about school places, transport issues, health provision or a lack of local jobs? Maybe you are worried about the future of Diss’ local economy? Whatever your beef, the Diss & District Neighbourhood Plan will be your chance to have your say and get involved in helping to prepare a plan that will shape future development in the area for the benefit of the community.

A great way to get started is to take our short survey by 31st August 2017… Let’s work together to create a bright future! Click here for more details.

Don’t Miss Diss’ Party of the Year!

Since its revival in 2008, Diss Carnival has gone from strength to strength – it’s the annual party that the whole town get involved in. Residents and visitors alike line the streets of Diss to watch the traditional procession through the town then join in the entertainment at the Fun Day.

This year, the Carnival is set to be bigger and better than ever before, celebrating Carnival Through the Ages. Taking place right in the heart of Diss, in the Park, we’ve got plenty of fun in store. Expect the unexpected, from Vikings to Vintage Vehicles – and everything in between. Meander around the iconic Mere and enjoy the stalls and activities, or join us ringside for some fantastic entertainment!

Not only are we in a brand new location, but we’ve got some new activities to keep the whole family entertained. This year, we’re proud to present our very own It’s A Knockout Games. We’ve got five inflatable challenges for the teams to complete in, from Sumo Suits to a Bucking Pig, as well as games in the arena.

The Procession kicks off from the High School at 12.45pm, finishing at the Park. The Fun Day will run from 1pm – 5.30pm. We’ve been generously supported by businesses across Diss to make this years’ Carnival a FREE event, so come on down to Diss on Sunday 11th June and celebrate all things Carnival! With so much taking place throughout the day, make sure to pick up a copy of the Diss Carnival 2017 programme (available from 20th May) so you don’t miss a thing! Available for just £1 at retailers throughout Diss and at the Town Council offices.

For more information or to get involved, visit www.diss-carnival.co.uk or contact us via Facebook or twitter @disscarnival

Community Defibrillators

This month our Council Leader and Deputy Town Clerk were proud to support the Rotary Club of Diss & District at the launch of their third 24 hour public access defibrillator at Jewsons Ltd on Victoria Road.  Diss now has a total of 8 defibrillators, 3 of which are 24 hour public access.  You can view a map of their locations here.

We are keen to raise awareness of how easy it is for anyone to use this life saving equipment.  Our staff enjoyed a fascinating First Aid training session and we plan to roll out this training to all staff & councillors in the New Year – what better way to support the community of Diss than by saving a life.

If you are keen to learn more about these defibrillators and how they work in an emergency, the Rotary Club of Diss & District and The Community Heartbeat Trust are holding their first Community Awareness Seminar on 24 January 2017 at the Methodist Church in Diss. Please contact Ken Chapman at kchapman717@gmail.com to book. You can also find out more about them with this handy FAQ on the Community Heartbeat Website.

Supporting those in need this Christmas

This year, staff and councillors alike have been getting involved with the Waveney Foodbank’s reverse advent calendar to help support families in crisis over Christmas. Starting from November 6th, for 24 days we donated an item a day to make a Christmas hamper for those in need.

Our Deputy Town Clerk with Councillors and the donations.

Our Deputy Town Clerk with Councillors and the donations.

 

The Waveney Foodbank is part of a nationwide network of foodbanks supported by the Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK. The Centre has been facing increasing difficulty as funding reduces every year. They already rely on volunteers and donations to keep running, but are currently fundraising for a new van to aid in their collections, and for funds to help keep the distribution centre open. If you are looking to do some fundraising, or just get into the spirit of goodwill, perhaps give the foodbank a call?

 

Councillors and staff with our food boxes.

Festive fun for a good cause – Marketing & Administration Assistant Rosie, Councillors Minshull, Kiddie, Mrs and Mr Wenman with their donations.

Foodbanks provide a vital service to individuals and families in crisis, by providing three days nutritionally balanced food. Christmas can be one of the hardest times of year for those on low incomes and living under the poverty line. As the weather grows colder, people are forced to choose between heating or eating – an awful choice for anyone to have to make.

We hope that our boxes will make a positive difference to local families’ lives. Council Leader Graham Minshull said: “Being a councillor is about giving back to the community, too. At the end of the day, I can sit down for Christmas dinner knowing that I helped make sure someone else didn’t go hungry – it’s what the festive season is all about.”

You can find out more about the Waveney Foodbank and support their cause by visiting their website or calling 0845 269 1078. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.