Don’t panic! As road collapses outside Thetford’s Dad’s Army Museum

The Dad's Army Museum's original Jonsey's van with volunteers  Mick Whitman and Alan Jason as Capt Mainwearing and Private Pike. EMN-140817-180645009
The Dad's Army Museum's original Jonsey's van with volunteers Mick Whitman and Alan Jason as Capt Mainwearing and Private Pike. EMN-140817-180645009
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They didn’t panic at the Dad’s Army museum when a large hole opened up in the road outside.

In fact, volunteers at the Thetford museum were more interested in seeing if they could spot themselves in the trailers for the new Dad’s Army film due out in February.

Capt Mainwearing would have taken a dim view of part of the road and pavement in Cage Lane disappearing down a mysterious hole, and sent Private Pike down to check for Nazi fifth columnists.

But, having repaired it, Norfolk County Council has no idea why it appeared. It meant a lamppost had to be removed and the road closed last Thursday, which the council says should reopen today (Monday).

Museum chairman Stuart Wright said: “Pedestrian access to the museum was maintained, so it did not make much difference to us.”

But what has made a difference is the new Dad’s Army film starring Toby Jones, Bill Nighy and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Though not out until February 5, two trailers have been released and the second includes the museum’s original Jonesey’s van which was in about half the 80 shows.

Stuart added: “A few of the volunteers went up as extras so they’re scouring the trailers for glimpses of themselves – my wife and son saw themselves in a crowd scene.”

The museum, which has owned Jonsey’s van since 2012, marks Thetford’s link to the original 1968-1977 Home Guard television series. Thetford was used because it is close to the Stanta training grounds, where the BBC could have explosions, but many scenes were filmed around the town .

The cast stayed at The Bell and Anchor hotels, with the latter appearing in the first episode.

The museum is open on Saturdays until November and will open early next year, on February 27, with some props from the film added to its displays.