A view of Diss in the 1950s

Aerial Pictures of Diss from St Mary's Church Tower Circa 1951

Aerial Pictures of Diss from St Mary's Church Tower Circa 1951

What changes in Diss can you spot from these views of the town taken from St Mary’s Church tower in the 1950s?

Sent in by Diss historian Dennis Cross, these images are probably from about 1951.

The image looking down Mere Street still seems quite familiar today.

Although in a different location, the chip cart can be seen among the stalls, given away by the steam of cooking potatoes rising from the flue.

Owned by the Youngman family, Mr Cross said one job he had as a boy was to go bean picking for the family.

The chip cart is still in Diss on market day today.

To the right of the picture where the fish and chip shop now stands was Harry Eastoe’s wet fish shop. One down from that was the old Hopgood’s store. Then came Jones’ hairdressers and the old Wallace King furniture store.

The former King’s Head pub stood where the travel agents and British Heart Foundation charity shop now operate.

Mr Cross said of the old King’s Head: “It was a fabulous coaching inn, it was wicked to see it go.”

The inn was gutted and divided up into shops.

It saw use also for wedding receptions and other functions and featured a ballroom.

Mr Cross said: “There won’t be many local people who haven’t been there for some sort of function.”

The car park at the rear, which could soon see a new pub-cum-restaurant built, used to feature a bowling green.

By the 1980s there was less demand for what the King’s Head had to offer, and it was redeveloped.

Another shot from the church tower looks over the Mere. The old building on the far bank of the Mere was a former hospital, which was pulled down. The Grasmere Conservative headquarters building stands in its place.

A picture was also taken up Mount Street. The Saracen’s Head can be seen in the foreground, while the Weavers Court development to the right was yet to be built.

Finally, the view up St Nicholas Street is still broadly recognisable, with the Corn Hall a distinct feature and The Crown pub looking grand at the top of the street.

The Crown pub’s days appear numbered however, after planning approval was recently gained to turn it into flats and a retail unit.




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