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Diss history told through traders of the Heritage triangle

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Some of the names, and trades, have disappeared into Diss history.

PAGES OF HISTORY: Peter Hyde with the new book on the Diss Heritage Triangle.
PAGES OF HISTORY: Peter Hyde with the new book on the Diss Heritage Triangle.

Names like Bobbys, who, as well as drapers, were hatters, silk merciers, hosiers, milliners and mantle makers.

Others, like Albrights, have survived, although it has moved to new premises and is now quite different to the ironmongers opened by Joseph Albright in 1887.

Their stories, and more, are told in Traders Of The Triangle And Their Shops, part of the Heritage Lottery-funded Diss Heritage Triangle programme.

Co-author Peter Hyde said it was remarkable in Diss that the old trading area had hardly changed since medieval times.

“If a Diss resident from 1580 were to find himself in St Nicholas’ Street today, he would know exactly where to find the Greyhound or the Saracens Head, should he wish to quench his thirst,” he said.

“The shops, many of which are in listed buildings, retain many of their original features and layouts.

“The fact that many parts of Norfolk and Suffolk were considered by developers and town planners to be rural backwaters saved these old buildings from bulldozers during the ‘white heat’ of technology during the ‘60s and ‘70s.”

The book has taken five years to produce and records nearly 500 business initiatives going back to the 1700s.

Sheila Moss-King, the triangle programme manager, said: “My role was to create the index, which took me three times longer than I expected, because of the sheer wealth of information about people, families and trades.

“This is a book packed full of memories that are sure to fascinate everyone with a connection to Diss – whether they’re interested in the triangle in Victorian times, in the 1970s or even the present day.”

The 168-page hardback book will be on sale later this month in shops and online, priced £20 (plus p&p online).

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