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Diss town centre is coming up roses as Floral Diss gets underway

Doreen Collins (far right, centre) with supporters of Floral Diss.
Doreen Collins (far right, centre) with supporters of Floral Diss.

Christmas roses and a cheery mix of evergreens.

These are the first plants to take pride of place in a series of wooden planters along Mere Street in Diss.

Last Tuesday, Floral Diss – a scheme to help bring the street alive with flower power – got under way.

It is the brainchild of former carnival organiser and town champion Doreen Collins.

Mrs Collins managed to raise more than £4,000 in just three months to get the scheme started.

Five planters are now in place with more planned for the spring.

One of the planters will be dedicated to another town champion, and one of its most popular residents, Peter Gillings, who died last month from cancer, aged 69.

“Peter helped me greatly over the years with the carnival, and I thought it would be a nice tribute to him,” said Mrs Collins.

“He knew about the idea and was also very supportive.”

The five planters, which are five-feet long, are positioned outside William H Brown, the old Hemstock’s jewellers shop, the former NatWest bank, Hemstock’s current jewellers shop and in the Market Place.

Mrs Collins hopes to add a further 10 planters, some of which will be smaller in size, next year.

Several shopkeepers have offered to help with the upkeep, but the planters can also be individually sponsored by businesses.

The project has been funded by Diss and District Rotary Club, Diss Town Guide Committee, Diss Town Team, Diss Allotments Charity, the Freemasons and district councillors Keith Kiddie, Graham Minshull and Tony Palmer. Diss Town Council is helping with insurance costs.

“The planters were installed on Tuesday and it was an exciting moment,” added Mrs Collins. “They will really take off in spring, and show everybody we really do care about our town.”

Read what shopkeepers had to say about the project in this week's Diss Express, out now

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