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MEMORY LANE: Publicity stunts are nothing new

Oxon on Pump Hill, Diss and Atora Wagon
Oxon on Pump Hill, Diss and Atora Wagon

How about this for a way to advertise suet?

This picture is from Diss historian Dennis Cross’s collection and features Market Hill in Diss with an Atora wagon, advertising the famous beef suet that bears its name.

Newbolds clothing store can be seen in the background, including some of the fancy hats in the window.

You can also see the council offices to the left, although at this time the building was used as a home.

According to Atora, which was founded in 1893 by Frenchman Gabriel Hugon, who lived in Manchester, the scene is what would today be referred to as a publicity stunt.

Playing on the fact that suet comes from beef cattle, Mr Hugon’s marketing campaign saw these wagons pulled all across the country. Six pairs of Hereford bullocks were used to head up the wagons.

Designed to turn heads, Atora states that it was one of the best publicity stunts made by a British firm at that time.

Mr Cross said the picture was likely to be pre-1930s.

Later the wagons joined the famous Chipperfield’s Circus and took part in parades up and down the country.

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