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New trophy at Diss Carnival in honour of Pete Gillings




A new trophy will be added to the Diss Carnival procession award categories this year in honour of Peter Gillings.

Peter Gillings, in his bowler hat and Union Jack shirt, was always a familiar sight at the carnival procession.
Peter Gillings, in his bowler hat and Union Jack shirt, was always a familiar sight at the carnival procession.

Mr Gillings, who ran Gillings of Diss, died in October, following a three-and-a-half year battle with cancer.

He was one of the town’s most-loved characters and known for driving the Diss Carnival queen each year and appearing on TV shows Come Dine With Me and Salvage Hunters.

Nicknamed Mr Diss or PG, his bowler hat and Union Jack shirt were a familiar sight at the carnival procession.

Mr Gillings was known for being outrageous and humorous and has been described as “irrepressible”.

Now, the “Peter Gillings Trophy” will be awarded to the most flamboyant entrant in this year’s carnival procession.

His daughter, Toni Gillings, 50, said: “I cannot say how proud I am. My dad did a lot for Diss and it’s nice that he is being remembered in this way.

“I think he would’ve laughed and he would’ve been so proud. To honour the most flamboyant is just so fitting. He would’ve enjoyed it.”

The trophy encourages people to embrace the same characteristics that Mr Gillings was known and loved for.

“I think the person winning this trophy has to be a little bit nutty, outrageous and not scared to make a fool of themselves, because dad wasn’t,” said Ms Gillings.

She has also been asked to drive the lead car, her father’s Mercedes Benz, at the parade this year.

Mr Gillings, who was made an Honoured Citizen of Diss in March 2016, moved to the town with his parents in 1962, when he was 14.

His company, Gillings of Diss, has been based in Mission Road for more than 55 years, which was where he also lived.

The carnival takes place on June 9.



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