Time travel back through Diss of yesteryear

Wymondham, Norfolk. Elizabeth Walne with her book Diss and District Through Time
Wymondham, Norfolk. Elizabeth Walne with her book Diss and District Through Time

Diss Express genealogy columnist Elizabeth Budd has produced a rich pictorial history guide to the Diss area which draws on the county’s extensive photographic archives.

Diss & District Through Time by Mrs Budd, who writes under her maiden name of Elizabeth Walne, is part of Amberley Publishing’s Through Time local history series and charts the changing face of the town and nearby villages.

Mrs Budd grew up in Badingham, attended Framlingham’s Thomas Mills High School, studied at the UEA and now lives in Wymondham.

She said: “I would describe myself as a local girl. I’ve been visiting Diss since I was little.”

Her interest in local history was sparked by an inspirational teacher called Rosemary Ingate who wrote on her primary school photographic project ‘Future village recorder?’.

While she didn’t become a village recorder, she has pursued her passion for social history and now has her dream job working for the Norfolk Record Office.

In compiling the book, she reviewed well over 1,000 photographs, prints, maps, pamphlets,drawings and paintings dating from the 1700s up to the early days of photography in the mid 1800s and through to the modern day. Many of the old street scenes are complimented by her own photographs taken today showing how the town has altered. “Although I was amazed at how much hadn’t changed,” she said. “If you look carefully, there is much that is still there.”

Material came from several sources including the Norfolk Record Office and the Norfolk Heritage Centre. Many of the Diss images came from Picture Norfolk which is part of the County Archive in the Library Service and has 1,700 pictures online with over 200,000 at libraries around the county. (See www.picture.norfolk.gov.uk)

Images also came from the Cleer S Alger Trust and from the private collection of Norfolk photographer George Plunkett (1931-2006).

Diss & District Through Time by Elizabeth Warne is on sale in local bookshops and on Amazon, with copies available at local libraries. WebWatch: www.yourlocalhistory.co.uk