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Diss youngsters have a brush with the past

Diss Media Group. Picture Submitted
Diss Media Group. Picture Submitted

Youngsters are bristling with excitement about their forthcoming exhibition at the Corn Hall.

Diss Media Group, from Diss High School, is one of three groups, including Year 5 pupils from Roydon Primary School and Year 8 pupils from Wymondham College, which has been working on a project to celebrate the history of the brush making industry in South Norfolk.

The media group has been making a documentary film about all aspects of the industry, including interviews with local people.

Brush making was an important part of the area’s economy with the brush making firms of Aldrich Bros Ltd in Diss and Briton Burch Co in Wymondham.

Aldrich Bros began life in the 1830s in Norfolk House Yard before moving to Shelfanger Road and, at its peak, employed around 500 people.

It made brushes mainly for household, agricultural and industrial use, as well as specialising in matting, supplying mats to Number 10, Downing Street and Great Yarmouth Circus. Both factories closed down in the 1980s.

Now the stories of the factories are to be told at a new exhibition at Diss Corn Hall, called A Brush With the Past.

“It is a Heritage Lottery funded project started by the Eastern Region Media community interest company and it has been great to see younger and older generations coming together to make it happen,” said Jess Johnston, Diss Project manager.

Roydon pupils have been working on an animation film loosely based on the Diss factory, while Wymondham students have been working with award-winning artist Maz Jackson on various art works.

The exhibition runs at Diss Corn Hall from July 4 to September 15. A launch event will be held on July 9.

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