Thetford: Dad’s Army butcher’s van to return to Walmington-on-Sea

THE ORIGINAL butcher’s van used by Lance Corporal Jack Jones in classic sitcom Dad’s Army is returning to its spiritual home.

The 1935 Ford Box van, used by “Jonesy” in the 1970s show, was bought at auction for �63,100 by officials from the Dad’s Army Museum in Thetford.

The money was put forward by Trevor and Mavis Jenkins and the Pearson family after an appeal by the museum for a “generous benefactor” after it realised it could not raise the money in the time left before the Bonhams auction.

Corinne Fulford, manager of the Charles Burrell Museum, said the auction had been “the most nerve wracking thing I’ve ever experienced”.

She added: “I don’t think our ability to raise the money we needed was ever in doubt, the timescale however, was just too quick for us and we therefore needed help – we cannot thank the Jenkins and Pearsons enough for their kindness and cannot wait to see the iconic Jones’s Van back where she belongs.

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“I’m also very grateful to Jo Pearson, who thankfully handled the bidding for us.”

The van, which was initially expected to fetch between �20,000 and �30,000, features in some of Dad Army’s most famous scenes that were filmed in and around Thetford - the setting for the fictional Walmington-on-Sea.

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Chairman Stuart Wright said he hoped to pay the money back within five years.

He added: “We are very lucky that so many people came forward with donations and pledges to help us but the committee decided to accept the kind offers made by the Jenkins and Pearsons and will now be looking to fundraise to ensure that they are repaid as soon as possible.”

The van is expected to be delivered later this week and will be on display from March in the Charles Burrell Museum.

L/Cpl Jones, who owned and drove the van in the series and was famed for his ‘Don’t panic’ catchphrase, was played by Clive Dunn, who died in November aged 92.

Thetford was not the only landscape used by legendary writers Jimmy Perry and David Croft.

Honington Primary School and The Six Bells pub in Bardwell also make an appearance with th Walmington Home Guard.

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