Decoding Diss’s past and debunking some myths
PUBLISHED: 11:41 25 May 2018
The history sleuths of Diss have been back at work, decoding an old photograph of the town and debunking a few myths about roadworks at the same time. Many look back on the days of yesteryear with a sepia tinted fondness, believing it was easier to get about with either no or far less traffic and little worry over road works.
But, a few Diss detectives with a good knowledge of the town’s history have put the record straight and revealed that just like many other towns and cities across the county, Diss has suffered from roadworks for decades.
Decoding an old photograph showing Mere Street at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, members of the Enjoy Diss More facebook group named shops and dated the image to somewhere in the first decade of the 20th century.
The photograph, taken looking down Mere Street from opposite Mere’s Mouth towards the Market place shows a quiet high street, with a few of the town’s businesses from days gone by including The Ship Inn, which was demolished in 1968.
Group member Philip Clarke said: “This photograph is a little harder to date than some, but I can say with absolute certainty that it cannot have been taken any later than 1910.
Describing the buildings in the image Mr Clarke added: “In the far distance, we can see that four and five Mere Street (International Stores and the adjacent shop; the mock Tudor buildings) have not yet been rebuilt, so that would give us a definite latest date.
“At 42 Mere Street, we can see WJ Livock painted on the gable end. Although Mr Livock died in 1891, and the jewellers had become Livock & Moss by 1899, the sign wasn’t re-painted until much later.”
Using his knowledge Mr Clarke suggested the photograph was taken between 1900 and 1910.
But it was when one member commented on the apparent lack of roadworks that another image of the town revealed even more of Diss’s history and its road works.
Leading Brigitte Hewson to comment: “That’s a great picture of real life.”