There are various ways in which you can support Diss Museum.


Buy memorabilia, including DVDs, CDs, booklets, fridge magnets, postcards, bookmarks and a wide range of secondhand books.


Entry is free, but visitors are encouraged to put at least £1 per person in the donations box, to ensure that the museum goes on serving the town.



The museum is staffed by volunteer stewards. We are always on the look out for more. It is a pleasant duty, for just two hours at a time of your own choosing. You meet the world and his wife and help to run the town's main tourist attraction. If you would like to volunteer or receive more information, please contact 01379 642168 or email  A list of our volunteer roles can be downloaded here.

Heritage Triangle

In partnership with the Heritage Triangle committee the museum has put on several events to promote and regenerate the area bounded by the corn hall, church and museum. Please click here for more information.

Friends of Diss Museum

Becoming a Friend entitles you to reduced entrance fees, eligibility to vote at the AGM and two Newsletters per year.
For more information about the Museum or to become a Friend please contact

Annual Subscriptions (due 1st April):
Single:  £10.00     Households:  £15.00

Annual subscription shall become due on the first day of April each year. Members whose subscriptions are not paid by the start of the AGM shall forfeit their right to vote. Members whose subscriptions are twelve months in arrears shall be automatically excluded from membership

Committee members:
Chairman Basil Abbott
Vice Chairman Mike Clarke
Secretary Jan Smith - membership enquiries to Jan Smith

Support Diss Museum

Memories of Diss - a talk by Derek Potter

Derek Potter Post Office 1996a

Friends of Diss Museum held a very successful event with local character Derek Potter entertaining a packed audience with his reminiscences of life growing up in Diss.

As a trainee decorator, one day he was cycling down Mount Street with two pails of whitewash on the handlebars, unfortunately the bike skidded and the whitewash ended up on Admiral Taylor’s front door. Coincidentally, Admiral Taylor’s daughter, Ann Ward, was in the audience, she hadn’t known who did it until now!

As a signwriter, Derek was persuaded by Pete Gillings to paint the sign for his infamous ‘Arrods’ shop in Diss.
Derek and his family ran the Post Office on Fair Green for 50 years from 1946 to 1996 so he has a great knowledge of local people and events. The audience kept him chatting long after his talk ended.

Many thanks to Derek for a great evening.

A visit to theGrange Musical Collection
Friends of Diss Museum stewards and volunteers greatly enjoyed their visit to the mechanical music collection that Jonny Ling has assembled at his home in Palgrave.

It is wonderful to be in the company of true enthusiasts and this was no exception, Jonny and fellow enthusiast Alan Smith demonstrated everything from the simplest single-melody music boxes to the most sophisticated street organs.

Along the way we heard barrel organs playing lovely old tunes, they can select up to ten different melodies at the turn of an adjustment mechanism, instruments programmed by perforated metal disc, an example of the famous “Pianola” self-playing piano, programmed by a roll of perforated paper – this one was Jonny’s first purchases, aged 14!

These music machines have all been beautifully restored and have all been in service in homes, cafes, theatres and, of course, on the street, powered by crank handle, treadle, clockwork and electric motor and they all have their own unique history.

An afternoon of cheery music topped off by voting for our favourite tunes which ranged from ‘Marriage of Figaro’ to ‘Mr Bojangles’, a lovely end to a warm sunny September afternoon.

Already a stalwart of the Cotton Mechanical Music Museum, we wish Jonny every success with his new venture and look forward to seeing the barrel organs at next year’s Diss Organ Festival on 20 May 2018. This outing was a thank-you from the Trustees of Diss Museum to their volunteers

The ideal gift to send to Australia!

This was the unsolicited testimonial from our first customer for the re-issue of the DVD ‘Dawn to Dusk in Diss’.

When David van der Hulks (see picture) came to Diss in 2015 he soon became a steward at the Museum. Before he knew it, he was chief guide for the popular walking tour, ‘The Stroll Around Diss’ and during his research for the stroll he came across two video recordings.

David van der Hulks2

‘Dawn to Dusk’ was made by the Rotary Club of Diss & District to record activities throughout the town on the longest Market Day of the new millennium, 23rd June 2000. After obtaining permission, the Friends of Diss Museum produced a DVD, adding some music familiar to Diss ears, that of regular busking jazz guitarist Jack Austin.

The other DVD is ‘The Stroll 2011’. This was created by the late Vincent Hemmings for the Diss and District Society, affiliates of CPRE, the Campaign to Protect Rural England. In winding-up the Society, its secretary, the late Commander John Taylor, transferred the copyrights for the DVD and the leaflet for The Stroll, together with existing stocks to the Friends of Diss Museum (FoDM).

The DVD literally takes you on a stroll around Diss, highlighting the many ancient buildings and their histories including the Manorial Map of 1637. The Friends could not take on the task of monitoring building development in Diss but the promotion of the town’s history for the benefit of its residents was already its main aim, through Diss Museum.

‘Dawn to Dusk’ gives us a fascinating glimpse into the many activities of the town in 2000 whilst ‘The Stroll’ focuses upon its wealth of historic buildings in 2011.

These are available from the Museum at £8 each.

11 Market Hill
IP22 3JZ
01379 673613

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