EveningNews24

Dads Army Museum volunteers Mick Whitman and Saxon Syndon-Steele dress up as Captain Mainwaring and Private Pike.

Dad’s Army van comes home to Thetford

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
10.04 AM

The original butcher’s van used by Lance Corporal Jack Jones in the popular sitcom Dad’s Army will be coming home to Walmington-on-Sea.

The 1935 Ford Box van 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”.

The money will now be paid back at a later date from fundraising efforts.

The van, auctioned at Bonhams, had been expected to fetch between £20,000 and £30,000.

Museum manager Corinne Fulford said: “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.

“The auction was the most nerve racking thing I’ve ever experienced and it may take me a while to recover.

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

L/Cpl Jones, whose catchphrase was “don’t panic”, was played by Clive Dunn, who died in November aged 92.

Many of the well-known scenes were filmed in and around Thetford, which became the fictional Walmington-on-Sea in the television series.

Chairman Stuart Wright said he hopes to pay the money back within five years, and 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 fund raise to ensure that they are repaid as soon as possible.”