And some only slightly more likely

EDP Norfolk - - Places -

Rad­i­cal thinker THOMAS PAINE, who helped spark Amer­i­can in­de­pen­dence and was also heav­ily in­volved in the French Rev­o­lu­tion, spent a year in Diss, work­ing as an un­der­wear-maker.

Diss is linked to two poet lau­re­ates: JOHN SKEL­TON and SIR JOHN BETJEMAN

SKEL­TON be­came rec­tor of St Mary’s Church in 1504 and one of his po­ems is about killing pi­geons in the church. He also hor­ri­fied parish­ioners when he at­tended church with an un­mar­ried part­ner, and their child. He was also one of the young Henry VIII’s tu­tors.

Betjeman wrote a poem, called A MIND’S

JOURNEY TO DISS, for the wife of prime min­is­ter Harold Wil­son, who grew up in the town. The poem be­gins: Yes, it will be bliss To go with you by train to Diss.

The Mere has been trans­formed into an ICE

RINK dur­ing cold win­ters and in 1827 an im­promptu cricket match was played on the frozen lake.

Diss has sev­eral more claims to sport­ing fame in­clud­ing be­ing the child­hood home of THOMAS LORD,

founder of Lord’s cricket ground.

Last year sci­en­tists col­lected sam­ples from the 16 ME­TRES OF

MUD be­lieved to lie be­neath the mere 5.5 me­tres of wa­ter of Diss Mere. Pollen anal­y­sis sug­gests the sed­i­ments have been ac­cu­mu­lat­ing for at least 10,000 years and so mud from Diss Mere is help­ing re­searchers work out when agri­cul­ture ar­rived in the area, and when dif­fer­ent crops were in­tro­duced.

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