Dereham Day 2024

May 9, 2024

Dereham Day is set to be an outing for the whole family on Saturday 11 May.

Tim Cara

“It’s a day when the whole town comes together to celebrate why Dereham is such a great place to live and work,” said Tim Cara, chair of Friends of Dereham Memorial Hall, and organiser of the event.

With over 140 groups participating on May 11, this year’s Dereham Day promises “to be a bigger spectacle” than the last, according to Paul Sandford, landlord of the Railway Tavern.

The town is expecting to welcome 10,000 people to the festivities. This year, more businesses in the town will open their doors with special offers for visitors to Dereham Day.

“There will also be puppet shows on the pocket park at Ellenor Fenn Garden, and displays of chainsaw carving at a local gallery,” said Mr Cara.

One event not to miss is the opening ceremony, which pays tribute to the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Ninety-eight-year-old local resident and war veteran Audrey Foster will be kicking off the proceedings.

Speaking about Ms Foster’s career, Mr Cara noted that “she lied about her age to get into the forces, and spent the end of the war under fire night after night on her gun emplacement!”

Ms Foster will be piped to the stage by Jacob Millin, the grandson of William Millin, who famously piped the allied troops ashore on Sword Beach, and played the pipes during a three-day shelling while the landings progressed.

Although the Memorial Hall will be packed with the usual plays and performances, this year’s event has attracted businesses from across the town. The leisure centre, for example, will be open for free swims and the Orion Cinema will be screening free vintage cine films.

The event has attracted local business sponsorship to help keep the event free to the public. Dereham Day will begin at 10 am, and is set to end at 4 pm.