Gallery: Damp start as Suffolk Show opens its gates to the public
09:42 28 May 2014
Wellies and waterproofs are the order of the day at the Suffolk Show this morning.
Tuesday’s torrential rain has left its mark on the showground and the car parks – but the rain has now stopped and it is hoped the sandy soil will drain quickly.
However the fetching combination of posh summer hats and bowlers accompanied by all colours of wellies is very much in evidence.
Roads to the show are reasonable – although there is some standing water on Bucklesham Road. This is passable but drivers were taking it carefully.
Felixstowe farmer John Adams, 51, said the weather was not “ideal” for the Suffolk Show but said the day will still go according to plan.
“It is a bit of a shame we have had so much rain over the last two days but they have well-maintained land here, especially the actual showground, and it should still go well today,” he said.
“I don’t think, in terms of volume, the rain over the years has been as bad but it could have been much worse.”
Liam Ramsey, 43, an estate agent based in Ipswich, who is at the Suffolk Show with son Ewan, eight, said despite the gloomy weather he had to queue up to get in to the car park this morning for the first time in a “few years”.
He said: “It looks like the weather has not stopped people from coming.
“People are making the most of it. They have got their wellies on and have come prepared.
“The forecast for today improved yesterday and we would have come here through high hell and water. Nothing would have stopped us.”
Explaining why the show is such a popular event for the family, he added: “It is important to maintain the agriculture heritage of Suffolk. It is a fantastic event. Where else can you buy a car, equipment for your garden or livestock?
“It is a tradition of Suffolk and I think it is important to maintain traditions and the identity of Suffolk which can so easily be lost.”
The car parks were mainly fine first thing, although there were muddy patches on the roads around the Foxhall park which could become more challenging later in the day.
Judging of the farm animal classes was well under way first thing, as were the first rounds of showjumping competitions.
Up to 90,000 people are expected to descend on the showground today and tomorrow for the annual two-day showpiece event.
Congestion has been fairly minimal in recent years but due to the sheer volume of traffic heading towards the show site, it does lead to hold-ups, particularly around Seven Hills.
Police are asking people going to the show and those who aren’t to make sure they leave extra time to travel.
Drivers approaching along the A12 from Woodbridge will be directed along the Bucklesham village route, while those approaching from the west along the A14 are asked to come off at the Seven Hills roundabout, use both lanes on the slip road off the A14 and then utilise two lanes around the roundabout itself towards the showground.
Vehicles travelling eastbound on the A14 attending the Suffolk Show are also asked to use lane one after junction 57, with other traffic travelling to Felixstowe urged to use lane two to avoid unnecessary disruption.
Traffic from Ipswich should make use of arrangements along Bucklesham Road to access Gate 4, while those approaching from Felixstowe should follow signing off the A14 prior to the Seven Hills junction. Drivers are being asked to follow these routes in reverse when leaving the showground, with two lanes of traffic flowing from Gate 10 back to the Seven Hills interchange.