Second day of sunshine sends visitor numbers soaring at the Suffolk Show
PUBLISHED: 16:57 01 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:57 01 June 2017
Archant © 2017
Tens of thousands of further visitors flocked to the Suffolk Show on Thursday as perfect weather came to Trinity Park.
Bright sunshine combined with a gentle breeze to keep things comfortable – and show organisers were delighted by the numbers who came through the gates.
It was director Bee Kemball’s first of three shows in charge – and she was delighted by the success of the event, the crowds, the sunshine, and the happy atmosphere.
She said: “We don’t know the numbers of people here at this stage – but it is quite clear this has been a very successful show. The gut feeling we have all had is that this is one of the most successful for years.
“The weather has clearly helped, but it’s been a great event that people wanted to come to and enjoy – and they have done that in their tens of thousands.”
It was not possible for her to pick out a favourite individual event from two days’ entertainment – but there would be a lasting impression on her.
She said: “It was just so great to see happy smiling faces of people of all ages – it is really great to be able to think we have helped provide such a great day out for a large number of people.”
She is directing the show for another two years – and is already looking forward to next year.
She said: “We start with our first debrief and planning meeting for next year just next week – a show like this really does take a year in the planning.
“There are a few things that I’ve seen that I want to change a bit, tweak here and there. They’re not the kind of thing most people would notice but I think we can make a few improvements.”
The normal agricultural exhibits were joined by other displays providing a variety of entertainment in the Grand Ring and around the showground.
One of the most popular displays was the Atkinson Action Horses in the Grand Ring. These highly-trained riders and horses are often seen in television dramas and films.
They have been seen in programmes ranging from Poldark to Peaky Blinders – and attracted a huge crowd for their death-defying stunt riding that impressed everyone.
The Grand Parade is another highlight where all the prize winners parade around the main ring so visitors can see who has won the top prize.
But for many the highlight of the show is simply meeting old friends and acquaintances as they wander around the showground – sometimes meeting people they haven’t seen since last year.
Among those getting into the Suffolk Show spirit were the county’s two bishops who visited many of the stands around the show.
For the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, Rt Rev Martin Seeley it was his third visit to the show. He was impressed by the way it brought people together from a wide range of backgrounds.
He said: “It helps to really create an identity for Suffolk and on a day like today it is really good to see so many happy faces.
“I was speaking to a sugar beet farmer who said that in his discussions with people at the show it had become clear that people were now understanding more about what farmers do.”
The church also provided tickets for a group of Syrian refugees to visit the show on the Wednesday. Bishop Martin said: “There were 20 adults and 20 children. Because of Ramadan they weren’t able to enjoy the food on display – but they really enjoyed the atmosphere and the sense of togetherness.”
For the Bishop of Dunwich Rt Rev Mike Harrison, it was his first visit – and he celebrated by having his face painted!
He said: “I was moving from Leicestershire last year, and it’s clear to me that the Suffolk Show is a showcase for our wonderful county.
“You can’t live in Suffolk for long without realising the massive proportion of the county that is given over to agriculture in one form or another and the Suffolk Show offers a great opportunity to celebrate this.”
The show wound down at the end the end of yesterday afternoon with the last events finishing shortly after 6pm.
Mrs Kemball said: “At that point we can all sit down and relax with a glass of wine for about half an hour – by then some trade stands might still be open but everything will start to come to an end.
“But then tomorrow we’ll all be back to get on with the clear-up. But that will be a bit different – we’ll all be in jeans and trainers rather than our best clothes!”