Farming Insight: Suffolk Show 2013 - moving on

WORK is well already under way for the 182nd Suffolk Show to be held on May 29 and 30, 2013.

The team at Trinity Park has put the disappointment of having to cancel the second day of last year’s Show due to high winds behind them and is enthusiastic and optimistic for a truly Suffolk spectacle next year, heartened that less than half the 800 tradestands took up the Association’s 30per cent fee refund offer. Instead many donated the amount saying they wanted to support the Association while others confirmed their costs had been met by positive trading on day one. For those who depend on the countrywide show circuit for their livelihoods, the refund was welcome. At least five agricultural shows were cancelled throughout the country this year due to severe weather conditions.

New trading opportunities and easy navigation for visitors are at the heart of some of the planned new areas and features tradestand officer Paula Slater has introduced into the site plan for next year.

The success of the equine and countryside village in 2011 and new Fifth Avenue Fashion this year, as well as the destination for street food, Eat Street and new Let’s Celebrate! -everything for staging your own events and parties - proved that people enjoy shopping in zones, knowing they can find related products and services together in one dedicated area, she said.

“The public know what they are getting and it makes it a lot more fun for all the family to shop with their various interests. “


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New areas for 2013 include a House and Garden space located by the Flower and Garden marquee. This will comprise a bannered walkway entrance by the model gardens with a Pimms marquee. Stands laid out in a horseshoe shape will include conservatories, hot tubs, garden awnings and seating. New exhibitors are needed for this area and anyone interested should contact paula.slater@suffolkshow.co.uk

Last year the Flower Show dropped the �1 entry fee for non members and was overwhelmed by the public interest so is maintaining the free entrance and increasing the size of the tea area with seating outside in a dedicated space.

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Next to the Equine Village will be a new community entering the Show - The Newmarket Experience – a chance to get to see and learn more about the racing world as major equine businesses together with the Jockey Club give an insight into their fast and furious world.

Suffolk is proud of its food production and located within the Adnams food hall will be a new Suffolk Producers area. Members who are signed up with Tastes of Anglia will be able to showcase their products from as little as �210 +VAT per stand for both days. “This is great value for money, and also a wonderful sampling opportunity. We want to see lots of new and different varieties of products,” said Paula. “Already Calvors, Woodfordes Brewery and the Fish Hut from Walberswick have shown interest.”

Made in Suffolk is the new area for small businesses with non-food enterprises. “Stand sizes are smaller than 3 x 6m as we really want to encourage small local businesses back into the Show,” she said. “We would like to see about 200 of these each year and we know there are wonderful products – scarves, handbags, jewellery, hooded towels and lots more - being produced on a small scale within minutes from our entrance.”

Suffolk Skills is to be rebranded to represent the Colleges’ apprenticeships and skills for life opportunities. More information will follow on this exciting development.

And of course livestock and animals that remain firmly at the heart of the Show will have more prominence. Sheep is the theme for Farminanglia and as we went to print, plans for a fashion show in conjunction with the National Wool Council were being discussed, together with a knitting competition.

In addition, the Southdown Sheep Society is holding its National Show that is expected to attract breeders countrywide, many who may not previously have attended the Show. This is only the second year the National Show has been held and will result in extra classes and competitions as well as the presentation of more silverware.

Jim Cresswell of Wattisfield a highly respected Southdown judge has agreed to judge the classes.

The breed already has the biggest turnout of all sheep breeds shown at the Show with 80 present out of a total sheep entry of 518 in 2012, and more than 100 sheep in 2011. 2013 could be a record year for Southdowns.

The Percheron Society has also confirmed its breed society will be held across both days of the Show and include in-hand, ridden, turnout, harness and obstacle classes. Schedules are available from liz.payne@suffolkshow.co.uk

More livestock news will follow next month.

For now here are some key dates

November 30 is the closing date for returning exhibitors to confirm stand requirements, especially if they want to be in the same space as last year, or change and request a different location.

The charge for all tradestands has been kept at 2012 prices.

New standholders should visit www.suffolkshow.co.uk for the bylaws and information and to download the application form. While stands may not be allocated until February the tradestand officer encourages early application to ensure location.

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