Suffolk: Coffee king Eric pours energy into job as media steward at the Suffolk Show

Eric Morton of Morvend

Eric Morton of Morvend - Credit: Archant

Continuing the Suffolk Agricultural Association’s series on introducing the senior stewards at the Suffolk Show, we catch up with Eric Morton, the recently appointed media steward who contracted out his arable farm in Badley, Needham Market, and has diversified into business units let to commercial tenants. Nowadays his main occupation is running Morvend, a drinks, snack and food vending integrating MorBeans coffee.

How long have you been involved with the Suffolk Show?

For as long as I can remember I have attended the Show almost every year, initially as a child with my parents, then as a visitor and then as a steward. It is a real fixture on my calendar.

What has that involvement been?

I became a steward in 1977 on the public grandstand. The gate I stewarded was next to the Members’ Ringside enclosure which was a very sociable location. I moved to the press tent about 20 years ago when it actually was a tent located near the bandstand outside the President’s Box. Without fail every show day at 3pm when the show director was due to give his press conference, the band would strike up and drown out everything else. Since then we have moved to our current home in the events centre complete with all the technologies required for a modern media centre.

Has there been a highlight over the years?

A personal highlight was at this year’s pre-show dinner when I was asked to propose the toast to the judges in front of 400 distinguished guests, fellow stewards and judges. It was a daunting but thoroughly enjoyable task on what is always a wonderful occasion.

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Give us a fact about the Show that you don’t think people would know?

Over 300 stewards give their time voluntarily to help run the show, not just on show days but on many days throughout the year planning the event.

Why should businesses that are not involved in the agricultural community be involved as tradestands or through sponsorship?

The Suffolk Show is a tremendous showcase not only for Suffolk but also East Anglia, and worth £40million to the local economy. It’s a great place to put your product or message in front of around 85,000 visitors. The show has an agricultural bias but also includes a huge diversity of tradestand holders to satisfy the many different profiles of the show visitor.

Who is the person you would most like to attract to the Show and why?

I am very proud of both our wonderful show and the wonderful county of Suffolk so it would be a huge honour to entertain HRH The Queen to demonstrate the very best of both.

Why do you think people should attend the Suffolk Show?

Visitors should attend for many reasons - viewing livestock and equine classes to shopping, from ring events to socialising, the flower show to the farm discovery zone, there really is so much to entertain all ages from eight in the morning till eight at night.