Eye Show set for move

ONE of Suffolk's biggest annual events appears to have found a new home - at least for the next three years.The Eye Show, which annually attracts up to 40,000 people, has been held on an area of farmland known as Dragon Hill, on the outskirts of the town, for the past 30 years.

By David Green

ONE of Suffolk's biggest annual events appears to have found a new home - at least for the next three years.

The Eye Show, which annually attracts up to 40,000 people, has been held on an area of farmland known as Dragon Hill, on the outskirts of the town, for the past 30 years.

Now it is set to take place on a 55-acre parkland site six miles away at Palgrave, it was disclosed yesterday.

Last year, following a change in farming policy involving one or more of the Dragon Hill landowners, the organisers announced that a new show venue was being sought.

Initially it was announced as Thornham Park, about three miles from Eye, but an embarrassing U-turn followed a few weeks later after the owners raised concerns about use of the land for the show jeopardising payments under an agri-environment scheme.

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The show was held at its traditional site last year but negotiations have gone on for a new site.

Colin Hullis, Eye Show spokesman, confirmed yesterday that the new site was at Richmond Park, Palgrave.

He said further details would be given in a press release scheduled for later this week.

Ted Ling, who bought the Palgrave parkland four years ago, said the light land would be ideal for the show which, on its present heavy land site, had created muddy conditions whenever rain had immediately preceded or fell during the two-day event.

Two years ago visitors had to park at the former Eye Airfield and be transported to and from the showground by bus after the main car park became waterlogged.

“A contract has been drawn up for the show to be held here for the next three years but it could become a permanent arrangement,” said Mr Ling, who lives in a bungalow on the land.

The site had been parkland for generations and contained a number of mature trees. “It really is a beautiful place,” he added.

Mr Ling revealed that he and his son had at one time considered offering a home to the Henham Steam Rally when it was also searching for a new site.

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