Gallery: Thousands enjoy a bumper Hadleigh Show
Organisers of one of the UK’s longest running one-day agricultural shows are celebrating a bumper year, with livestock entries up and a record number of local food producers attending the event.
Despite slightly overcast weather, around 12,500 people headed to Holbecks Park on Saturday for the 174th Hadleigh Show.
The rain held off making it perfect under foot for the 157 classes and varied programme of events in the grand ring. These ranged from traditional show jumping and parades by the Essex & Suffolk Foxhounds, Stour Valley Beagles and East Anglian Bloodhounds, to motorcycle stunt riding and a display by the East Anglian Fire & Rescue team.
This year’s show director, Claire Lock, who has been to every Hadleigh show since she was born, said advance tickets for the Hadleigh Farmers Agricultural Association (HFAA) event had sold out this year. As a mother of four-year-old twins, Mrs Lock has introduced a number of attractions to appeal to young children, including a land train to ferry families around the showground.
For the past seven years, the HFAA has run a school farm link project, and an education tent at the show focused on the fruits of this association, with nine primary schools displaying artwork on a countryside theme.
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According to outgoing show director Philip Bryce, the show’s food hall grew by a third this year. He said: “I think with the recent food scandals, people are much more interested in buying produce that can be traced back to the source. It is encouraging that we have been able to increase the size of our food hall significantly, and all with local food producers.” The HFAA was set up in 1839 as a discussion group, and although the Hadleigh show ceased to run briefly during the Second World War, it has become a treasured part of the local community.
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