More than 80,000 visit show

SUFFOLK Show organisers said last night they were delighted with how the agricultural extravaganza had gone after an estimated 85,000 people passed through the gates.

By John Howard

SUFFOLK Show organisers said last night they were delighted with how the agricultural extravaganza had gone after an estimated 85,000 people passed through the gates.

There were about 51,000 people at the show on the first day and an estimated 34,000 yesterday, putting 2004 in line with the seven-year average of 85,000 visitors.

Last night, show director John Wall paid tribute to everyone's hard work and dedication – and said he was now handing over the reigns of the event to somebody else.


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The two-day event at the Suffolk Showground in Ipswich costs £1 million to put on, and Mr Wall said: "I'm really pleased with how it's gone. It's the whole package of the show that makes it, and a lot of work has gone in to preparing for it. We were lucky with the weather too.

"This is my last show and because we paid a lot of attention to detail, it went extremely well.

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"We had about 51,000 through on the first day and we expect a very good attendance over all, although not record breaking. The numbers overall might be a little up, or roughly the same as last year.''

Mr Wall said 2001 had been a sad year for him as he had to cancel a show for foot-and-mouth.

He said: "To see the livestock back and all the different classes of cattle, sheep, horses, means a lot.''

Mr Wall is being succeeded by Stephen Miles, who farms in the Great Ashfield area. He paid tribute to Mr Wall and pledged to strive to improve the show even further.

He said plans for the future include improving the sheep building by putting a new floor down, and rearranging the food hall to make it more accessible for people and possibly create a picnic area in the middle.

Suffolk Constabulary had warned motorists to brace themselves for delays as thousands flocked to the show ground.

But many show-goers reported no problems and organisers were pleased that despite an accident on the Orwell bridge, which could have caused delays, the traffic flowed smoothly.

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