Thousands head for Suffolk Show

THE farm machinery was being polished and the animals hosed down as the Suffolk Show prepared to open its gates this morning .The agriculture extravaganza is expected to pull thousands of visitors in its opening day and the last minute finishing touches were being made last night to ensure that it all runs smoothly.

THE farm machinery was being polished and the animals hosed down as the Suffolk Show prepared to open its gates this morning .

The agriculture extravaganza is expected to pull thousands of visitors in its opening day and the last minute finishing touches were being made last night to ensure that it all runs smoothly.

The two-day spectacular has drawn together countryside enthusiasts and rural tradesmen since 1831 and with a packed programme this year it promises to build on its popularity.

Chris Bushby, executive director of the Suffolk Agricultural Association, said yesterday that he expects about 40-50,000 visitors to stream across the showground on the outskirts of Ipswich today.


You may also want to watch:


And he added that the secret of the show's success lies in old-fashioned teamwork.

Mr Bushby said: "The show is one of those rare events in the country where a county comes together. There are a lot of organisations that would never work together, as it just wouldn't happen, and they all come together and put on the county show and they are all very proud of it.

Most Read

"There are more than 800 trade stands this year. They are here to trade and it's an important part of their livelihoods. The show provides an extended shop window.

"It is also a social show and there's the leisure side of the show. People come to have fun, participate and get involved."

He added: "I will enjoy it. Some parts of the show have taken 16 to 18 months to plan in advance, for instance the Suffolk Roasts - Meals From Fields took a long while to organise. It is linking the producer of the food, the region's farmers, with the consumer.

"If you think about it, here we have the machinery that toils the land, the livestock, through to the food hall and the end consumer."

While the show remains firmly rooted in its traditions there are also some new additions this year, including a Robot Wars display and the tourism village, which represents places for visits to the county.

The guest of honour at this year's event will be HRH The Princess Royal, who will make the long-service award presentations to members of the rural community.

With more than 600 competitive classes and a Grand Parade, the livestock will be the focus of the show, along with five major showjumping competitions.

The traditional parades of terriers, dogs and hounds will be seen alongside more unusual events such as displays by quad bike stunt drivers and Maasai warriors.

And those loving the produce of the countryside will be able to enjoy the ever-popular food hall and today's part of the show will carry on into the evening with musical entertainment.

One of the improvements made to the rural spectacular this year was to the Flower Show, which will have a brand new structure housing sweet-smelling exhibits that visitors can browse around.

John Dyter, senior steward for the Flower Show, said: "The Flower Show has exhibits from nurseries in Suffolk and further afield and several of them have been to the Chelsea Show last week.

"We cover a wide range of plant material to suit many, if not all, situations in a garden. Also we have conservatory plants which can be grown with the minimum of heat.

"Additionally we have a total run of 10.5metres of orchids covering a display by members of the Suffolk Orchid Society, who bring their plants in individually."

But one of the most unusual flowers on display is the first black Delphinium, which is being launched in Suffolk at the show.

Kelvin Harbutt, from Rougham Hall Nurseries, bred the Delphinium elatum or Black Arrow in conjunction with a cut flower grower.

He said: "It has the same growing habit as the normal ones. It was launched at the Chelsea Show first and this is the first time it has been available in Suffolk.

"Judging from the reaction we had at Chelsea it will be popular. It's taken 10 years to develop."

Paul Gunther, from Fir Covert Farm, near Norwich, was hosing down his Simmental heffer, Fir Covert Ida, yesterday in preparation for the show.

He said: "This will be my third time here. We have just arrived and are now washing down the cows as they get all dirty in the lorry.

"We stay down here all day in a caravan so we will probably put in about 22 hours a day."

Nick Adlington had travelled to the show from East Yorkshire with his wife Emma Tamaris to set up their display of Tactile Ceramics - stoneware clay pieces featuring embossed animals.

He said: "Like most people in rural crafts we do the circuit round the country. This is normally a good solid show and we do lots of business.

"Predominantly we sell what's in stock but if we run out of something or if people want a specific animal, as some people want to personalise them with their own animals, then we take their orders."

n The EADT will once again be hosting its popular tea marquee at this year's show – situated on stand 428, close to the picnic area.

Throughout the show, the Suffolk College catering department will be serving morning coffee with muffins, light lunches and afternoon cream teas.

Stena will be offering visitors advice on travelling to Holland and beyond, and there will be a chance to win a family holiday to Holland.

There will be an opportunity to buy signed copies of a new book by former EADT agriculture editor Peter Hopper called Suffolk's Historic Farms.

Just outside the marquee, you can visit the EADT Suffolk and Let's Talk stand, and enter a competition to win a £500 shopping spree.

Meanwhile, EADT photographers will be out and about around the showground, with a selection of show photographs on display and available to order from the marquee.

n See tomorrow's EADT for a special 12-page Suffolk Show supplement.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter