Thousands head to Suffolk Show

THOUSANDS of visitors are expected to flock to Suffolk's flagship agricultural event which starts this morning. The 175th Suffolk Show kicks off at Trinity Park in Ipswich - one of East Anglia's most anticipated social occasions.

THOUSANDS of visitors are expected to flock to Suffolk's flagship agricultural event which starts this morning.

The 175th Suffolk Show kicks off at Trinity Park in Ipswich - one of East Anglia's most anticipated social occasions.

Around 90,000 people are likely to attend the event, which continues tomorrow, to enjoy a whole range of attractions from livestock displays and tractor exhibitions to flower shows and the popular food hall.

David Barker, senior show steward, said: “I know it's a cliché but there really is something for everyone and there will be lots of things going on throughout the two days.

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“We try to move forward every year and this time is no exception because when you look at the statistics it looks set to be the biggest and best show yet.

“We have 446 cattle, the most since 1999 which was pre-foot and mouth, 480 sheep, the most since 1994, 93 pigs, the most since 1997, 147 goats, 47 donkeys, a record number of more than 1,700 horses and 781 trade stands.”

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Mr Barker said that 70% of the livestock would be coming from outside the county from farms all over the UK.

“Exhibitors know they are not all going to win but they're happy to travel long distances because we put on a really good event,” he said. “They love being here because we look after them well and are true to the traditions of the show.

“Last year we had 93,000 people visit and we will hopefully reach a similar figure this time around. The site could easily accommodate 50,000 a day but to be honest it's not about numbers but putting on a top quality show for people to enjoy.”

The Duke of Gloucester will be on hand today to officially open the site's new conference centre, which is host to a lifestyle pavilion, similar to a miniature Ideal Homes exhibition.

Police are urging motorists to be patient and to prepare for the possibility of long delays because the thousands of visitors going to the event are likely to cause congestion.

Trevor Sharman, roads policing inspector with Suffolk Constabulary, said every effort would be made to ensure drivers can get to the show with minimal problems.

He said: “Arrangements are in place to try to cater for this influx of traffic however we are asking visitors using routes into and around the showground to be prepared for some delays.

“Police will do all they can to keep traffic moving. Please use the designated routes and we will aim to get everyone into the show and home again as quickly and safely as possible.”

THOSE who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the show and take a well earned break are invited to the East Anglian Daily Times marquee for a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

Come along and rest your weary feet, relax, listen to the music provided by Tyler & Kemp and catch up on the day's news at our tent on stand 431, close to the picnic area.

The Suffolk College catering department will be serving morning coffee and afternoon teas, accompanied by delicious baked cakes including Jamaica spice, lemon drizzle, chocolate brownies and coconut and lime.

Light lunches will also be available between midday and 1.45pm.

Meanwhile the Suffolk Agricultural Association has put together a photographic exhibition celebrating 175 years of the Suffolk Show featuring archive pictures of royal visits, farming machinery and livestock.

Just outside the marquee will be an exciting “Speedkick” football game competition open to everyone aged 16 and under, with a variety of goodies up for grabs for the winners.

First prize is a Powergen table football game worth £500, with runners-up prizes for the top-scorers each day.

VISITORS to today's show are warned to go armed with an umbrella due to the threat of showers - but the outlook is brighter for tomorrow.

Weather experts predict a cloudy start to the event, with the chance of a few showers, but day two should be dry with slightly less cloud.

Jim Bacon, from Weatherquest, said: “I think we'll see temperatures of around 14C and 15C and the average is 16C or 17C for this time of year so it will be a couple of degrees below normal.

“I think we can expect one or two showers on the first day but it should dry up a little later on. The second day might not be too bad and will probably be half decent.

“However there is still likely to be quite a lot of cloud cover and it won't be a case that people will go home with sunburn.”

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