10 must sees at the Suffolk Show 2015

Suffolk Show

Suffolk Show - Credit: Archant

An annual farming spectacular that is The Suffolk Show opens at Trinity Park tomorrow - will you be there?

The show celebrates the county’s agricultural heritage, as well as the very latest developments, and showcases the finest food and drink Suffolk has to offer.

But there is more to the show than farming.

Here Sarah Chambers shares her top 10 recommendations.

The farmers

These are the real stars of the show. The show provides the backdrop for a massive social reunion of farmers from throughout Suffolk and well beyond its borders. Watch them shaking hands on deals, meeting old friends, and eavesdrop as they chat knowledgeably about the exhibits.

Red Poll cattle

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These iconic reddish-toned beasts are definitely a show-stopper, although the entire cattle section is quite breathtaking, with an array of beasts from tiny Dexters to the rather more daunting (but gentle) Belgian Blues. Red Polls, though, are a Suffolk breed and were once a dairy and beef mainstay in Britain. When they fell out of favour as larger or more productive continental breeds came on the scene, keen breeders have ensured their survival and they are celebrated for their general hardiness. This year the Suffolk Show hosts the first ever national Red Poll competition.

Dogs

There was a howl of protest when visitors’ pet dogs were banned from the Suffolk Show in 2011 for reasons of hygiene and dog welfare. But in 2014, due to popular demand, Suffolk Agricultural Association brought them back in, after reviewing its decision. Pet owners rejoiced, and man’s best friend can be seen once again being led along the avenues.

The stewards

The smiling bowler-hatted male stewards and stylishly turned-out female stewards, all farmers who volunteer their time over the two days of the event, are the real heroes and heroines of the Suffolk Show. It’s their efforts which ensure that the day runs smoothly, come rain or shine. Their infinite patience and optimism light up the day. They know the show like the backs of their hands, so if you have a question, ask a steward. Many of these Suffolk Show stalwarts will have been stewarding for a number of years – some for a number of decades. The women, who all wear hats, often have a different outfit for each day.

Titan the Robot

Titan has become a much-loved addition to the show in recent years. The over-sized hi-tech marvel is greeted with a mixture of awe and laughter as he makes his way around the show, interacting with his audience. Street theatre at its best.

Suffolk Punches

These mighty beasts were once the powerhouse of Suffolk agriculture and would have been visible on every field. Today, they can be seen in their full glory at the Suffolk Show where they compete in heavy horse classes, groomed and primped to perfection.

Crazy chickens

With many breeds of poultry in decline, it’s the small backyard breeders and smallholders who have become the backbone for some of the rarer and more colourful ones. A number of these, and other unusual animals, such as rare breed rabbits can be found at the Suffolk Show. With the breeders there to explain them, it’s the perfect place to check them out.

Big machines

The Suffolk Show hosts some real giants of the machinery world. Check out the combine harvesters at the agricultural machinery dealer stands and rub shoulders with some really big wheels.

Horse-drawn carriages and traps

The Suffolk Show is the perfect opportunity to step back in time and see some perfectly maintained vintage vehicles from a less frantic age. Carriages take a jaunt around Nacton and around the grounds before being judged in their own contests.

Food, drink and good music

Savour the atmosphere and drink in the smells and sounds of Eat Street, which has become a magnet for foodies. Eating and drinking al fresco is an experience not to be missed at the show - you can bring your own picnic if you prefer.

For maps, timetables and news and photos from the show, see our special web page here