First day success for Suffolk Show
WELLIES and riding boots, sandals and stilettos, horses' hooves and pigs' trotters have all been pacing around the Suffolk Show.The avenues were bulging and the footpaths were heaving with people almost as soon as the gates were opened to the showground, in Ipswich, yesterday .
WELLIES and riding boots, sandals and stilettos, horses' hooves and pigs' trotters have all been pacing around the Suffolk Show.
The avenues were bulging and the footpaths were heaving with people almost as soon as the gates were opened to the showground, in Ipswich, yesterday .
While some people opted for their functional agricultural wear others got into the spirit of summer with dresses and hats despite the dull weather and the occasional spots of rain calling for an umbrella.
The theme of this year's show was Made in Suffolk but a display of Zulu warriors and a steel band brought an international twist to the event, as well as the appearance of the Rugby World Cup.
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Young and old gathered round the England Rugby Football Union stand to see up close – if not touch – the embellished gold-plated cup the nation's rugby heroes proudly lifted in 2003.
Chris Daynes, 26, from Ipswich, said: "It's amazing. Imagine all the people that have touched that trophy.
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"It's bringing back memories of Jonny Wilkinson's face that day."
Visitors could also tickle their taste buds and try some unusual and traditional food on offer in the revamped Food Hall, which was boasting nearly double the number of exhibitors this year.
Pie stands, chocolate fountains and seed shops were all on show but one of the busiest stalls was the Essex Pig Company.
There was a stream of customers wanting to take home some of the company's famous sausages as well as a crowd of fans who were eager to have a chat with Jimmy Doherty, owner of the business and star of the hit BBC show Jimmy's Farm.
There are more than 800 stands at the show and rural craft businesses had booked their places, with traders ranging from an apothecary to a cartoonist.
Art lovers took refuge from the crowds in a dedicated exhibition marquee while budding horticulturists visited the flower show.
Jane and Peter Knight, from Brandeston, and their children Heather, two, who had her face painted as a lion, and Sarah, six months, took advantage of the numerous activities on offer for families.
Mrs Knight said: "It's been excellent and very good for children. There's a huge variety of things to do, which is great.
"They are really getting the facilities right for families these days. It's been a good day out – it gets better each year.
"The grand parade will be the highlight, the animals and the carriage driving. The Easton Farm Park stand was great. I can't drag them away from the animals."
Last year's show saw 90,000 people visit the event over two days. The new show director, Stephen Miles, said: "It's gone very well. It looks like the avenues are full of people and everybody is enjoying themselves. There's an awful lot for them to see."