Hadleigh Show's such a hit

THOUSANDS of people descended on the Suffolk countryside for one of the biggest events in the county's calendar.

THOUSANDS of people descended on the Suffolk countryside for one of the biggest events in the county's calendar.

Drizzling rain and the FA Cup final did little to hold back the crowds flocking to the Hadleigh Show on Saturday.

Up to 10,000 visitors poured through the gates of Holbecks Park to sample the entertainment and attractions that have made this event one of the most popular of the year.

The grounds were a sea of brollies at the opening, but the delicious smell of barbecued meat still wafted through the air and the weather did little to diminish sales of ice creams.

A spectacular performance by the Monster Trucks - giant pick-up trucks with over-sized wheels - proved to be a huge crowd-pleaser, as well as the more traditional show entertainment such as sheep shearing, show-jumping, sheep-dog handling demonstrations and horse parades.

There were also fairground rides, birds of prey demonstrations, ferret displays, gun dogs, terrier racing, craft exhibits and much more.

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Steven Taylor, assistant show director, said: “The layout of the showground has changed this year and a lot of work has gone into moving things around. It's a totally different layout, but it seems to be working really well.

“The main ring attraction was the Monster Trucks. This is totally new to us but it has drawn lots of people.”

The food hall, which boasted mouth-watering treats to sample, remained a hive of activity throughout the day.

Visitors were invited to try Suffolk cheeses, gourmet fruit cake, wine and liqueurs, Italian pickles and liquorice to name but a few. There was also a giant chocolate fountain on hand in which to dip marshmallows, doughnuts or fruit.

Mr Taylor said: “We have a large food hall which is well represented by local produce. The majority of the exhibitors are local. Even with the food stands around the showground, if there are farmers who have diversified into food stalls we try to keep them as local as we can.

“It's growing, especially now we are expanding into the next field. But part of the attraction of the Hadleigh Show is its size and we wouldn't want it to become too big.

“It's a major event in Suffolk and I feel we fill an important slot in the calendar.”

For even more pictures see our picture gallery at www.eveningstar.co.uk

Did you go to the show? Tell us what you thought of it by writing to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk