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A spitfire, a giant chicken and a robot tractor - all part of Norfolk farming's centenary celebration

PUBLISHED: 10:56 24 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:56 24 June 2019

Scenes from the dress rehearsal for the NFU's Forever Farming pageant at the 2019 Royal Norfolk Show. Pictured: The march on Westminster. Picture: Brian Finnerty / NFU

Scenes from the dress rehearsal for the NFU's Forever Farming pageant at the 2019 Royal Norfolk Show. Pictured: The march on Westminster. Picture: Brian Finnerty / NFU

Brian Finnerty / NFU

Placard-waving protestors, a model Spitfire, a giant motorised chicken and driverless tractors are among the attractions in a colourful celebration of 100 years of farming at this week's Royal Norfolk Show.

Scenes from the dress rehearsal for the NFU's Forever Farming pageant at the 2019 Royal Norfolk Show. Pictured: A model of the NFU spitfire. Picture: Brian Finnerty / NFUScenes from the dress rehearsal for the NFU's Forever Farming pageant at the 2019 Royal Norfolk Show. Pictured: A model of the NFU spitfire. Picture: Brian Finnerty / NFU

The Farming Forever pageant in the Grand Ring will celebrate two special agricultural anniversaries - the centenary of the Norfolk branch of National Farmers' Union (NFU) and the 75th anniversary of the county's Young Farmers' Club (YFC).

The display will highlight some of the key moments from a century of Norfolk farming, as well as demonstrating how agriculture has changed and how it is preparing to meet future challenges.

Volunteers from both organisations will be among the 250-strong cast taking part in the 30-minute pageant, which recreates moments such as the farmworkers' strike of 1923, the wartime appeal to fund an NFU Norfolk Spitfire and the development of Norfolk's important sugar beet industry.

Heavy horses and vintage farm machinery will feature alongside the very latest agricultural technology, including tractors guided by GPS and robotic weeders.

Scenes from the dress rehearsal for the NFU's Forever Farming pageant at the 2019 Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: Brian Finnerty / NFUScenes from the dress rehearsal for the NFU's Forever Farming pageant at the 2019 Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: Brian Finnerty / NFU

NFU Norfolk council delegate Tony Bambridge said: "The Royal Norfolk Show has always been an important part of both organisations' histories so where better to celebrate this joint milestone.

"Farming Forever is a story that's been 100 years in the making and we can't wait to tell it in front of a packed crowd in the Grand Ring."

Norfolk YFC county organiser Katharine Robinson said: "It's fantastic that both organisations have come together for a display that celebrates the past but also looks very much to the future.

"We hope that Farming Forever will inform, educate but also entertain everyone watching at the Royal Norfolk Show. It will be a birthday celebration that both organisations will never forget."

The National Farmers' Union (NFU) will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a pageant at the 2019 Royal Norfolk Show. Pictured from left: NFU Norfolk county adviser John Newton, North Walsham group secretary Christopher Deane, county chairman Nick Deane, former county chairman Richard Hirst and West Norfolk group secretary Patrick Verrell.The National Farmers' Union (NFU) will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a pageant at the 2019 Royal Norfolk Show. Pictured from left: NFU Norfolk county adviser John Newton, North Walsham group secretary Christopher Deane, county chairman Nick Deane, former county chairman Richard Hirst and West Norfolk group secretary Patrick Verrell.

The pageant will include commentary from BBC Farming Today's Anna Hill. Former EDP agricultural editor Michael Pollitt has helped develop the display and the artistic director is former Norfolk YFC member Meryl Raines.

- The Farming Forever pageant is scheduled for 5.25pm on Wednesday and 4.10pm on Thursday at the Norfolk Showground. For full details about the show, see the Royal Norfolk Show website.

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