Delight to see the county come together at Royal Norfolk Show

2013 Royal Norfolk Show President Jake Humphrey reads his copy of theEastern Daily Press.

2013 Royal Norfolk Show President Jake Humphrey reads his copy of theEastern Daily Press. - Credit: Archant

Didn't Norfolk do itself proud? I write in the afterglow of the Royal Norfolk Show having spent two super days there – thrilled the event lived up to its billing as Britain's greatest county get-together.

It was my first Norfolk show – I was most impressed with both the organisation and the wonderful volunteers, including stewards, and the family-friendly atmosphere. In essence this was a people's festival, true to its agricultural roots and traditions, but full of fun and excitement too. Corporate hospitality seems to grow in popularity each year – but my greatest thrill came from the EDP and Norwich Evening News tea tent and the huge numbers using it. We learned our lesson and brought the tea (and cake) tent back after a gap of a few years – everyone was thrilled we did. Archant colleagues did a splendid job taking in reader vouchers (tea or coffee was free to our loyal readers) and showing guests to seats in the Third Avenue marquee, inside or out depending on the sunshine. At one point we had 200 people sipping cuppas – an incredible 5,000 cups in total – and I met lots of readers hearing their praise... as well as a few grumbles. What struck me was the tent became THEIR club for a few precious minutes – the EDP and Norwich Evening News family in happy togetherness. l loved seeing some readers clutching lots of vouchers and enjoying tea at different times in the day.

Meanwhile, our digital operation was in overdrive, sending out show news to a wider audience on our websites and via our treasured new starlet, Mustard TV. From my point of view The Royal Norfolk, under new chief executive Greg Smith, nailed it. So did my editorial team, led by Ian 'Clarkey' Clarke and the newspaper sales and marketing team – all are my pals and everyone, from youngest to veterans, did a great job. With sunshine through most of the two days (rain came at the end of both) something special was shining out of Norfolk heavens – and I'll be back next year! By the way, wasn't Jake Humphrey an inspired choice as show President, bringing youth and vitality to the position! Norfolk boy Jake was an all-round hit.

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My Norfolk week also included a trip to the Broads Authority and their new wharf and docking facilities at Griffin Lane, Thorpe, near Norwich. I love our Norfolk waterways, this being a Yare-side establishment where splendid new buildings have sprung up and are described elsewhere in today's paper. In my view the Broads organisation is rapidly became a great authority – and I hope to be a friend and constructive critic as more projects like Griffin Lane emerge.

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And finally, I salute EDP reader Ron Brewer of Old Buckenham who gave me my chortle of the week. Having seen me being interviewed about the Norfolk Show on TV, he reckons I look like our charity Go- Go gorilla, the Ape'd Crusader, who sits outside our offices on Rouen Road! An honour to be compared to this beautiful and endangered species, Ron!

Have a great week ahead – and I'll be back here next week. Read about my first trip to the Norfolk Broads in Weekend magazine today.

Follow me on Twitter at @Nigel_Pickover

First published on June 29, 2013

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