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Royal Norfolk Show continues to showcase our county

PUBLISHED: 05:50 28 June 2018

Last year's Wells dog show. Picture: supplied by Samantha Taylor

Last year's Wells dog show. Picture: supplied by Samantha Taylor

Archant

To my right a brass band are playing the theme tune from Game of Thrones, to my left a crowd of people are already tucking into what appear to be gin and tonics, despite the fact it isn't yet noon.

To my right a brass band are playing the theme tune from Game of Thrones, to my left a crowd of people are already tucking into what appear to be gin and tonics, despite the fact it isn’t yet noon.

I’ve already tested the new Woodforde’s Norfolk Day beer, met more people than I’ll ever be able to remember and soon I’m off to enjoy a bit of pig racing.

In case you haven’t guessed it, I’m writing this column in the middle of what already looks like being one of the most successful Royal Norfolk Shows yet, certainly in terms of the weather.

In the modern world it would be easy to imagine historic and traditional shows like this might struggle to survive. We generally seem so intent on instant gratification you fear people may no longer be prepared to find the time for something more serene.

But, on the basis of the crowds I’ve seen so far, that thankfully isn’t the case.

An event like this is, I feel, so vital to setting out what it is that makes a county so unique and gives it its charm.

With people more able and willing to move around the country to live in different places, there is a danger areas might lose some of those characteristics which make it tick. But the Norfolk Show is all about defining what this county is about and what matters to its population.

Of course, there is a danger too much looking back and too much emphasis on tradition and heritage leaves us unable or unwilling to develop and evolve and I do feel that is something the show’s organisers have cottoned onto.

Increasingly I feel the show is and should be a glimpse into our past, but also an opportunity to show off the exciting new and modern developments that are happening and will continue to put us on the map.

That’s very much the theme for Norfolk Day which, in case you have missed it, is now only a month away. We’ve had lots of discussions about ways in which we can make sure this isn’t just a day for nostalgia and some of those projects will come to fruition over the next few weeks.

On that subject, I read with interest Keith Skipper’s column in this very paper, where he called for Norfolk Day to be an opportunity for the county to take a long hard look at itself and reflect on what the future holds.

With that in mind please do not miss Friday’s paper where we will be launching the Great Norfolk Survey 2018 and asking you to answer a series of questions about life in this county.

Hopefully hundreds will reply to that in print and online and it will become a valuable tool for the powers that be to reflect upon.

If you are at the show today I hope you have a fantastic time. Don’t forget the suncream!

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