50,000 attracted to Royal Norfolk Show
PUBLISHED: 19:27 28 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:06 22 October 2010
Absolutely brilliant! That was the verdict on the first day of the 2006 Royal Norfolk Show as glorious sunny weather lured up to 50,000 people to the county's top rural and social event.
That was the verdict on the first day of the 2006 Royal Norfolk Show as glorious sunny weather lured up to 50,000 people to the county's top rural and social event.
While the attendance has not been confirmed, organisers were delighted with the size of the turnout - which almost forced an emergency overflow car park into use.
With temperatures approaching the mid 20sC forecast for tomorrow's second day, last year's total of 90,000 seems certain to be bettered - and the record of 105,000 could even be rivaled.
“It's been an absolutely brilliant day. The weather has been perfect, the car parks have been crammed full and the quality of the exhibitors - both trade and livestock - has been outstanding. There have been a lot of very happy people and a very festive atmosphere,” said show chief executive John Purling.
Some people leaving early from the showground today were held up longer than normal due to backlogs caused by a crash on the A47 at Scarning, near Dereham.
Public address announcements were made around the showground urging people to stay on rather than being stuck in traffic jams.
Police sorted out diversions and were confident any delays at the end of the day were only normal ones caused by the large volumes of traffic.
The showground at Costessey, near Norwich, basked in sunshine for the showcase of agriculture, rural crafts, business, entertainment and glamour.
The show got a royal seal of approval as the Duke of Wessex spent five hours around the showground.
Prince Edward was taking part in celebrations of the golden jubilee of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme.
He met award participants and watched them give a range of demonstrations.
The prince also hosted a VIP reception where award officers and volunteers from across the region were thanked for their generous time they spend on the scheme.
Mr Purling said: “The prince was in great form and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a great honour to have him here.”
He said he was delighted with the support for local produce and the fact that the poultry class had gone ahead despite other shows canceling due to concerns about bird flu.
Show president Anthony Duckworth-Chad said: “It's a smashing show in every way. I am getting lovely vibes and the atmosphere is great.
“I've been talking to several judges and some have not been here before and everyone said it is the best show.”
Traders reported brisk business - particularly vendors selling ice creams, drinks, sun cream and hats.
A few children were separated from their parents for a short while, but all were quickly re-united and the tagging scheme operated at the Show proved a great success.
Car owners were urged to be more safety conscious after some vehicles were left insecure.
t The Royal Norfolk Show opens again tomorrow at 8am. Tickets on the gate cost £16 for adults (£13 concessions), £5 for children up to 16 with under-fives free. A family ticket for two adults and three children costs £39.
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