Organisers begin planning Aylsham Show's comeback in 2021

Aylsham Show 2018.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Aylsham Show organisers have begun organising next summer's event following the 2020 cancellation - Credit: Archant

A popular celebration of Norfolk’s food, farming and the countryside could be back on the cards next year as organisers begin planning the 2021 Aylsham Show.

The family day out at Blickling Park on August Bank Holiday is one of the biggest one-day agricultural events of its kind in the country.

But following the disappointment of this year's cancellation, plans are already being made for 2021.

Mike Gamble, chairman of the Aylsham Agricultural Show Association, briefed about 30 members at a virtual annual meeting.

He said if the government gave the go-ahead for mass spectator events and the show’s landlord, the National Trust, also agreed, then the show would take place on August 30, 2021.

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A decision will be made by the end of April but meanwhile the executive committee was looking ahead with exciting plans, he said.

Mr Gamble thanked members for their generous financial support – all but seven has paid their 2020 subscriptions. As a result, the association made a modest surplus on the year to October and added about £2,500 to its reserves.

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David Hitcham, who presented the financial results, said the strong reserves meant it would be possible to put on a really good show.

The president, Poul Hovesen, director of farming at the Holkham estate, who was unanimously re-elected for a second year, said he hoped the show could go ahead next August. Former head cattle steward Roger Long, of Scarning, remains president-elect.

It was also reported that livestock exhibitors want to support the cattle and sheep classes at the 2021 Show. There was similar enthusiasm in the horse sections, said head steward Jane Ritchie.

The Aylsham Show, which has traditionally raised thousands of pounds for good causes and local charities, was cancelled this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Until then, it had been held ever year since the end of the Second World War except for 2001 when the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak forced the cancellation of every agricultural show.

Earlier this year, retiring president Clare Buxton presented £12,500 to 19 local charities from the surplus made at the 2019 show.

The association also plans to organise the Norfolk County Farm Business Competition again in 2021

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