How the Royal Norfolk Show and the Lord Mayor’s Celebration brought communities together

Community spirit was much in evidence at this years Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: James Bass

Community spirit was much in evidence at this years Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

The country appears to be working in two halves.

And, while certainly divisive, I don't mean Leave versus Remain, Labour versus Conservative or even Gove versus Johnson. Or May. Or Crabb.

The gulf seems to be between the national spirit, and that at home.

Nationally, the mood has been low.

With the likelihood of four political party leadership races in the coming months, Brexit frustration rumbling on and England's defeat at the hands of their Icelandic rivals still a sore point, it's certainly been two weeks for the history books.


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But the last fortnight in Norfolk has made England's troubles feel miles away, with the community remaining upbeat – and unified.

Last week, hundreds of workers came together to pull off the Royal Norfolk Show, the country's biggest two-day agricultural display.

And thousands of you turned out – about 84,000, to be specific.

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Rain couldn't stop show-goers, who valiantly pulled out the brollies, waded through muddy puddles and showed true British determination as they 'made the best of it'.

Twenty-four hours later, they were rewarded with a healthy dose of vitamin D. Putting the delight that is pig-racing to one side, the show was not just an economic boost for our tourism and agricultural industries, but a reason to take pride in our county.

A day later, Norwich folk made the most of a warm Friday evening to support cyclists fearless and foolish in equal measure as they biked up the city's steepest hill in a time trial.

Families cheered on athletes both young and old as they began the Gas Hill Gasp, in a glowing display of community spirit miles away from the national rift.

It was the start of the Lord Mayor's Celebration – a weekend which brought our community groups, charities and sports clubs together and put the focus on empowering young people and supporting local artists.

For the time being, affairs will remain turbulent on the political front, with tensions likely to bubble away.

But with a summer calendar packed with fetes, fundraisers and festivals, it is reassuring to know there will be plenty more moments of community cohesion here in Norfolk over the coming months – certainly something to take pride in.

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