School day off for the Royal Norfolk Show is big success

A decision to give children a day off school to go to the Royal Norfolk Show with their families has been hailed a success.

The holiday on Thursday was the first of a two-year pilot to ensure youngsters can make the most of the agricultural event while not missing important lessons.

In 2012, schools will once again have a holiday on the show's second day after which the council will decide whether it should continue.

Norfolk County Council deputy leader Ian Mackie said: 'The numbers of children attending proved that the show is a great family day out and suggests that the pilot holiday has been a big success.'

The high number of families on Thursday helped attendance numbers top 99,000 over the two days.

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John Purling, chief executive of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association which organises the show, said: 'I think the holiday definitely brought more people to the show. It enabled more families to come and there were a lot more children around – so from that angle it worked very well.'

But the high attendance led to complaints about traffic problems for people trying to drive to the showground and park.

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Mr Purling said spaces had been available at all times although some individual car parks did get full.

He said the RNAA was extremely sorry if drivers experienced problems. He added: 'We are taking the situation very seriously and we will be investigating from all angles precisely what went wrong and trying to put together a formula for improving things next year.'

*See Saturday's EDP for more reports and pictures from the show and a two-page spread of pictures from the event.

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