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Show set for record turnout

PUBLISHED: 20:01 29 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:06 22 October 2010

ED FOSS

This year's Royal Norfolk Show is heading for a record turnout thanks to two days of perfect weather and a hugely enthusiastic response from the public.

This year's Royal Norfolk Show is heading for a record turnout thanks to two days of perfect weather and a hugely enthusiastic response from the public.

Around 54,000 people came through the showground gates on Wednesday - and show bosses predicted Thursday's figures would easily top 50,000, although they will not know for certain until all ticket sales have been confirmed.

If the two-day total manages to pass 105,126, it will surpass the previous record figure, set in 1995.

The fine weather, which saw temperatures reach 23C yesterday, topping Wednesday's highs of 21C, was clearly key to the popularity of the show, as was the presence of an all-time record number of school buses parked at the showground.

But although the figures were welcome, show chief executive John Purling said other elements were just as important.

“It would be nice to better the 1995 figure and we are hopeful that will happen,” said Mr Purling.

“But the show is also about how much trade is done on the stands, the enjoyment factor, having a trouble free time and supporting the agricultural community.

“On all counts the people I have spoken to have been well pleased, particularly the ice cream sellers!”

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon, who spent the whole of Thursday at the show, also felt there had been a particularly healthy turnout.

“My impression is that it has been the best year I have seen. It was still humming late in the day.

“There was also a palpable sense of optimism among the farming community, which is very good considering the festering sore that the single farm payment has become.

“I must say I was appalled at the apparent expense of the Defra stand, which was uninviting and appeared to be empty most of the day.

“Other than that it was a wonderful day.”

A number of other senior Tories were also present, including Mid Norfolk MP Keith Simpson and former South West Norfolk MP Gillian Shephard, a former show president.

Senior police said they were pleased not only with the lack of crime and a lack of traffic difficulties, but also with the small number of problems with missing youngsters.

Insp Andy Taylor said credit had to be given to the tagging schemes used by the Young Citizens' Guild and the schools themselves.

There were some minor problems, including two thefts from stands, one of a lawnmower and another of a caged bird, said Insp Taylor.

A small number of people had been removed from the showground and two stands had been dealt with for supplying shirts featuring “offensive” slogans directed at the Prime Minister. It is understood the stallholders in question were issued with on the spot fines, although Insp Taylor would only say they had been “dealt with appropriately”.


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