The sun has finally arrived! Thousands make their way to the Royal Norfolk Show as the good weather returns

Jennifer and Imogen Collings having fun on the RG Carter stand at the Royal Norfolk Show 2017.
Pictu

Jennifer and Imogen Collings having fun on the RG Carter stand at the Royal Norfolk Show 2017. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

It may have taken a while to get here, but the sun has finally broken through the clouds at the Royal Norfolk Show.

Royal Norfolk Show 2017.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Royal Norfolk Show 2017. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Tens of thousands more people are expected to come through the gates today as temperatures increase to up to 19C throughout the afternoon.

The change in weather has come as a relief to show organisers, who saw almost non-stop rain on the opening day of the show yesterday.

Show director Mark Nicholas said: 'It's great to have a dry day and it makes it so much easier for people to get around. The sun is the guest visitor we have all been waiting for.

'It's a huge relief after the previous 24 hours. It's now a lot brighter and it's reasonably warm.'

He said there had been no issues with people getting into the show's car parks this morning, adding that additional space had been made for horse boxes, after some became stuck in the mud yesterday.

The second day of the show got off to a cloudy start, resulting in the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team having to cancel its morning jump.

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A weather balloon sent up this morning recorded cloud cover at just 250ft - half of what it was yesterday.

But as the sun continues to burn through the clouds, it is hoped that the 5.35pm jump will still go ahead.

Flight Lieutenant Dave Sellers said cloud cover needed to be around 2,500ft at a minimum before the nine-man parachute display team would jump.

Show organisers say the attendance on the first day was similar to 2016 despite three inches of rain falling on the showground.

Visitor numbers haven't been finalised, but Mr Nicholas said about 35,000 people had been through the gates on the opening day.

And with a much drier forecast for Thursday and 'encouraging' ticket sales overnight, Mr Nicholas said he hoped the two day total would match the 80,000 level of 2016.

Scenes from the second day of the Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: Ian Burt

Scenes from the second day of the Royal Norfolk Show. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

'That is an amazing number and it is enormous credit to the people who run the show and those who come rain or shine. It proves that wild horses and three inches of rain won't keep people away.'

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He said the event 'held up well' despite three inches of rain between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday, which created some challenging conditions.

There had initially been some concern around the show's car parks as they became increasingly muddy in the wet weather, leading to some horse boxes becoming stuck.

But Mr Nicholas said resources were put in place to cope with any serious issues.

Bark was laid in certain parts of the showground and tractors were on standby to help any vehicles in need.

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The RAF Falcons Freefall Parachute Team had to cancel their displays on Wednesday and a decision will be made this morning about whether they can jump today.

Mr Nicholas admitted it was looking unlikely.

'Unless the cloud base lifts I don't think they will be able to jump.'

The forecast is looking dry for most of the morning and afternoon with temperatures reaching 19C.

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Mr Nicholas added: 'The great thing is that we run all of this again today.

'Thursday is also really important as we have the climax of the show, which is the show stoppers community choir and I'm sure that will draw in a lot of people.'

Security levels are higher than usual in the light of recent terrorist attacks and visitors have been warned their bags could be searched.

At the Dereham gate, large sand bags were placed to stop vehicles going through. But police reported a quiet day, with only a number of drivers'

licences and phones being handed in to lost property.

The Royal Norfolk Show is now in its 155th year.

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