Picture gallery: Royal Norfolk Show early morning report from the Showground

Thousands of people were this morning pouring through the gates of the Norfolk Showground as the 2012 Royal Norfolk Show began.

Over today and tomorrow more than 100,000 people will visit the stalls, watch the shows, meet the animals and enjoy celebrating all that is great about Norfolk.

Gates opened at 8am this morning, by which time there was already queues of traffic waiting to get in.

As the show began, the weather was overcast, but forecasters were predicting the sun would come out by Wednesday afternoon.

Around the showground traffic is already building up with a large queue along Norwich's Dereham Road out towards the showground and temporary traffic lights have been put in place at the Longwater roundabout to help manage the traffic flow.


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There is also a queue on the westbound A47 stretching as far as the Watton junction.

Colour-coded entry routes are being used and the traffic management plan includes the installation of temporary traffic lights on the Longwater roundabout on the A47 slip road to improve the flow of vehicles around the busy junction and also some one-way routes.

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The aim is also to help ease congestion on busy country roads.

Traffic approaching the showground will be sign-posted on to five routes – red, brown, purple, blue and yellow.

As the Royal Norfolk Show got underway, chief executive John Purling said: 'It is a fantastic event and around the showground there is great enthusiasm and great zeal. The show has great relevance to Norfolk life and provides two great days of entertainment.'

As she prepared for her final show in charge after 12 years, Sarah de Chair, show manager, said: 'We have got some very exciting things to offer the public this year on both days.'

The Household Cavalry Musical Ride is one of the grand ring attractions she highlighted and she is looking forward to seeing the men arrive on horseback from Easton College, where they are staying.

Mrs de Chair said the 'wonderful' new YOLK area would be a huge draw for children and she can't wait for it all to get started.

She urged showgoers to be 'prepared for all weathers' and forecasters say there could be some showers over the two days as well as sunny intervals and temperatures in to the mid 20s.

'We have got covered grandstand seating in the grand ring and lots of stalls will be selling water – and don't forget the sun cream.'

Mrs de Chair said she was 'surviving on adrenalin' in the run up to her final show but admits it could be different tomorrow.

'Come Thursday evening it will hit me that it is my final show and I will miss all the wonderful people I have made friends with over the last 12 years that I have been here. That is the thing I will miss the most.'

Robert Jillings, 58, an engineer from Wisbech, comes to the show every year.

He said: 'It's just a great day out and tells you about areas of the county that maybe you didn't know about.'

Davina Tanner, from Costessey, and general manager at Chapelfield in Norwich, has been at the show since it opened early this morning.

She said: 'What's so good about the Norfolk show is that it's really traditional. Some county shows have become commercial but this one hasn't.'

Retired teacher Margaret Griffiths, 71, from Harleston, added: 'We always look at the animals, and then this afternoon we will be indulging in some retail therapy.'

To help showgoers get to the ground more smoothly, a traffic plan has been drawn up with five new traffic routes.

Colour-coded entry routes are being used and the traffic management plan includes the installation of temporary traffic lights on the Longwater roundabout on the A47 slip road to improve the flow of vehicles around the busy junction and also some one-way routes.

The aim is also to help ease congestion on busy country roads.

Traffic approaching the showground will be sign-posted on to five routes – red, brown, purple, blue and yellow.

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