It’s official - The Suffolk Show is outstanding!
...So said the judges of the EADT Business Awards who voted the Show the winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award for its outstanding contribution to the regional economy. Receiving the award from sponsors, Prof Ian Baxter of University Campus Suffolk, executive director Christopher Bushby said,”This award is a great honour for the Show, and recognises the rich heritage the Association has developed over the years with many organisations and individuals and members of the agricultural community who give their time for free. It also recognises all the hard work put in by the team in the office with Chris Bushby, Bill Baker show director and deputy show director Mike Warner.”
The SAA also presented the East of England Co-op with the prize for Excellence in Food and Farming for its “Sourced Locally” brand.
What a Show!
It is hard to believe that it was barely a month ago that on the day prior to the Suffolk Show opening its gates, our team of volunteer stewards and contractors were working through the night to dry out carpets in marquees, pull and push vehicles off the site to ensure everything could go ahead after the year of planning. But the free-draining land did just that and the sun came out and what a two days it was, says Bill Baker now drawing breath after his first year as Show director.
The team spirit that shone through before the gates opened was as warm as the atmosphere on May 28 and 29 and the sentiments conveyed in subsequent emails and letters sent to the Association.
Thank you to all of you who supported in so many ways and made it such a success and to those who have told us how much you enjoyed it and appreciated the many changes. The SAA’s change in policy to make the Show more accessible to families by allowing children 14 and under in free provided extremely popular. The gates felt busy, but we are still reconciling attendance figures. Thank you to the families who wrote and said there was so much to do in one day and their children had loved touching the animals, talking to their owners and climbing on the agricultural machinery! The support through the social media has been unprecedented with Twitter followers already looking forward to 2015.
It will always be difficult to assess the “Prince Harry factor” but there was no doubt that he created a huge buzz and excitement, especially when he presented the prize to Saxmundham Primary, the winners of the Suffolk Farming School of the Year Competition.
The new Farm Discovery Zone really achieved what it set out to do and was constantly filled with people having a go at the activities and learning more about food and farming.
People often ask what happens after the Show. Immediately after the show we have show review meetings, the Suffolk Farms Business Competition, Potato Harvesting Day, Food and Farming student day, the Hopkins International and our events business TPEL has been busy with weddings and proms. Also many of our Trustees have returned to work on their farms. Work starts now on plans for the 2015 show.