With the weather finally warming up, it is time to look ahead to the delights of summer and something that makes a great family day out around here is a visit to an agricultural country show. We are lucky that there are several very good shows that happen over the course of the summer and the dates for 2013 are:
12 May South Suffolk Show http://www.southsuffolkshow.co.uk/
18 May Hadleigh Show http://www.hadleighshow.co.uk
29 & 30 May Suffolk Show http://suffolkshow.co.uk/
26 & 27 June Royal Norfolk Show http://royalnorfolkshow.co.uk/
13 July Tendring Hundred Show http://www.tendringshow.co.uk/
Each show has its own character, but all offer a great mix of livestock schedules, with prizes for cattle, sheep, pigs, horses, goats etc. There are also a lot of equestrian events including show jumping and a good range of other events in the ring. Smaller shows within shows usually include rabbits, guinea pigs etc. There are also exhibits concerning conservation, wildlife, bees, gardening, the flower, fruit and vegetable marquees, not to mention a huge range of trade stands and perhaps most importantly the food hall, celebrating British food and farming and particularly locally grown food. Many also have stands focusing on a range of sports, with several activites to try out on the day, suitable for a variety of ages.
My favourite place at shows is in the the livestock area, particularly the sheep and goat tents. In fact that is where we first saw the ewes and rams that went on to breed our little flock of Suffolk sheep, one pictured above, and our Angora goats. The Suffolk Show particularly celebrates the 'Suffolk trinity' - made up of Red Poll cattle, Suffolk sheep and Suffolk Punch heavy horses. At the South Suffolk Show they have an amazing procession of the prize-winning animals, which is a fantastic spectacle to see.