Norfolk's Wayland Show celebrates 137 years

Ian ClarkeIt may be in its 137th year - but Sunday's Wayland Show was still laying on fresh new attractions and entertaining thousands of visitors.Ian Clarke

It may be in its 137th year - but Sunday's Wayland Show was still laying on fresh new attractions and entertaining thousands of visitors.

The event is among the oldest one-day agricultural shows in the country and the weather stayed fine on the showground on the edge of Watton.

From ferret racing to a Jive Pony and from watching flower arranging to chugging around the showground on a traction engine, visitors discovered there was something for everyone.

A lifestyle marquee was among the new offerings this year and its programmme included dancing, cookery demonstrations and a fashion show.

The Wayland Show's foundation has always been on the agricultural competitions and entries in the sheep, cattle and horse classes were well up. The equestrian area also hosted qualifiers for the Equifest competition,

Show treasurer Robert Childerhouse estimated there had been between 8000 and 10,000 visitors.

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'Everyone who has come through seems to have enjoyed the day. Attendance figures may be very slightly down but that is understandable as there is less cash around.

'The show is part of the rural calendar and it gives children the chance to see and touch animals and it is getting the public and the farming together.

'The number of traders and exhibitors was up and we had some turn up today and asked to come on.'

Wayland Agricultural Society president Kevin Bowes said: 'Whilst we are one of the oldest, we keep coming up with new ideas each year.'

Food was an important part of the event and everything from locally produced cheese to fudge to beer were available to eat and buy in the Taste of Norfolk marquee.

The Wayland Agricultural Society's young achievement award went to Kaylee Campbell, who has just completed a three-year diploma at Easton College and is also working at Melsop Farm Park.

Judges praised her 'tremendous enthusiasm and commitment' to the Easton College dairy show team said she 'would be a tremendous asset to Norfolk agriculture.'

A 40-strong committee spends all year putting the show together and more than 100 volunteers help out on the day.

Collecting money for local and countywide charities is an important feature of the Wayland Show and last year about �18,000 was raised - �8000 from the show and �10,000 from a dinner dance.

Wayland Radio - which celebrates its first birthday at the end of August - did its first live outside broadcast with an hour-long programme from the showground as well as reports during the rest of the day.