A trip to the Royal Norfolk Show

The Royal Norfolk Show is one of the biggest events in the Norfolk calendar with people flocking from across Norfolk and the surrounding counties either for a day out in the sun or to compete. There really is something for everyone with livestock; show jumping and many other equine classes and displays; lots of food and drink; birds of prey; wood carving; farriery; arts and crafts; sports; pig racing; and many stalls ranging from small shops and charities to bigger companies like Ryedale and Norwich City Football Club offering lots of games, competitions, shopping opportunities and freebies. This year’s show was held on 26th and 27th June and was one of the largest in recent years with over 85,000 people in attendance. I went along on Wednesday 26th accompanied by my best friend Gemma who had not long been home from uni and my younger brother Olly who has just finished his GCSEs.

We started off by heading to the livestock area to find a family friend from Hertfordshire who was there with her husband showing their Coloured Ryeland sheep. We stayed to watch their first class but unfortunately, they didn’t place though they did manage 4th in a large class later on in the day.

We then headed off to find the Norwich City Football Club stand as my brother is a big fan. Following their recent championship win and promotion to the Premier League they had taken the championship trophy along to the show allowing fans to have their photo taken with it which pleased him greatly!

We then passed the Main Ring and saw the Household Cavalry. My best friend and I are both big horse lovers and have been watching Her Majesty’s Cavalry; the TV programme that has been on recently going behind the scenes of the Cavalry. You can imagine our excitement at seeing the musical ride we’d seen them rehearsing on the show right in front of us! For me that was definitely the highlight of the day!

We then found a viewing tower that had been set up by one of the scaffolding companies so my brother and I went up to the top to look out over the show. Whilst up there he said to me “can you see the Northgate stand?”. Northgate High School is where I am spending this last Half Term of the school year. It is also the High School all three of us attended. As we’d been walking around the show, I’d seen a few small groups of Northgate students I work with but we hadn’t yet spotted their stand. And so, mission ‘Find Northgate’ began! We knew that last year they had been located in the Garden section of the show so this seemed a good place to start. There is an area within the Garden section where schools design their own mini gardens and here, we found them with their garden themed around volunteering. The school and students were lucky enough to receive a Silver Gilt trophy and were even visited by the Countess of Wessex!

The other school I have worked at this year from September through to the end of May, Dereham Neatherd High School, were also present. Their School Nutrition Action Group (SNAG) had gone along to the show to learn about agriculture and food production. They had also entered a competition, turning an ordinary wheelbarrow into a Norfolk Wherry (a flat-bottomed boat used to transport produce on the Norfolk Broads) and filling it with fresh vegetables grown in the school garden. They earnt second place in their age category! I saw the Dereham Neatherd group several times as we were walking around the show along with Mr Anderson, the member of staff in charge of SNAG. He is a Biology teacher and loves growing produce with students; the back of his lab is always filled with plant pots and seed packets and all sorts of different vegetables beginning to sprout!

Other highlights of the show included show jumping, draft horses, a chisagne chip bucket from The Bucket List for lunch (a company based in Cromer, they take ordinary buckets of chips and add a range of toppings; a chisagne is basically chip lasagne! Their Instagram is @chipbuckets if you want some good-looking food to drool over!) and the livestock section – I am a big fan of Belted Galloway cattle! All in all, we had a really great day!