Heygate Farms, of Snailspit Farm, Swaffham, is the latest supreme champion in the 36th annual Norfolk County farm business competition. Farm manager William Gribbon will be presented with the Leonard Papworth Memorial Award by Tony Bambridge, president of the Aylsham Agricultural Show Association.

The long-established farming business won the title for the first time in 1991 when run by Mervyn Gribbon, and then again in 2006. Heygate Farms is now a three-time champion.

The reserve supreme championship was won by Broadland farmer James Chapman, of Hill Farm, Rollesby. And Chapman Farms, now qualifies for the 2016 supreme championship, having won the overall title as Norfolk’s best farm in 2002 and 2005.

The award for the best livestock enterprise, the Jubilee Cup, was won by Stephen Temple, of Copys Green Farm, Wighton, on the Earl of Leicester’s Holkham estate.

Another Broadland farmer, Richard Hirst, of Carr Farm, Ormesby, won the Stuart Chapman award for diversification.

There was keen competition in class one between relative neighbours in central Norfolk, which was judged by two Suffolk farmers. Another former champion, Robert Salmon, of Hyde Hall, Fransham, near Dereham, won class one ahead of estate manager Nigel Padwick, of the South Pickenham estate.

North Norfolk farmer Ali Cargill, of Cargill Farms, Gimingham, was the class two winner. The runner-up was Luke Paterson, of Dilham Hall, who is also chairman of Stalham Farmers’ Club.

The 2014 champions, LF Papworth, of Lodge Farm, Felmingham, have won the supreme title on a total of eight occasions since it was first awarded in 1981. In that year, LF Papworth stood reserve to KE Gill Farms.

Another leading contender, Sir John White’s Salle Farms Co has won a total of six supreme championships. His estate manager, Poul Hovesen took the title for the first time in 1992 and retained the trophy the following year and in fact, became the sixth champion in 2013.

Trophies and awards will be presented on Monday, July 6. William Gribbon, of Heygate Farms, Swaffham, will host the annual farm walk at Snailspit Farm PE37 8AE at 5.45pm.

To assist with catering and arrangements, members and guests of Aylsham Agricultural Show Association are asked to inform the secretary, Chris Self, on 01263 733881.



Norfolk County farm business competition

Championship – Heygate Farms Swaffham Ltd, Snailspit Farm, Cley Road, Swaffham; reserve champion, Chapman Farms, Hill Farm, Rollesby.

Finalists – E F Harrold Ltd., Docking Farm, Oulton; J H Withers & Son, Honey Top Farm, Edingthorpe.

Leonard Papworth Trophy – Farm Manager, William Gribbon

Jubilee Cup, Livestock enterprise, J F Temple & Son.

Judges – Andrew  Buckley, Lockwood Estates Ltd, Scampton, Lincoln, Niall Atkinson, Louth Park, Keddlington, Louth.


Class One 

1 N E Salmon Ltd., Robert Salmon, Hyde Hall, Fransham, Dereham.

2 South Pickenham Estate, Home Farm, South Pickenham.

Judges – Matthew Baker, David Baker Farms Ltd., Boundary Farm, Ilketshall St Margaret; Ewan Winzor-Saile, Kings Fene Farm, Ilketshall St Lawrence, Beccles.

Class Two

1 Cargill Farms, Grove Farm, Gimingham; 2 Bindwell Ltd,        Dilham Hall, Honing Road, Dilham, North Walsham.

Stuart Chapman Bowl – Diversification, Richard Hirst, Carr Farm, Ormesby.

Judges – Michael Hambly, Westcott Farm Partnership, Callington, Cornwall;

Robert Lockhart, Drayton Basset. Tamworth, Staffordshire.


Former champions include


Heygate Farms Swaffham 1991 and 2006 and 2015


  • ER Spratt 1994 and 1997.
  • Crane & Sons Farms 1986 and 1995
  • Harold Jones Farms 1982 and 1985
  • SW Chapman & partners 2002 and 2005
  • KE Gill Farms 1981 and 1990.
  • Morley & Boult 1987
  • EF Harrold 1988
  • NE Salmon 1996
  • JF Temple & Sons 1998
  • Billockby Hall Farms 2010
  • AJ Alexander 2011
  • Nigel Joice Uphouse 2012
  • RESERVE CHAMPIONS (more than once)
  • LF Papworth 4
  • Crane & Sons Farms 4
  • Heygate Farms 3
  • ER Spratt 3
  • Fowell Brothers 2
  • RN Harrison & Co 2
John Wootten President of Aylsham Show 2017
Aylsham Show President I am very pleased and honoured to be President of the Aylsham Show in 2017. We moved to Aylsham in 1978, but as a ship’s captain, my job took me abroad for several years. In 1982 my wife’s uncle, John Thornton, then local director of Barclays Bank was President of the Show and he persuaded me to get involved. When illness forced me to retire from the sea, I became Assistant Showground Director to Tom Elwes for several years until 1992. After some years building up Eastern Events, in 2010 I took over as Show Director from Jamie Jamieson. My grandfather farmed at Horsham St Faith and I like to think that he may have visited the show in its formative years. My wife Charlotte certainly competed at the Show in the 1960’s, majoring on the gymkhana. Up until the end of last year I was a director of Revival Productions who have staged very successful concerts in Blickling Park for the past 5 years. All of us who work for the Show have special moments. As Show Director I was always on site by 5 am – a magical time with the mist rising and everything just stirring. The stockmen are washing down their cattle, and sheep are calling to one another. But soon it is all go and you look at your watch and discover it is 2 o’clock in the afternoon before you know it. One of the things I will really enjoy as President is actually being able to see the Show and to meet and thank all the people who make it such a success. The Show is a fantastic organisation where people give their time and energy to raise money for local charities and I am very proud to be a part of it and to be President in 2017.
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