Show president Phillida Hurn’s final task was to thank members at the Aylsham Agricultural Show Association’s annual meeting.

Speaking at the Aylsham Lodge Hotel on Tuesday, January 20, she said that she had been “honoured to be asked” to serve as president. “The Aylsham Show is probably one of the best if not THE best one-day agricultural shows in the country.”

Her year began with the launch of the Norfolk Hero Food and Drink Awards. “I had great pleasure judging the final categories,” and was delighted that Tim and Janie Elwes, of the Saracen’s Head, Wolterton, took the top prize.

“Well done to the winners, Nicola and Matthew Colchester, of Colchester Inns for winning the individual food hero award. A special thanks to the organising committee led by Jacinth Rogers and her hard-working team, she added.

Mrs Hurn also recalled a beautiful sunny day for members and sponsors at Fakenham race day. “Thanks again to all concerned for making it such a great day,” she added.

The  Norfolk County Farm Business Competition, again generously sponsored, was another success. She had enjoyed the dinner for judges and stewards at the Plough Inn, Marsham, and then later the opportunity to present the awards and trophies. The farm walk, by invitation of the Papworth family, had ended with a delicious barbecue.

A great evening was had by all at the traditional eve-of-show dinner and dance. Special thanks to Jo Coxford and South Hill Catering and to Graves of Briston for cooking the excellent roast joints. Again, sponsors gave invaluable support as the event generated a significant boost to the association’s funds.

Mrs Hurn said that it was great to have the show jumping back at Blickling Park on the Sunday. “I very much enjoying watching some very good show jumping and enjoying a very good lunch with the flower club.”

Sadly the weather on show day depressed gate receipts. “It was a great shame because everyone who did come all said that they very much enjoyed the day. I also very much enjoyed by president’s ride around the main ring and luckily, it was still dry.

Mrs Hurn thanked Christopher and Ann Self for the support over the past two years and for their endless secretarial duties. She also thanked council and committee members and the chairman, Simon Evans, and the treasurer David Hitcham.

“Thanks for allowing me to be part of this show in such an important position. I wish Tony Bambridge the very best of luck with his year in office and hope for better weather.”

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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