New Aylsham Show president takes on main role after 17 years behind the scenes

Clare Buxton is the new Aylsham Show president. Picture: supplied by Lee Todd

Clare Buxton is the new Aylsham Show president. Picture: supplied by Lee Todd - Credit: Archant

New Aylsham Show president Clare Buxton is 'honoured' to be taking on the role after 17 years' service.

About 17,000 visitors are expected to flock to the parkland of the National Trust's Blickling Estate to enjoy a family day celebrating the countryside, farming, and food.

The success of the 2018 show resulted in 46 good causes, mostly local, sharing Aylsham Show handouts totalling more than £31,000.

Mrs Buxton, who was born in Sheringham, left her native county as a little girl, had a successful early career writing for teen magazines, and then returned to Norfolk. She and her husband Andrew have been tenants on the Salle Park Estate, just outside Reepham, for over 20 years, running their sugar beet and grain haulage business.

And as a long-standing member of the Aylsham Show council, she has helped run the event for many years.

She said: "I feel hugely honoured and privileged to be this year's president. I'm just a worker bee who has worked her way up so it is a truly great accolade; and it also means it could happen to anyone involved with the show."

Seated in a traditional harvest wagon, with her husband alongside her, she will be presiding over the Grand Parade at this year's 73rd show, on Bank Holiday Monday, August 26.

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When she first became involved with the show, there was no food hall.

She said: "We started with a flapping tent and about six stalls. Swannington Farm to Fork were in that first effort and it is so pleasing to see the fantastic success of that business now.

"We grew with the help of a government grant and a very dynamic committee, full of energy and commitment: Jonathan Deane (president 2007), Tony Bambridge (president 2015), and Matt Miller from Aylsham's Black Boys pub all played key roles in developing the food and farming area. I just did the paperwork."

Nowadays, thousands flock to buy local food and drink, watch cookery demonstrations, and applaud the crowning of Norfolk's food heroes, nominated earlier in the year by the public.

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