Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Royal Norfolk Show 2011...

I love a good agricultural show, so when I realised that the Royal Norfolk Show was on during the week we were on holiday in Norfolk, I didn't want to miss it! We'd been once before, about five years ago (although we can't remember why we were in Norfolk at the time...) so we knew it was a good show and the 2011 event didn't disappoint! :)

We entered the showground right next to the sheep area, where some Norfolk Horn sheep were being judged by a smart looking man in a bowler hat...
Norfolk Horn sheep line up 2

Some of the competitors had smart headgear too (the handlers, not the sheep - although the sheep's horns are pretty smart-looking!)...
Showing Norfolk Horn sheep

I really like Norfolk Horn sheep and they're a very rare breed, so it was great to see so many of them on show in their native county...
Norfolk Horn

While we're on the subject of sheep, I'll share some pictures of the various different breeds that were on display (you knew there were going to be lots of sheep photos, didn't you?!). I always seem to gravitate towards certain breeds... such as longwools, primitive breeds, naturally coloured and rare breeds. Texels, Beltex and other more commercial breeds don't usually get much of a look in from me!

I tried to photograph some breeds that I'd never seen before, such as these Shropshire sheep in the Rare Breeds Survival Trust tent...
Shropshire sheep 2

And this cuddly-looking Hampshire Down sheep wearing a rug...
Hampshire Down sheep in a rug

There were also Oxford Down sheep, which were very friendly...
Close up Oxford Down sheep face

Lots of coloured Ryelands...
Coloured Ryeland in a rug 2

And the friendliest Greyface Dartmoor, who came over for a tickle from Ade and stood there being stroked for ages with the happiest look on it's face!
Greyface Dartmoor tickle 1
What a sweetie - we didn't want to leave it! I think Greyface Dartmoors always have a friendly and/or slightly comical look about them :)

My disorganised photography means that I can't remember if these sheep are Castlemilk Moorit or Soay...
Soay sheep 2
I'm ashamed to say that I can't tell the difference even after looking in all my sheep books! I'm going to say these are Soay though, because I don't think Castlemilk Moorits come in such a dark colour. Let me know if you can shed some light on the differences between the two breeds!

This one's definitely a Wenseydale...
Wensleydale baaa

But I'm struggling to tell apart my photos of Leicester and Lincoln Longwools. These two could be either... or both!
Longwool sheep 1

Longwool face

I'm very interested in Lincoln Longwools (since I'm from Lincolnshire and I like sheep, especially ones with long curls!), so I enjoyed seeing the display of woolly produce that had been put together using fleece from the Risby flock of Lincoln Longwools...
Lincoln Longwool products on display
There was a basket full of colourful balls of yarn, some bunting knitted from the yarn, felted flowers made from dyed fleece, an impressive felted union jack flag, a lovely sheepskin and bags of raw fleece and processed fibre.

The people who own the Risby flock seem very inventive in the ways that they use their sheepy products and promote the breed. You may have seen the amazing Lincoln Longwool wedding dress that they made using fleece and wool from their flock in the news a couple of years ago. Maybe we'll get over to visit them sometime when we're in Lincolnshire... I'd like to have a play with a Lincoln Longwool fleece! :)

Anyway, there was life outside the sheep tent, so I dragged myself away to check out the rest of the show. We saw rabbits...
Pink eyed rabbit

Interesting looking chickens...
Fancy chicken faces

Traditional looking chickens....
Black and white chicken

Chickens with scary looking legs...
Intimidating chicken legs
These were HUGE and had very intimidating looking spurs on!

There were some stunning Arab horses...
Black Arab

Some handsome heavy horses being shown in-hand...
Grey heavy horse 2

And lots of heavy horses in harness...
Chestnut heavy horses and carriage

Bay heavy horses pulling waggon

Including the Co-operative Funeralcare team...
Co-op horses getting ready

There was a fantastic vintage fairground with a carousel...
Vintage carousel

I love carousel horses...
Carousel horse head 1
I'd like one of my own if I had space! :)

In the woodland crafts area we saw Owen Jones, the oak swill basket maker who lives just down the road from us in Cumbria!
Owen's stall 1
I blogged about Owen a few weeks ago and mentioned how I most often bump into him at shows and events, rather than in the area where we live. The Norfolk Show will take some beating for the furthest flung place we've seen Owen - I think it confused him for a moment when he saw us! :)

Also in the woodland crafts area were some people from nearby Holkham Forge, doing a demonstration of blacksmithing...
Holkham Forge demonstration

The things on display at their stall were very well designed and beautifully made, such as this metal railing...
Holkham Forge railings

And all the smaller items, like hooks, pokers and pieces of artwork...
Holkham Forge stall 2
I fell in love with the patterned hare at the top of the picture and had to bring it home with me!
Metal hare 1

It's really beautiful...
Hare ears
I just need to find a home for it on a wall somewhere now!

If you'd like to see all my photos from the 2011 Norfolk Show, check out the full set on my Flickr page here. :)

2 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading your blog on the Royal Norfolk Show. I have bred Norfolk Horns for 25 years - my daughter is the one in the hat! As to your query about Soays. The sheep in the foreground is a Soay and the one behind her is a Castlemilk Moorit. They belong to one of my best friends who is also our vet.

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  2. Thank you for your comment and for clearing up my Soay/Castlemilk Moorit confusion! I hadn't expected there to be a mixture in the same pen!

    Your daughter looked very smart showing her sheep... I hope she got placed, we didn't wait around to see because it seemed to be taking a long time for the judge to decide with so many to choose from!

    It really was great to see so many Norfolk Horn sheep, I'd really like to get my hands on a fleece some time as I've heard they're a nice wool to work with :)

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