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Behind the scenes

PUBLISHED: 06:46 23 June 2014

Julian Taylor, left, preparing for this year's Royal Norfolk Show with Vicki Blake, Kim Austin, Mary Wright and Simon Hickling. Photo: Bill Smith for EDP Norfolk

Julian Taylor, left, preparing for this year's Royal Norfolk Show with Vicki Blake, Kim Austin, Mary Wright and Simon Hickling. Photo: Bill Smith for EDP Norfolk

Archant © 2014

Vicki Blake.

Events and show manager.

“The lead up to the show starts the day after the previous show ends, liaising with contractors and suppliers and putting plans together for the following year. Leading up to the show I’ll be finalising schedules, traffic management and health and safety plans and ensuring everyone know what’s happening and when. On the day I’m ‘firefighting’ (not literally!) – dealing with any issues that come up and ensuring everything is going as smoothly as possible.”

Why I love the show: “I’ve grown up coming to the Royal Norfolk Show both with my parents and school, then after organising a variety of events across the country including the Olympics. It’s great to be involved with the biggest event in Norfolk.”

Describe your show days: “Exhausting!”

Mary Kemp

Host and co-ordinator of the RNNA cookery theatre

“I will be setting up the theatre, checking we have everything in place for all the chefs and demonstrations. I’ll brief my amazing team backstage and make sure everything works as it should. On the show days I will be on stage with the chefs, compering as they cook. We have some of Norfolk’s top chefs demonstrating this year and joining the line-up will be TV chef James Martin.”

Why I love the show? “It is two days of working with inspirational and talented chefs and catching up with old friends.”

Describe your show days: “Busy!”

Simon Hickling

Head steward of the countryside area

“We have such a great team in the show office who put a lot of work into each show. I liaise with two or three people in the office, organising performances for the countryside area ring and stands within the area. During the show I work with a fantastic team of stewards to keep our area running smoothly and the ring to timetable. We’re there to help the public with any queries and to show dignitaries around our patch.”

Why do you love the show? “I have lived and worked in the countryside all of my life and I think the show is a great opportunity for those who love the countryside to come together and share a taste of it with others. It’s a chance to help educate all in the importance of the countryside and how it influences our lives.”

Describe your show days: “Privilege.”

Kim Austin

Equine and awards co-ordinator

“Being responsible for all things equine, I am busy receiving the entries for this year’s lights horses, private driving and scurry competitions. I am also busy starting to prepare the rosettes and prize cards for this year’s show.”

Why do you love the show? “I loved coming to the show every year before I started work here and now I love being part of the organisation team. We can all be very proud of the work we do that culminates in such a spectacular event.”

Describe your show days: “Busy!”

Mary Wright

Livestock co-ordinator

“I prepare for the arrival of the livestock and heavy horse exhibitors, and make sure the arrangements for the new farm area are sorted out. All penning plans need to be done, stabling organised and the cattle standings, pig, sheep and dairy goat pens labelled up with exhibitors’ names; straw, water and all other needs covered and everything ready for the arrival of about 2,000 animals.”

Why do you love the show: “The Royal Norfolk Show is a showcase for some of the top breeding lines to be exhibited, judged and admired. It has a unique camaraderie and is used as a time for holidays and enjoyment while being with people and animals who all want to be the ‘best in the class’.”

Describe your show days: “Unique.”

Julian Taylor

Show director

“I am responsible for the overall success of the show, both in terms of content and value. The process begins more than a year in advance. Booking displays for the grand ring is always a challenge, trying to balance the cost against the perceived enjoyment derived. The trade stand areas will be full of diverse, interesting products; there are plenty of tasty treats, local suppliers and chefs.”

Why do you love the show: “I was brought as a child by my parents and became a steward in 1986, and then a trustee of the RNAA, having been appointed chairman of the show committee. I take great pleasure in being able to host the varied businesses that attend this, the UK’s largest two-day agricultural show and Norfolk’s largest gathering, both social and business.”

Describe your show days: “Extremely busy!”

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