Show Director Julian Taylor takes a final bow
Visitors, colleagues and performers watched popular show director Julian Taylor being presented with a farewell gift from the RAF Falcons at the closing ceremony of the Royal Norfolk Show 2015, to mark his departure.
The Royal Norfolk Show is England’s biggest two-day agricultural show and one of the country’s most popular and successful livestock, farming and food events.
After spending three years as part-time Show Director, the farmer and former steward says he will miss the role, but will be spending more time doing what he loves best, farming.
Greg Smith, Chief Executive of the RNAA said: ‘Julian has been successfully overseen the smooth running of three shows. His empathy with Norfolk and in-depth knowledge of farming and the countryside has contributed to the continuous development of our flagship event and we thank him and wish him well for the future.’
Julian – who has been Honorary Show Director since 2012 – described his approach to the show as one of evolution rather than revolution.
Julian took on the role after around two decades of involvement with the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association. Since 1987 Julian has been a steward, trustee, Show Committee chairman and finally show director. Julian’s son Dickon continues the family tradition as a steward at the show.
His family can trace a link to the show to the last century. More than a 100 years ago, Julian’s ancestors hosted the show on family land near Diss, when the event was held at different locations across the county
Julian combined running his arable farm with his role as show director with the support of his family. He came out of dairy farming five years ago and remains a keen livestock fan, using his knowledge to encourage others to show their cattle at the Royal Norfolk Show.
He championed rare breeds and bought the Rare Breed Survival Trust to the show as part of their 40th anniversary celebrations in 2013.
Julian said it had been an honour being Show Director for three years and he was most proud of the development of the education and Discovery Zone.
‘I wanted to increase the quality of experience for every visitor. I hope the 8,500 children in school groups who came this year will have gone away and told everyone what a great time they have had.’
Julian said he had set out to keep the traditional elements of the show. Small steps rather than huge leaps were taken, as continuity and tradition remain important elements of the show.
Show Committee Chairman Robert More said: ‘Julian is one of the nicest and most balanced people that I have had the privilege of working with. His ability to laugh and joke, whilst confronting challenging situations and people, helps to defuse potential disasters. This façade hides a wise and thoughtful man, who quietly and unassumingly applies himself the tasks in hand.’
Julian thanked everyone for their support at this year’s Judges’ and Stewards’ dinner.
‘It’s been a wonderful job working alongside a dedicated team with the supportive volunteers and public. I am finishing my time as show director on a positive note and the knowledge the show will go on, in good hands,’ he added.
Of course, Julian isn’t suffering from post-show blues – as a farmer he’s busy with the harvest.