I have today been to the Royal Norfolk Show with my school, and I have to say, yet again, that it has been a thoroughly entertaining day out for us all.
For all those who do not know what the Royal Norfolk Show is, put simply it as a massive trade and civic event which takes in business, commerce and charity stands around what is essentially a traditional agricultural show. The Royal Norfolk show, celebrating its 100th year as a "Royal" show, is the largest two day event of its kind in the UK and is a traditional part of Norfolk life, in my honest opinion.
For school children the great joy of the day is collecting dozens of stickers and "freebies", but it was the total lack of freebies this year which tells me something is really wrong with the economy. There seemed to be far less car dealerships represented this year, and those that did rarely had stickers for the kids or any kind of "goody bags", which usually contained pens, pencils and key rings. Other stands too which normally would be giving things away by the bucket load were bereft of anything for the kids.
This is not to say that there was nothing on offer. My group did acquire a lot of stickers, but only because they asked politely and had an eye for them. One lady came up to us at 2.30 this afternoon and asked me where my group had got their stickers (her son had only two), and we explained that you really had to ask rather than wait to be offered, seemed slightly surprised.
Of course it is a good thing for the environment that less plastic bags were produced and wasted, and of course I could be putting two and two together and be coming up with five, but I really got the sense today that the credit crunch was biting business hard.