Les­lie Dol­phin

cel­e­brates Suffolk Day, June 21

EADT Suffolk - - Inside - les­ley­dol­phin@bbc.co.uk

What will you be do­ing on Suffolk Day, Thurs­day June 21? BBC Ra­dio Suffolk and the East Anglian Daily Times and Ip­swich Star are en­cour­ag­ing ev­ery­one to cel­e­brate this won­der­ful part of the world. Break­fast show pre­sen­ter Mark Mur­phy, who orig­i­nally came up with the idea, says it’s about time we stopped hid­ing our light un­der a bushel and let ev­ery­one know about this won­der­ful part of the world. Last year was a great suc­cess, so we want it to be even big­ger and bet­ter this year.

It’s not news to those who live here, of course. Ev­ery day I chat to peo­ple on my show who ad­mit to be­ing ‘Suf­folkated’. They move here be­cause they want to get away from the pace of life in the city and then dis­cover it’s a spe­cial place. But, out­side the east of Eng­land, do peo­ple know much about us, or even where Suffolk is?

Some peo­ple are wor­ried that if we spread the word too much we’ll be over­run with tourists. But we need vis­i­tors, they’re an im­por­tant part of our econ­omy. We also need busi­nesses to set up here. I of­ten hear Norfolk men­tioned as a thriv­ing, cul­tur­ally rich county. Why not Suffolk? That’s why Suffolk Day is so im­por­tant. We need to get the county talked about through­out Eng­land, so that at na­tional level we get a fair crack of the whip.

MY TOP FIVE REA­SONS SUFFOLK IS SPE­CIAL

1 We’re a train ride from Lon­don, so if you need to work there or visit, you can be home to the peace of Suffolk within an hour and a bit. Al­though, as Suffolk seeps into your psy­che, you’ll want to spend more time here.

2 We have (nearly) ev­ery type of land­scape – the her­itage coast, fen­land, forests, Con­sta­ble coun­try, even some hills and val­leys to the west, and ar­eas of out­stand­ing nat­u­ral beauty.

3 We have won­der­ful com­mu­ni­ties in which to live and bring up a fam­ily. In my daily Dol­phin’s Dart com­pe­ti­tion I chat to peo­ple who are work­ing hard to make their vil­lage or town a vi­brant and happy place.

4 Suffolk is a great place for busi­ness. Our lo­cal food en­ter­prises are al­ready known out­side the county and there are plenty of oth­ers work­ing hard in ru­ral Suffolk. And it’s a hugely creative place, home to artists, mu­si­cians and writ­ers. 5 We have a great his­tory. As part of cel­e­bra­tions mark­ing 100 years since women first got the vote, a statue of Mil­li­cent Fawcett has been erected and un­veiled in Lon­don. She was a Suffolk woman, a Suf­frag­ist who helped changed the course of his­tory. Just hear­ing her story makes me proud to live in Suffolk. I wasn’t born in the county, but I’ve lived here longer than any­where else and I am proud to call it home.

On June 21, BBC Ra­dio Suffolk will broad­cast from around the county. I’ll be at Ick­worth House. The usual en­try fee to the es­tate and gar­dens ap­plies but en­try to the house will be free. I’m hop­ing we can pic­nic in front of the ro­tunda! Check the web­site for ideas of where to go and how to cel­e­brate - suf­folk­day.co.uk

ABOVE: All crea­tures great and small can find a way to cel­e­brate the county’s spe­cial day, as this lit­tle pony at Eas­ton Farm Park seems to be dis­cov­er­ing . . .

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