Rodney Wheeler and wife Rosslyn Holloway.
Rodney Wheeler and wife Rosslyn Holloway.

Long-time show attendee marks 35th visit

ATTENDING the Ipswich Show has long been a tradition for resident Rodney Wheeler and his loved ones.

Mr Wheeler was only an infant - an enthralled one-year-old - when he first visited the show alongside his mother back in 1965.

On Sunday, the father-of-two marked his 35th visit to the city's most beloved event.

Alongside wife Rosslyn Holloway, the pair reflected on their many cherished years spent at the show, having gone on to share the tradition with their now adult children.

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"I actually have a photograph of myself in a pram at the show when I was about a year old, that was the first time I came," Mr Wheeler said.

"Our son, he's 22 now and came on Saturday night to watch the demolition derby.

"Our daughter Eliza used to enter her art into the show all the time."

While plenty about the event has evolved in the years since, Mr Wheeler, 57, said his visits always proved a nostalgic experience.

Rodney Wheeler as a one-year-old during his first visit to the Ipswich Show.
Rodney Wheeler as a one-year-old during his first visit to the Ipswich Show.

"The rides have changed, a lot of the stuff in the pavilions, the trade displays too - they never used to be there," he said.

"Sideshow alley hasn't changed all that much, there's still all the dodgem cars and Ferris Wheel which is great.

"They used to have trots, I remember, also speedway cars. I remember those being very noisy."

Another annual tradition for the family included Mrs Holloway's entry into the dessert competition.

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She was crowned this year's 'Sweets Champion' after taking out multiple wins thanks to her delicious rum balls and more.

"I entered into the contest six times, I achieved five first places and a second this year, along with Sweets Champion" Mrs Holloway said.

"I've been wanting that title for a long time," she joked.

The pair said their favourite thing about the show was the exhibits that showcased local talent.

Rodney Wheeler says dodgem cars have been a long time favourite for show-goes over the years.
Rodney Wheeler says dodgem cars have been a long time favourite for show-goes over the years.

"I really do like the main pavilion where you can look at all the work people have submitted. That's the first thing we look at when we come."

"You have to acknowledge the effort that people put in.

She said it was the community that helped the show survive throughout the years.

"Whether it be pigeons, chooks or woodcutters, you have to have people who are passionate about their quirky, eccentric thing," she said.

"There's some families that have entered competitions every year for generations, it's become a really lovely tradition for them.

"It's what makes the show come together."

Mr Wheeler said the pair intended to keep visiting the show for many years to come.

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Read more stories by Kaitlyn Smith here.