ONE of the oldest country shows in England makes a welcome return to south Essex this weekend.

Organisers of the Orsett Show are promising a bumper crop of fun for visitors to Saturday’s event.

Now in its 108th year, the show annually attracts crowds of up to 12,000 who flock to enjoy a multitude of activities, including marquees featuring horticulture and agriculture themes as well as hobbies, handicrafts and more than 100 trade stands.

Horse shows, dog display teams, steam engines, birds of prey demonstrations, live band music and plenty of food will also keep visitors entertained throughout the day.

The event, held on the Orsett fairground, just off the A13 at the Orsett Cock roundabout in Thurrock, began in 1841 as a simple ploughing match between farmers, but has now expanded to become a highlight on the cultural calendar across south Essex.

A spokesman for the event said there will be some stand out characters at this year’s show.

He said: “The cast of the Thameside Theatre’s pantomime – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – will be at the Orsett Show, including Jeff Brazier, who will be the prince.

“They will be on the showground between 12pm and 5pm mingling with the crowds and no doubt entertaining.”

TV star Brazier will be picking out the winner of the Thurrock Community Chest prize draw, which will net one lucky winner a new car donated by Tony Levoi Vauxhall.

Gates open at 9am and the show closes at 5pm.

Tickets are £12 for adults.

Under 16s go free if accompanied by a full paying adult. Free on-site parking and disabled parking will be available.