Captive audience charged a small fortune for snacks

COMMENT: Going above and beyond is all in a day’s work at QA

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The school holidays can be an expensive nightmare for some families.

Trying to find plenty of things to keep children occupied and entertained that don’t cost an arm and a leg can be very stressful.

The cost of a day out to somewhere that seems reasonably-priced can soon mount up when you add travelling expenses, food and other sundries, especially when you have more than one child.

I recently had a trip to The New Forest Show.

Now this is something I always look forward to, but this year several things about it irked me.

Firstly, the organisers had hiked the entrance fee to a mammoth £20 per person.

This is a colossal amount to have to pay to get into a showground,

I appreciate there are a lot of overheads, but £20 per person? Really?

How on earth is the average family able to afford this without having to take out a bank loan?

Admittedly there were a fair few things to see and do.

There was a mixture of the modern and the old, such as having a go at being a news reporter or experiencing what it’s like to milk a cow.

My favourite was a horse riding simulator which was very popular with the youngsters as well as me, even though it gave me a sore bottom for a week.

In the arena I saw some fine displays of horsemanship and loved watching the children having fun on their ponies.

The falconry displays were stunning and the ferret racing fun.

The other thing that peeved me was the food stallholders who seemed to think they could charge what they liked.

Examples were a small packet of Quavers – about 55p in your local shop, but on the showground an extortionate £1.25. With a can of pop at £1.85, multiply that by four for the average family and that’s nearly £13 just for a snack. And that was one of the more reasonable places to eat.

My advice to those families who want to visit summer shows is to buy tickets online before you go as they are cheaper than buying on the gate. Oh, and take your own picnic.