THE massive antiques and collectors’ fair held six times a year at RAF Swinderby since 1995 is to move to the Lincoln Showground for all future events.
Exhibitors and buyers at the August fair were told it would be
the last at the disused airfield and were invited to rebook for the
October 6-7 event at its new site ten miles away on the outskirts
of Lincoln city.
The long-term future of the 3000-dealer Swinderby Antiques
& Home Show has been uncertain since Cemex, the owners of
the brownfield site, submitted development plans to Lincolnshire
County Council in 2008. The approved proposals include the
extraction of sand and gravel from under the runways and the
erection of a ready-mixed concrete plant. Once works have been
completed, the site will be restored to woodland, reed beds and
lakes for nature conservation.
Richard Burgoin, director of Arthur Swallow Fairs whose father
Peter started the fair 14 years ago as an ancillary event to the
Newark International Antiques & Collectors' Fair, told
ATG they could have continued at the disused airfield for perhaps
But he said the move to Lincoln was as much about future
planning as it was a reaction to Cemex's development plans.
In 2008, Lincolnshire Showground invested £7m into an
eco-friendly exhibition building on the site - the award-winning
EPIC Centre with three halls and 1836 square metres of space - and
took steps to address the drainage issues that affected one corner
of the 205-acre site. It was water-logging that blighted a
rain-washed antiques and collectors' event held at the venue by
Jaguar Fairs in November 2005.
Impressed by the new "all weather" facilities and its easy
access from the A46 / A15 city ring road, Arthur Swallow Fairs have
signed a long-term contract with the showground and have secured
the fair's dates (the two days before the Newark fair) for the
Richard Burgoin is currently engaged in a new standholder layout
for the fair at its new location. While the Lincolnshire Showground
is a smaller site than the expanses of RAF Swinderby, he hopes to
mirror its gridiron formation with a compact layout that, whenever
possible, reunites stallholders who have long requested space in
Outside pitches will be on firm grassed areas linked with tarmac
roads, while steps are being taken to ease the movement around the
site of the outsize vehicles used by a number of the Continental
New additions include a restaurant and VIP lounge overlooking
the showground, and a furniture hall.
By Roland Arkell
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