COOPER Fairs have bought The Buxton Antiques Fair, at one time among the most prestigious of provincial fixtures.
Somerset-based Sue Ede, owner of Cooper Fairs, acquired the event from Trident Exhibitions, the Devon-based exhibition organisers who have run the fair for the past five years. However, Trident’s expertise lies more in specialised technical trade events rather than antiques shows, and the fair has not progressed under their management.
Helen Thewlis, managing director of Trident, told ATG: “Following a great deal of deliberation, we have chosen to concentrate on our core business and move away from the art and antiques market.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly after five very enjoyable years organising the Buxton fair. But I feel that with Cooper Fairs we are passing the fair into the very capable hands of a well-known and highly experienced organiser.”
The annual Buxton Antiques Fair, the next of which will be held at the Pavilion Gardens in the Derbyshire spa town from May 14 to 17, was launched 45 years ago, and the owner when it passed to Trident was Surrey dealer Roger Heath-Bullock. It hosts around 50 exhibitors.
Sue Ede said: “The Buxton fair is on our roster of high-profile, respected events held in well-known venues with status. Of course, we will be initiating a number of changes to improve aspects of the fair, but these will not affect this year’s stand costs.”
Petworth silver dealer Nicholas Shaw was appointed chairman of Buxton’s vetting committee last year and is enthusiastically supporting the takeover. He told ATG last week: “I am hoping to bring Buxton up to what it was, a very prestigious fair. Sue is a professional organiser and we will endeavour to return the fair to its high status of the past.”
A good number of Cooper Fairs regulars already show at Buxton, but a number of new exhibitors have joined the event following news of the change of ownership.
The acquisition of Buxton brings Sue Ede’s annual tally of fairs up to 13 at six different venues.
By David Moss