International Antiques and Collectors’ Fairs (IACF) have taken over the Alexandra Palace antiques and collectors’ fair from Nelson Events.
Nelson, who have run the Ally Pally fixture in north London
since 2008, will hold their last outing there on May 11.
The move comes after Blair Barrows, son of Nelson's founder
Peter Barrows, decided to return to full-time university studies.
He is based in Edinburgh, while his father is based in Newmarket
and director Paul Kelly in London.
"The reduction in our management team means that we are unable
to give this fair the focus it requires to maintain its ongoing
success," Peter Barrows told ATG. "This flagship fair for the trade
couldn't have gone to a better company to whom I give every
support. I believe that IACF are the only organisers who can
realise its potential."
Keith Harris, chairman of IACF, expressed himself delighted to
have "this jewel of London events" added to his company's portfolio
- he had tried to buy the fair in 1994.
"We will ensure that the resources required to develop and grow
Alexandra Palace will be put in place," he said.
These resources include the antiques and collectors' fairs
rental at Ally Pally: "not much cheaper than hiring Olympia",
said Mr Harris.
Lindy Berkman and Alan Kipping ran the antiques and collectors'
fair at Ally Pally under the Pig and Whistle Promotions' banner
from 1981-88. In 1986, Mr Kipping launched his own antiques and
collectors' fair at Sandown Park Racecourse.
From 1988 to 2006 Ms Berkman ran the Ally Pally fair herself
still under the Pig and Whistle name. Exhibitor numbers peaked at
750 during this period, with long waiting lists, something which
IACF will surely seek to emulate.
The acquisition of this popular and long-running event, held
four times a year and one of the few remaining Sunday fairs, now
fields 300-400 standholders.
The closest to London that IACF, who now field 29 fairs at five
UK locations which see 60,000 trade buyers annually, have come
before is an antiques and collectors' fair they ran from 2011/12 at
the Hertfordshire County Showground, near St Albans.
Peter Barrows founded Nelson Events in 1999, with his first
antiques fair and collectors' fair at Greshams School at Holt in
Norfolk, followed in 2002 by one at Newmarket Racecourse. Last year
the organisers launched a new fair in Kettering, Northamptonshire.
These three well-supported fairs remain in the Nelson Events
Announcements will shortly appear on both organisers' websites
and members of IACF's team will be at Nelson Events' last fair at
Alexandra Palace on Sunday, May 11. The first IACF event at Ally
Pally will be held on Sunday, September 14.
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