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By the end of the first day it was apparent that while the ambience may have changed the fair’s reputation for doing business had not.

The record opening day attendance of 3594 was 60 per cent up on last year and included enough serious buyers to ensure a successful opening for many of the 105 exhibitors.

It was better quality stock that was selling, especially the period furniture where a number of specialists reported remarkable sales. Anthemion of Cumbria had to return home to restock by lunchtime on the second day. Some of the ceramics and glass dealers also enjoyed a bumper opening day.

Feelings among exhibitors were more mixed over the move from the much-acclaimed Forum to the Pavilion Halls. Improved facilities was one of the reasons cited for the transfer but there were teething problems in this area on the opening day and a good many exhibitors said overall they preferred the previous venue.

To the visitor, though, this looked a classy, prestigious event and overall reactions will need to be assessed at the end of the fair.