FOUNDED in 1976, Caroline Penman’s West London Antiques and Fine Art Fair, which will be held from January 16 to 19 at Kensington Town Hall, W8, is now a new year institution and its famously friendly atmosphere has for some time been a gentle way of getting some good dealers back on to the year’s fairs circuit.

Some 60 stands will be packed with a wide assortment of goods, and regulars at West London might well notice some subtle changes. Without making any grand announcement, Mrs Penman has dropped the datelines for this fair, although she insists vetting will be as strict as ever with “the later the stock the stricter the vetting”, as she put it.

This is part of the organiser’s strategy to give her fairs a more modern feel, and while there will be plenty of traditional antiques on sale Caroline Penman is well aware of the move towards a more design-led market.

Four dealers appear at West London for the first time this month: Califti from East Yorkshire with sculpture and decorative fossils, London picture dealer David Asprey, whose forte is portraits, Elizabeth Street Antiques with furniture and Tara Heinemann with paintings.

Returning to the fair after five or six years are well-known fine furniture specialists Wakelin and Linfield who are doubling up with the LAPADA fair in Birmingham. Admission is £4.