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However blighted the economic landscape, this event never fails and on trade day the expected contingent of international trade turned up and shopped till they dropped.

Among them was Arundel, West Sussex dealer Spencer Swaffer who is always a big buyer at Bath, but this year he had to send two vans to pick up his purchases.

“Every year I buy so much I always get accused of being let in during set-up. I wish I was,” Spencer told me last week, and continued, “but every year you’ll find me at the head of the queue three hours before the doors open. There is nowhere better.”

Among the Swaffer buys this time was an 18th century plaque decorated with fishes from the fair’s organiser, local dealer Robin Coleman, and no fewer than seven Georgian chests with their original paint.