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He was rapidly on the phone to the AA sign service and cars were re-routed around the road works area.

On the subject of cars, newcomers to the Bailey circuit, Beech Ridge Antiques from Hertfordshire, took the top price of the fair when they sold a rare 1988 959 Porsche for a six-figure sum.

Mr Bailey says: “The car was on show via a large professional photograph which just goes to show the power of a photo when saving on stand space.

“I would perhaps draw the line at the real thing occupying a stand,” he added, “but we are selling luxury goods and looking for wealthy young buyers."

On a more conventional note, Paul Meyers of Beech Ridge sold a good number of fine walking sticks and some small items of satinwood furniture.

Furniture tended to sell well with Yellow Lantern Antiques of Sussex parting with six items within the first two hours of the opening, Stablegate Antiques from Kent keeping up a consistent record of good sales at Bailey fairs, and Patricia Ann from Manchester coming close to clearing her stand.

Oak specialist Louise Forster of Mauleverer Antiques, Yorkshire, sold a good settle and a Welsh dresser to new clients.

At 2500 the attendance was slightly down on recent Tattons.