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In accordance with previous practice, the Derbyshire organisers will publish their new year dates on the opening day of the fifth fair of the year, but this year’s announcement carries an extra frisson given DMG’s move to alter the days of the rival Newark fair. As reported last week, from February the Newark International Antiques and Collectors’ Fair will move from the Monday-Tuesday slot it has occupied for over a decade to become a three-day fair, starting on Thursday and finishing on Saturday.

Since 1996, the 3000-stand Swinderby fair, situated on a disused airfield just off the A46 Newark-to-Lincoln road, has been held on the four days preceding the Newark event. However, were Swallow to keep their Thursday-to-Sunday afternoon slot for 2005, the two giants would go head-to-head.