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Organised by Robert Bailey, last April the first LAPADA Fine Art & Antiques Fair at Claridge’s Hotel in Mayfair was supposed to be the association’s showcase in the capital but it was overshadowed by the Birmingham Antiques For Everyone fair which ran concurrently and itself attracted around 100 LAPADA members. Just 30 or so members of the UK’s largest antique dealer association were at Claridge’s.

Since the Claridge’s dates will always coincide with the Birmingham fair the association are now looking at possible alternative venues in London.

Meanwhile, Bailey Fairs will continue at Claridge’s as they have done since 1995; next year’s dates are March 30 to April 3.

While the future of a LAPADA London fair is very much in the air their new provincial showcase at The Centaur, Cheltenham Race-course from October 21 to 24 looks strong indeed.

Organised by dealer and LAPADA member Ingrid Nilson, who operates as The Antiques Dealers Fair Ltd, 50 members are already fully contracted with others soon to be confirmed. LAPADA are looking towards 65-70 exhibitors, depending upon size of stands.

Among prominent members already committed are Chevertons of Edenbridge, Hallidays, F.E. Anderson, Judy and Brian Harden, Oakham Gallery and Wakelin & Linfield.

Instead of a loan exhibition the fair will have a novel and welcome innovation. The Art of Racing is the title of a themed selling exhibition to which exhibitors are invited to contribute relevant items of stock.

Another novelty – the Cheltenham event will be officially opened on October 21 by Earth Summit, winner of the 1998 Grand National.