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Today, there is, of course, the rejuvenated Snape fair which eveyone seems to enjoy under its new ownership, but, on the whole, the area has not been overrun by fair organisers.

Now I learn that while East Anglia is to gain a new fair under the guiding hand of seasoned organiser Caroline Penman, it is also to lose one which was pioneered by East Anglia's own home-grown entrepeneur Liz Allport-Lomax of Norfolk-based Lomax Antiques Fairs.

Liz held her second annual Southwold Summer Antiques Fair from July 23 to 25 but has decided it will be her last.

Carpets and rugs proved disappointing but Liz tells me there was business elsewhere among the 40 dealers at St. Felix School in the pretty Suffolk coastal town.

But after 12 years of fairs the organiser told me: "I have made a purely personal decision to cut my work load and limit my fairs to three in 2005, so I will not be returning to Southwold next year."

On a more upbeat note, Caroline Penman's latest event, the Bury St. Edmunds Antiques Fair, will be launched at The Athenaeum in Angel Square over the weekend of September 3 to 5.

Whatever the fairs scene, the area has never been short of good dealers and a number of them have taken stands at Mrs Penman's vetted and datelined event which is expected to feature around 25 exhibitors.

These include Denzil Grant, a regular at many top fairs with his stock of French farmhouse tables and country furniture; W.A.Pinn and Lennard Antiques from Sible Hedingham with period furniture and metalwork; David Salter from Clare with furniture and ceramics, and Robin Butler, formerly of Bath but now based in Clare with formal furniture, Old Sheffield Plate and glass.

The fair seems strong on period furniture, particularly as there is a very rare fair appearance by John Beazor & Sons of Cambridge, one of the region's biggest dealers in period mahogany and walnut.

There have been fairs at Bury in the past, but not for a while.

The Suffolk town and its hinterland seems ideal territory for Mrs Penman's brand of old-fashioned, good-quality provincial antiques fair and should prove a worthwhile addition to the East Sussex organiser's stable.

Admission is £4.