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The Powderham Castle fair was launched last February by Sue Ede, owner of Cooper Fairs, and made an immediate impact. It garnered tremendous local support and I think everyone was taken aback at just how well it was received.

The fair consolidated its reputation with a second staging last October and it must be now considered the premier vetted, quality fair in the West Country.

This year's fair, again, has got much local backing with West Country dealers well to the fore among the 40 or so exhibitors housed both inside the castle and outside in a 60ft marquee.

Locals include Hatherleigh Antiques, who are well known for their early furniture and carvings, and Musgrave Bickford who specialise in clocks and barometers.

There are two dealers from delightful Topsham, which is situated on the river just outside Exeter - Mere Antiques, well known on the fairs circuit for their period furniture and porcelain, and Domani with decorative items.

From further afield come Lamont Fine Art of Leices-tershire, with 19th century and Contem-porary pictures and sculpture, and P & J.C. Wathern from Dyfed, with maps and topographical prints.

Admission at Powderham is £4.50, as it is at the Easter weekend fair not too far away at Westonbirt School, Tetbury, Gloucestershire.

Westonbirt is one of Cooper Fairs' oldest fixtures and it is now held three times a year, the first being from March 25 to 27 when the girls are on holiday.

Some 50 exhibitors are ranged around the central hall and the Orangery and, as at all Cooper fairs, the local trade are well represented, among them Catherine Hunt with Oriental ceramics.

Dealers standing at both Powderham and Westonbirt include the exotically-titled Fu tsang Lung from South Yorkshire, with Oriental work; Denise Robinson of Typically English, with period porcelain, and Jeffrey Neal and Lyn Bloom from The London Silver Vaults.