“Dealers in fear of a turfing-out” ran the story in ATG No 1722, January 14, which told the story of the Somerton Antiques Centre, home to 27 dealers.
The centre, in the Old Court House, Somerton, between Yeovil and Bath, had sold to the Stepping Stone Group, who want to build a care home on the site. The dealers were due to move next door, to a 17th century shop, Watts House, a move now completed.
Somerton Antiques Centre’s Gwen Rogers told ATG that the dealers are happy at Watts House, which is also owned by the Stepping Stone Group, but may move to a new purpose-built centre in the village if it goes ahead.
Back in February came the announcement that Silverwoods Auctioneers, a 100-year-old family auction business in Clitheroe, would hold their first antiques fair on Easter Saturday. It’s ensuing success has persuaded them to go monthly.
“It was all a bit scary at first, but we’ve had a very good response from the public and from our stallholders at the four fairs we held last year,” said organiser Steven Parkinson, Silverwoods’ valuer on pottery, porcelain and glass. “So good has it been that we’re going monthly and we’re having 11 fairs this year on the last Saturday of the month, with our first on Saturday, January 27.”
Vintage fashion is all over the high street – even Marks & Spencer’s designers are influenced by vintage, Top Shop sell 60s and 70s originals and in Oxford Street, Selfridges have two departments devoted to vintage clothes, and John Lewis sell vintage costume jewellery.
Vintage fashion remains one of the most buoyant sectors of the antiques and collectors’ market, and vintage fashion and retro fairs countrywide are being organised to satisfy a high demand. Pembrokeshire-based Edwin Dyson’s Blind Lemon Vintage Fairs did so well selling vintage clothes on eBay three years ago that he joined the vintage fashion fair circuit with his first vintage fair in Bristol on Sunday, February 26. Edwin, who last year banned fur from his fairs, is now all over the country with 18 fairs this year in Nottingham, Exeter, Brighton, Oxford, Cambridge, Cardiff and Bristol.
Jeannette Laight, whose Birmingham-based Vintage Clothes Fairs held her fourth fair in April, said: “We had people queuing at the door,” while Tyneside’s Judith Lidell’s first vintage fashion fair, at the Royal Hotel in Newcastle-on-Tyne in November, was a smash hit with a re-run in November this year.
Still in the North, Sally Woodhead and Sam Tankard held their second annual vintage fashion fair in Leeds at the Art Deco Queens Hotel and in London Anita Bott is adding another venue this year to Anita’s Vintage Fashion Fairs at Battersea Arts Centre – at the 20th Century Theatre in Westbourne Grove.
In ATG No 1737, April 29, we ran a story about Sutton Library organising its first ever antiques fair. Assistant library manager Patricia Macleod confirmed that they are to run two more fairs in the library – on Saturday, April 21 and July 14. “I would be very interested to hear from dealers who might be interested in standing at our fairs in the library this year,” said Patricia. Tel: 020 8770 4703.
Streamlining their fairs programme to fit a changing market, DMG’S Newark antiques and collectors fairs is back to a two-day event in 2007, running on Thursday and Friday as a fair dedicated to the trade. Public entry on Saturday was not the success which DMG hoped for with many dealers wishing to leave after the first two days. As part of DMG’s revamp, the company have sold the two Malvern fairs to former DMG employee Roger Sumner who, with Helen Martin, is now operating as B2B Events.
On January 15, Pig and Whistle Promotions’ fairs celebrated 25 years of organising fairs at Ally Pally, one of only three regular antiqes and collectors’ fairs held in central London. Sadly, due to contractual problems, the organisers may have held their last event at Ally Pally – on November 19 – although there are some hopes that the fair may be revived when a new management team take over this year.
BY JOAN PORTER