INTERNATIONAL Antiques and Collectors’ Fairs (IACF), the owners of the Newark and Ardingly showground events, have announced plans to hold a regular one-day fair at the RAF Swinderby site.
Previous dates for a two-day event held in direct competition with a rival fair have now been scrapped in favour of a fair in the months when there is no other showground event in the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire area.
As a result, the following Monday dates have been confirmed: May 17, July 5, September 13 and November 8.
The change of tack appears to mark an end to last year’s unseemly episode of ‘fair wars’ that saw the organisers of the Newark Antiques and Collectors’ Fair provoke a bitter row with Arthur Swallow Fairs, organisers of the Lincolnshire Antiques and Home Show.
Ultimately IACF’s decision to clash dates with their rival’s fair proved unpopular with stallholders and buyers, and both will welcome the new dates.
The opinions of stallholders have been canvassed at recent IACF fairs. Some 90 per cent of those who completed a questionnaire identified the need for a large fair in the area in the months in between the established Newark-Lincoln dates. The majority voted for a one-day fair held on a Monday at the disused airfield site.
IACF say existing stallholders will be offered a discounted rate of £40 for an outside pitch, with new stallholders who pre-book charged £50 and casuals on the day £55.
Both stallholders and trade buyers (£10) will be admitted at 8am and the public (£5) from 10am-4pm.
Overnight parking on Sunday nights will be made available.
Previously published dates for a two-day fair at RAF Swinderby – where IACF have an agreement with the site owners to run an antiques fair for at least two years – have now been scrapped.
In January when IACF director Robert Thomas announced the cancellation of a fair scheduled for February 2-3 (on the grounds of poor weather), he was confident the Swinderby fair would be back in the spring. It will – but in a different guise.
Contact 01636 702326 for booking and further information.
By Roland Arkell