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Why exhibit at a fair this year?

These days I deal from my warehouse which is near my shop and I thought I really needed to do a fair. I want people to know I’m still around – I don’t want them to think I’ve gone out of business! So I thought why not do a fair? A lot of my friends are going and it would get me out of Norwich for a bit.

How has the trade changed?

I’ve been dealing for around 55 years and I used to run all round the market buying things. But it’s difficult now because there is so much less to buy, especially with Christie’s South Kensington, which has been a mecca for so long, closing.

It’s a real tragedy. There are more and more high-end auctions pitching contemporary items for £1m which is making the traditional trade very hard.

What other fairs have you done?

My very first fair was in Chelsea Town Hall in the 1960s – such a good event. I used to do Grosvenor House, too, and Masterpiece in its first year, but that’s not really a furniture fair.

What’s great about Olympia?

With some fairs you have to be sure that every piece you sell will top £100,000 to pay for the stand, but Olympia is more reasonable. There’s something nice about it. It’s democratic and enjoyable. One of the great, enduring antiques fairs.

Also, I have a great stand near Pearse Lukies, Anthony Fell and several others. I expect that will be enjoyable.

What are you exhibiting there?

The things I’ve always dealt in: early English walnut and oak furniture. I have a few bits of particularly early English, but generally these are all good things, pieces that will make me proud.

jamesbrettnorwich.co.uk