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Fair organiser IACF has said its recent decision to end events at Sandown Park Racecourse was based on better potential for future growth at its Newbury venue.

As reported on ATG’s front page last week (ATG No 2317), Sunbury Antiques is launching a new monthly antiques market at the racecourse as IACF (International Antiques and Collectors’ Fairs) withdraws from its antiques and vintage markets launched at the Surrey venue last year.

Growing ambitions

The last IACF market at Sandown Park was held in October.

Will Thomas, IACF’s managing director, said: “The restriction on outside space and car parking, along with a paucity of assurances [from the venue owner] regarding our long-term programme and potential future growth, meant that the venue just wasn’t right for what we wanted to achieve.

“We feel that it will be far more productive putting our energy into a venue – the Newbury Showground – that has the kind of potential we need and which has seen a marked growth in attendance and popularity over the last 12 months.”

New for 2018 at IACF Newbury is a one-day Monday fair to be held in March and May, while in April and July the current two-day antiques and collectors’ fairs will run on a Saturday and Sunday at the Berkshire venue, rather than Friday and Saturday this year.

Grant Nicholas, IACF’s marketing director, said: “The last Newbury fair had just over 300 stalls which included outdoor and indoor stalls, along with the usual marquees and shopping arcade.

“We’re also currently looking at a few new venues dotted around the country, so quite early stages so far. At least one is in the south of England.”

Next year IACF is also going to increase the number of ‘Runway Monday at Newark’ antiques and collectors’ fairs from eight annually to one a month.

Launched in 2015, these are held on the airstrip next to the Newark Air Museum and the Newark and Nottinghamshire Showground.

The last IACF antique and collectors’ fair of the year will be at Newark on Thursday, December 7 and Friday, December 8. Sunbury Antiques is at Kempton Park on Tuesday, November 28 and Tuesday, December 12.

“ We feel that it will be far more productive putting our energy into a venue that has the kind of potential we need

Family connection

The new Sandown Antiques Market will start next year on Tuesday, April 3. It will run on the first Tuesday of every month in tandem with the organisers’ long running bi-monthly antiques market held at nearby Kempton Park Racecourse on the second and last Tuesday of the month.

As at Kempton Park, there will be free parking and free entry, but opening at Sandown Park will be at 7am rather than 6.30am at Kempton.

Edward Cruttenden’s late mother Sue founded Sunbury Antiques at Kempton in 1979 and he has long memories of the antiques market.

As a schoolboy, he would arrive with his mother at the course at 5am for set-up where she would pin a 20p sign to the back of his coat as payment for helping other stallholders unpack.

Cruttenden told ATG: “Expansion to Sandown Park Racecourse is a logical step for us – it is a fantastic venue and the two markets will complement each other very well.

“We will have many of our existing dealers at Kempton Park there, plus some new ones, and I’m happy to say that about 90% of the traders from IACF at Sandown Park will come with us.”

Speaking earlier this year about the Jockey Club’s announcement that Kempton Park Racecourse might be earmarked for development, Cruttenden had said: “In the end, the Jockey Club announcement is what it is, but Sunbury Antiques Market will go on.”