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The stock comes from redundant churches but mostly from those which are “modernising or just having a crypt clear-out, selling the old furnishings to fund their reordering”, said Lawrence Skilling, co-owner with Steve Williams of the business at Fryleigh Farm Barn in Betchworth, Surrey.

Long-term exhibitors at past Salvo fairs, Skilling and Williams moved to Betchworth a year ago from Walton-on-Thames. Skilling said of their new premises: “Gone are the large brown rats of Walton that scampered through our leaking sheds there; now we have some really pretty pale brown and white field mice instead.

“They do eat the priests’ vestments, however, which is a downside. Our vegetarian carpenter has to be kept in the dark about the fact that we put poison down for them.”

Current good-sellers for the business are pews, “as everyone likes them, with chairs going in bunches to restaurants and bars”, said Williams.

Unusual pieces also feature among the stock, including a 1930s “holy visiting set for the infirm” priced at £140 which, said Skilling, “has a pop-up crucifix, candle holders, a holy water shaker and a small round box for holy oil to be dabbed on the afflicted Catholic patient. And also a pre-1957 all Latin prayer book for the last rites if necessary.”


Salvo rebrands as Décor-Architectural

For this year’s event, the Salvo Fair, to be held at Fawley Hill, near Henley-on- Thames, has been renamed Décor-Architectural. It will run from Friday to Sunday, June 1-3, and is being organised by Lady McAlpine and antiques dealers Gary Wallis, and Camilla and Alix Charpentier.