Kempton classic after Bisley
After the 2016 demise of the Bisley Antique & Classic Arms Fair which had been held for 21 years at the National Shooting Centre in Surrey, organised by dealer Cliff Fuller, he and collector Peter Binfield rallied their forces.
They launched the biannual and now triannual Kempton Classic Arms Fair at Kempton Park Racecourse in Middlesex in June 2017.
The organisers said they were hoping to attract maybe 200 visitors but were surprised when 600 people piled through the turnstiles at that first fair to buy from dealers at 120 stands, selling anything from cap badges to cannon.
Binfield said of that first fair: “Being a local collector myself and with the support and encouragement of Cliff, the founder of the Bisley Antique & Classic Arms Fair, we brought along nearly all the old traders from Bisley and a few new ones.”
Selling section 1 & 2 guns, air guns, antique flintlocks, percussion weapons, swords, bayonets and militaria, the upcoming Kempton Classic Arms Fair will run at Kempton Park Racecourse on Sunday, July 1, with 150 tables inside and a few outdoor stands.
Down the docks
Chatham Militaria Fairs is perhaps the best known of the regular militaria events.
It is held under cover in a huge building at Chatham Dockyard on the River Medway in Kent on the second Sunday of the month, with the next on Sunday July 8.
Organiser James Aslett said: “The fair has been running since 2000 but at the dockyard since 2004.
“We usually get around 100 dealers and buyers are mainly collectors and re-enactors, and the fair covers all periods from Napoleonic to modern day.”
The monthly Wakefield Medal Fair will be held at the Wakefield Memorial Hall in Outwood, near Wakefield in West Yorkshire, on Sunday, July 1, selling medals from Waterloo to present-day campaigns and from a Victoria Cross to a Victory Medal.
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And coming up later in the year...
The next Antique Arms Fair at Olympia London takes place on Saturday, September 29, it has been announced.
It will be the third edition of this recently launched event and is held again at the Pillar Hall, Olympia Way, Olympia, London W14.
Organiser Thomas Del Mar, who runs his specialist saleroom as part of the 25 Blythe Road auctions collective, a stone’s throw from Olympia, said the April 21 fair this year “drew a greater number of visitors than last year, with very positive feedback regarding the quality of the objects for sale, attendance of new collectors and excellent organisation”.
He added: “Patrick Shutt [from the same saleroom] and I were delighted to see an almost full complement of exhibitors from the first fair return, as well as a good number of new visitors. We were also very pleased to support the wonderful Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust at this second fair.”