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International Antiques & Collectors’ Fairs (IACF), organisers of some of the most popular UK events, have a busy schedule planned for the coming months.

IACF Newark is expecting a bumper crop of exhibitors for its upcoming antiques and collectors’ fair at the Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground on October 11-12.

The company doesn’t release visitor or exhibitor figures for this event, but Grant Nicholas, IACF’s marketing manager, said in mid- September: “Stallholder bookings for October’s Newark fair are already close to topping those of last year, so we are expecting it to be one of our biggest of the year. With some weeks still to go, it’s bound to be a full fair, and if we get some good weather it will be a great one.”

Among the exhibitors will be The British Horological Institute, whose clock and watch fairs have previously featured in this column. The BHI has had a presence this year at both IACF Newark and IACF Alexandra Palace with the aim of promoting the institute’s training courses.

BHI’s operations manager, Brian Noble, told ATG: “From both events, we had instant interest in our training and in particular the taster days.

"Although watchmaking is booming – and we struggle to hold enough courses to cope with interest – we now have waiting lists for our taster days and basic mechanical watch and clock courses. There is a serious shortage of clock repairers in the UK and we see it as our responsibility to do our bit in promoting our trade.”


A student at one of the BHI’s popular watch repairing courses.

In June this year IACF took over the Antiques and Collectors Fair run by Bowman Fairs since 1978 and held in the Bingley Hall at the Stafford County Showground. The upcoming three-day IACF Bingley Hall fair will run from October 19-October 21.

The first fair in June, organised with just two weeks’ notice, had 95 stalls. The August fair upped that to 130 while in mid-September the October event is looking good with 132 confirmed exhibitor bookings and a prediction of 140-150 on the day. Six fairs are slated for 2019 at Bingley Hall.