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Christmas is a time when some of us daydream of a gift that is a real surprise, maybe something we have always wanted and never asked for.

Here we ask three fairs and markets organisers and two dealers what they would like to find under the Christmas tree which would make their hearts skip a beat.

A very happy Christmas and a rewarding 2020 to fairs and market organisers everywhere – keep the news coming.

Welsh memories

Mike Collins, director of Sherman & Waterman which runs the best-known antiques markets in London, is a proud Welshman and for him his most desired gift reflects that heritage.

He said: “It has to be a vinyl of the original of the 1954 BBC radio production of Under Milk Wood which brought together the phenomenal talents of two iconic Welshmen: the inimitable voice of Richard Burton and the magical poetry of Dylan Thomas – pure heaven, pure genius.”

In a more sentimental vein, Collins added: “I first read Under Milk Wood at school in Penarth over 50 years ago. I loved it then and love it every time I revisit. Work schedules prevent me from visiting Wales as often as I would like, so Burton’s warm-honey delivery of Thomas’ masterpiece never fails to sends me back to the Land of my Fathers and fond memories of family and wonderful snapshots of my youth.”

The acknowledged radio classic ‘play for voices’, a portrait of a small Welsh town, Llareggub, has so many memorable lines including: “Lie down, lie easy. Let me shipwreck in your thighs.”

If any member of Collins’ family reads this, AbeBooks has two 33prm long-playing used records of the first issue of the original 1954 BBC production with Richard Burton and the all-Welsh cast for £45 (sleeve cover pictured above right).

Make it a Triumph


Matthew Adams, organiser of Adams Antiques Fairs and Frock Me Vintage Fairs, pictured with Potter his Welsh terrier.

Matthew Adams, organiser of Adams Antiques Fairs and Frock Me Vintage Fairs, is dreaming about motorbikes for Christmas. Or rather, a classic Triumph motorbike “inspired by Steve McQueen in the 1963 film The Great Escape and which features in the new Bond film trailer No Time to Die”.

In that trailer the Triumph Bonneville Scrambler 1200 is shown leaping high up a cliff while in The Great Escape, the bikes used by McQueen in the chase stunts were 1961 Triumph TR6 Trophy models disguised as German BMW 75 motorcycles.

One classic car website lists £12,000 as an asking price for a 1961 Triumph TR6 Trophy.

Fifties style


Rachel Everett, IACF’s long-serving operations director.

Rachel Everett, IACF’s long-serving operations director, started work for the company in 1993 and is a well known face at the organisers’ fairs. She has a passion for movie artwork and has a specific want to add to her collection.

Everett said: “I’d absolutely love an original poster for the Gene Kelly film An American in Paris. It’s my favourite film and one I watch every Christmas; it epitomises everything I love about the style of the 1950s.”

Textiles tempt

Tara Franklin and her partner Adrian Higham trade as Hoof Brocante out on the marshes at Rye in East Sussex.

They deal mainly in French decorative pieces sourced from continuing buying trips to France over many years.

The couple both stand at assorted decorative fairs and Franklin also organises the Penshurst Vintage and Antiques Fair. Franklin’s Christmas choices are vintage textiles. She said: “Last year I was lucky enough to buy some Japanese boro (mended) pieces. I regretted selling these so these presents would be keepers.

“I just loved the repairs and how they were patched together. Just beautiful and getting hard to find.”

Higham wants a car for Christmas, specifically “a baby blue tin pedal car, the more rusted the better”, he said.