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He runs West Lancs Antique Exports from this 40,000 sq ft warehouse which is open to the public as well as the trade.

Griffiths stands at IACF Ardingly, Newark and the one-day Runway fair where country furniture ready for restoration sells well, including antique pine boxes from £40-100.

He particularly likes the Runway event as “it starts early and it’s all over by one or two o’clock”.

The next takes place on Monday, February 25.

Launched in 2015 on the runway next to the Newark Showground and Newark Air Museum, on a former RAF station, the monthly Runway Monday antiques and collectors’ fair is aimed largely at the trade.

The mix of standholders is, said, IACF’s Grant Nicholas, “split 50/50 between those who do both IACF Newark and Runway fairs and those who stand only at the Runway event. Numbers vary between 300 and 600, depending on the time of year.”

Export opportunities

Griffiths’ business was started in 1970 by his parents and an uncle, combining two firms into one for the export of antiques to the US, then a vibrant market.

He joined the firm 40 years ago and was soon off around the country buying a wide variety of furniture at fairs for both the home and export markets.

This he still does, now joined by his son Alex.

Griffiths Sr, who has a fancy for Black Forest walnut furniture which he collects for his home, now exports his furniture to China, Taiwan, Japan and Australia with the Chinese buying back the early 20th century furniture they made for export to the west as well as elaborate European pieces.