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‘Sensible risk-taking’ has become the mantra of politicians attempting to encourage the UK’s economic recovery.

Ed and Jennie Cruttenden, owners of Sunbury Antiques at Kempton Park, must have taken heed back in July when they moved the August and September dates for their Sandown event to a sports fields in Wimbledon.

Any fair launch is a punt but the Cruttendens believe demand exists for a portfolio addition called the Wimbledon Homes & Antiques Fair – regardless of the economic downturn.

Face to (masked) face

The venue, Prince George’s Playing Fields, is located off the A3 and cars queued to gain entry as the Sunday, August 30, event kicked off at 10am.

Dealers were glad of the chance to sell face-to-face (with masks) again. “Kempton in July was my first fair after lockdown,” says Dave Harris, owner of Stag & Squire antiques store in Devon. Harris’ sales at Wimbledon included a Mid-century Danish rocking chair and some copper planters – “everything from £20 to £1100 and in between”.

Another Kempton regular, 20th century silver specialist Peter Jeffs, booked for Wimbledon even though he had never stalled outside before.

“Dealers are limited in what we can do fair-wise at the moment and this was worth a try,” Jeffs says, vowing to return for the September fair. “I’m pleasantly surprised by today’s attendance and we sold across the board. It’s a good catchment area.”

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John from Putney (centre) bought several mounted vintage magazine covers and adverts to adorn his study, from Eugene (left) and Merilee Brunet (right) of Bournemouth-based Prisum Vintage. Dealers noted that working from home is encouraging people to invest more in decorative objects.

Heavy leafleting

With only weeks to promote Wimbledon, Ed Cruttenden estimates he distributed 5000 leaflets at Kempton in July. Social media, ads in local press and in the ATG did the rest.

Sandown, mainly an indoor event, averages 250 traders, with Wimbledon attracting 170.

“For a first fair, that’s good and there’s scope for marquees and other family-friendly features, given the venue’s size,” Ed says. He admits to having been “a bit apprehensive” before August 30 but was happy when an estimated 2000 people showed up.

sunburyantiques.com