The so-called Freedom Day in England has come and gone but the continued uncertainty as infections rise is still leaving fair organisers in a certain amount of limbo.
However, increased staycations because of difficulties of travel overseas mean that antiques centres are experiencing increased footfall in many areas across the UK.
Take Wales for instance.
Husband and wife team Elisa and Aiden Farmer and colleague Cathie Griffin own the Emlyn Antiques Centre in Newcastle Emlyn, on the shores of the River Teifi.
“We took over eight years ago from previous owners and we sell a wide range of antiques and collectables”, said Elisa. “Lockdown was very hard, having 29 unit holders at the centre, and those were stressful times.
“But since reopening we have been overwhelmingly busy, definitely down to ‘staycationers’ and we’ve also noticed an increase in new families moving into the area which resulted in a leap in furniture sales.
“Now it’s back to a good mixture of sales across the board. Long may it continue.”
Emlyn Antiques Centre is on Facebook.
Maria Abrahams and Charles Lewis manage the Works Antiques Centre in Llandeilo, a small hilltop market town with plenty of independent shops which lies at the crossing of the River Towy.
Abrahams said: “At the moment we have 50 dealers. For the first month after lockdown, we were extremely busy and sold everything from small items and collectables to large antique furniture.
“It is quieter now but at weekends we tend to get a lot of footfall and sell lots of small items. Glasses of all ages and quality are selling well but there seems to be no pattern to other sales.’’
The Works Antiques Centre is on Facebook.
The Ammanford Antiques Centre is housed in a former Victorian church hall in the centre of the former coal mining town set in the Amman Valley. Owner Debra Rowlands echoed the views of others regarding increasing numbers of visitors and people relocating from across the UK.
She said: “Since reopening the centre in April trade is steady and the town itself has enjoyed a resurgence of new shops and restaurants opening.”
Manic in Llandovery
“It’s been manic since the reopening of both our shops in Llandovery”, said Les Phillips. “As well as the Llandovery Antiques Centre we own Black Lion Antiques also in the town. The business has three partners; myself, Shari Evans and David Warren and our dealers sell an eclectic mix, from suits of armour to cushions.
“What’s selling well? Vintage teddies seem to be having a bit of a revival and also on the up is art, particularly oils, but all mediums are moving quicker than before.”
Come to Carmarthen
Pictured above is Jenny Ryan from The Chase ITV quiz show with Penny Page, an employee at the Carmarthen Antiques Centre after recent filming there of the BBC’s Celebrity Antiques Road Trip.
The centre’s co-owner, Nic Daniels, said of the 30-dealer business: “We’re doing great including all our loyal customers who come here regularly as their destination of choice.”
Carmarthen Antiques Centre is on Facebook.