The Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association (PBFA) is searching for a new fair manager for its London Antiquarian Book Fair.

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The event, scheduled for May 27-28, was cancelled and the new manager will organise the 2023 staging.

Dealer Chris Missing of Missing Books, chairman of PBFA, said that by not running the flagship fair this year, the new organiser has an “open book to organise a major event in 2023 without constraints on timing or venues”.

The PBFA said the decision to cancel the event was due to “Covid travel restrictions and Brexit”. Levels of interest were low among its overseas exhibitors in particular.

Previous event organisers Marc and Marcia Harrison of dealership Harrison-Hiett stepped down as fair managers after seven years and PBFA members were informed of the cancellation in January.

The couple moved to the Netherlands in 2017 and, as the increased administration of bringing items back and forth between the UK and the EU is problematic, they felt they could no longer continue to run the fair.

Marcia Harrison said: “We decided to step down, in the main part due to importingexporting after Brexit. Also, it’s easier for those based in the UK to promote the fair.”

Events on hold

The association has also cancelled a handful of other fairs this year including events in Cambridge, Bakewell and Bristol due to venue issues. However, its two-day Oxford fair “ran smoothly and successfully” on April 2-3 and the PBFA has a “full list of fairs for the rest of 2022” including the York event (September 9-10) which is “always the biggest book fair in the country”.

Its London Autumn Book Fair has moved from October to Sunday, September 18 (at Holiday Inn in Bloomsbury) to coincide with the ABA’s Firsts: London’s Rare Book Fair which takes place on September 15-18 at Saatchi Gallery.

The PBFA has also been running monthly online virtual fairs.

Separately, later this month the ABA Chelsea Rare Book Fair takes place on April 29-30 and in June The London Map Fair returns, after a two-year absence, to its usual location at Royal Geographical Society on June 11-12.