Epsom fair

A scene at a past event run monthly by Continuity Fairs for more than 30 years at Epsom Racecourse and now under the stewardship of Tree of Ages.

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After 32 years of organising the Epsom Antique Fair, Continuity Fairs is handing over the reins.

It will now be run by Tree of Ages, a business operated by dealer David Steel who holds antiques events at the Stanhill Court Hotel in Charlwood, also Surrey.

The sale is an emotional one for Nick Bayliss whose late parents Liz and Don Bayliss launched Continuity Fairs’ midweek antiques fair with 120 stands at Epsom Racecourse in August 1991.

He joined the business in 1995 and ran the event until last month. Bayliss said: “It’s been a difficult decision as my parents started the fair so long ago but David Steel of Tree of Ages made me an offer earlier this year and we decided to sell. We will now concentrate on our large weekend fairs.”

Bayliss added: “At our last fair in May it was an emotional day to say goodbye to Epsom but we have left it in good hands with Tree of Ages, with his first fair at the racecourse on Tuesday, August 1, and we wish him every success.”

Four further dates are earmarked for the rest of the year.

Tree of Ages was established in 2017. Steel said: “Being from the local area and knowing Epsom well, the venue made good sense for us and we were looking for a regularly established event in the calendar to maintain and develop. Which is why Epsom Racecourse is perfect for us.”

Continuity Fairs retains a hefty events portfolio. The roster offers two two-day biannual showground fairs in Wales at Builth Wells and Anglesey plus three annual fairs at the Devon Showground.

Nick Bayliss took over the venerable Bingley Hall fair at the Stafford Showground in 2020 which had been run by IACF for 18 months and now organises four annual weekend fairs here with the next on Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25. It is one of the longest running fairs on the circuit, launched by Bowman Fairs in 1978.

Continuity also holds a one-day fair four times a year at the Matford Centre in Exeter.

As a monthly one-day event the Epsom fair was quite a regular schlep from Continuity Fairs’ base in Shropshire.

In some ways it may be a relief for the Bayliss family to have sold this on, albeit one laced with nostalgia and happy memories.