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Unusual and unique items were a key attraction of the latest Arthur Swallow Fairs' Antiques & Salvage Market event at the Royal Cheshire County Showground near Knutsford.


Caroline Whiteside with a cupboard shaped like a petrol pump that she bought for £45.

Held on September 23, it was full of members of the public looking for bargains on items that they could turn into talking points in their home.


Georgia Taylor bought this hotel key holder for £190 and has plans to make it into a spice rack for her kitchen.

Georgia Taylor, a lover of one-of-a-kind pieces and first-time visitor, was thrilled with her £190 purchase of a hotel key storage rack that she planned to turn into a spice rack for her kitchen.


Julie Buttery with her £30 circus cladding she intends to turn into a shelf.

Julie Buttery, a buyer with a penchant for fairground and circus memorabilia, was on the same wavelength and picked up some fairground cladding for £30 to turn into a shelf. Another buyer, Barry Davey, intended to use some antique wooden shutters he bought for £40 as a display for his CD collection.


Barry Davey with shutters he is planning to turn into a shelf for his CDs. He bought this for £40 and the watering can in this photo also sold to him for £10.

Meanwhile, Caroline Whitside spontaneously purchased a cupboard shaped like a petrol pump for £45. She said: “It’s quirky and I’ll use it as a conversation piece.”


Sarah Helen and Charlie Gladstone with the pantomime horse head they purchased for £300 from Stuart Treacy of Rosie Blue Vintage.

Animal-themed items for display were also popular. One of these objects was a pantomime horse head that Charlie Gladstone and Sarah Helen bought for £300 from Stuart Treacy of Rosie Blue Vintage.

Gladstone said: “It’s a beautiful object and is very, very rare. I try to buy only things which are one in the world.”

According to Treacy, the horse was made in Bert Mayers’ pantomime prop factory in London in the 1930s. The inside of the head was signed by Mayers himself.


Jackie Bowe bought this tin pig for £200.

Another item going home for display was a tin pig which sold to Jackie Bowe for £200. She said: “I have a big garden and I love unusual things like this in it.”

Deer Jeff

Taxidermy also attracted buyers such as Jeff Dougan, who took a stuffed deer home to mount on his sitting room wall.

Such pieces, bought to be talking points at home, also brought people together at the fair.


Jeff Dougan with a taxidermy deer purchased for £60.

Two visitors, Aimee Bradley and Joshua Appleby, met while buying items at a stall and decided to leave and go grab a coffee after getting into a chat about their purchases. Bradley had picked up a stool as a practical item and Appleby had chosen the bowl because he likes “things that are unique and beautiful”. The stool sold for £65 and the bowl for £75.


Aimee Bradley and Joshua Appleby met while purchasing their respective items – a stool for £65 and a bowl for £75 – before deciding to go for a coffee after they left the fair.

The event also brought together buyers and sellers. Melissa Dodman found Charlie Paton of Beechwood Vintage on Facebook Marketplace and has since become a regular visitor to his store in Stockport.


Melissa Dodman and son Albie with two vases she purchased from Colin Paton of Beechwood Vintage for £90.

She had visited the fair as a more local venue for her and had bought two “wacky and wonderful” vases for £90.

One of the dealers specialising in the strange and unique was Mark Peacock of Curio Times. He had had a good fair, particularly in smalls but with some large pieces also going.


An oil painting that sold for £350 from Curio Times.

Two sales of note were a plaster bust of a Roman emperor for £80 (pictured top) and an oil painting of a man for £350. He travels down from his base in Glasgow for the fair and said that “it’s always a good day and worth coming down for”.


Even the youngsters were getting in on the action. Richard Smart shown with his son Finley who had fallen in love with a truck for £8. Even better that the puddles from the night’s rain offered the perfect place to play with it.


Louise Rhodes picked up this statue for £45 and said: “I was drawn to him the moment I saw it. My spirit guide looks identical so I’m going to clean him up and he’s going to go in my Reiki room.”

‘Great buzz’

Marc Burgoin, one of the organisers, said that Knutsford is known for the variety of its stock and “more quirky stuff”.

He added that the event reminds him of “when we first started doing fairs and it was a bit rough and ready. There’s a great buzz, easy set-up, no marking of pitches and everyone can take the space that they need.”

The next Arthur Swallow fair at the Cheshire showground is March 9, 2024, but the firm’s online calendar is updated with dates later this year and earlier next year at different venues across the UK.