I went to Lincoln Showground yesterday for the relocated Swinderby antiques fair, I hadn’t been since the change of venue.
The first mistake was to go on the second day. Monday - the first day - has a £25 entrance fee. I suppose that is an improvement on the £100 one had to pay to get in on the equivalent setting up day at Swinderby! But please!!!! Why do these fairs organisers charge so much - in fact, why do they charge at all? These are trade fairs for heavens’ sake. There is no entrance fee to trade fairs in France as far as I am aware. Le Mans and Chartres, which both knock spots off the UK fairs for diversity and real antique and vintage items, certainly have no charge. Someone will no doubt tell me that there are French venues which charge but I certainly haven’t come across any. Oh - except for the one North of Paris (the name escapes me) which was taken over by the previous organisers of Newark and they imposed a charge.
The second disappointment was the quantity of repro. OK repro has its place, I suppose, but not only is it found in the recognisable ‘repro. alley’ both at Lincoln and Newark but it permeates many many other stands too. Actually I don’t really mean that - I don’t believe that repro. has any place at all! I would prefer something brand new and of fresh design than endless repetitions of older things - or, more often, stuff that never existed in the first place and is ‘antiqued’ to death. And yes - there is repro. in France too but so very much less.
So, because I was a cheapskate and opted to pay £5 only on the Tuesday, my buying at Lincoln was exceedingly meagre. I had the distinct impression that it had all been well picked over the day before and very little of interest was left for me. I was pleased with the three things I bought - a vintage Fortnum & Mason Hamper for my own use, a French feed sack and a Hungarian linen tea towel.
But so few buys made the event a great disappointment.
The upside was that I discovered ‘Beyond France’ I had seen the web site but it was great to handle the linens in reality and to meet Maud Lomberg the owner. The Hungarian and other linens are beautiful and so useable. It certainly opened up to me a world of textiles literally ‘beyond’ France.
Some of the linens are indigo dyed in Hungary following an old tradition
Away from antiques - as Lincoln now styles itself an ‘Antiques and Home Show’ that opens the doors to contemporary stuff. The one stand I saw which really impressed me was ‘Tented Wardrobes’. Based in Yorkshire I think they are quite new to the scene and their website (which I checked when I got home) is only partially operating. However, I loved the fabric covered wardrobes and shelved spaces.
On arriving home I discovered that my order of Mini Moo Cards had arrived. I am really impressed with this company. The quality of the cards is excellent and you can upload your own designs for mini cards, business cards and much else. The prices are reasonable too.