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After many years at Kensington Town Hall, Mr Adams’ popular decorative fair, known as the Brocante, outgrew its venue and this year moved to Olympia 2, part of the West London exhibitions complex.

He had negotiated the thrice-yearly slot with hall bookings and commenced with a very successful Brocante on February 11. However, there were strong rumours throughout February that Olympia wanted the new fair off the premises as it conflicted with their own antiques fairs, and when on March 1 Mr Adams telephoned Charlotte Harris of Olympia’s bookings department it was only then he was told he would not be allowed to hold any fairs at Olympia after his third Brocante of 2001 on September 9.
This was never officially confirmed in writing.

The following day Mr Adams wrote to Andrew Morris, chief executive of Olympia, explaining his costly advertising campaign for the new venue had been wasted and that he might find it impossible to find a new venue for 2002.

Mr Morris wrote back apologising “for the unprofessional way you have been treated by our organisation” and accepting total personal responsibility. He added: “The decision to allow your fair a tenancy at Olympia was a mistake on our behalf because of the confusion with our well-established Olympia Fine Art and Antiques Fairs.”

He offered Mr Adams a possible alternative venue at Earls Court, but the organiser found that totally unsuitable.

Last week Olympia fair organiser Victoria Borwick confirmed that when her exhibitors heard there was another fair in the building they were incensed, and that the decision to oust Adams Antiques Fairs was taken last year.

However, she admitted that there had been a serious lack of liaison between the fair organisers, Clarion Events (of which Andrew Morris takes personal charge) and hall bookings, and that the lack of early written notice was an unfortunate oversight.

All would agree Matthew Adams has been treated badly, but there is a happy note since he has secured a permanent home for the Brocante at the Royal Horticultural Hall, Westminster where he will hold five events in 2002.