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For nine years, well-known organiser Robert Bailey has been running an April fair at Claridge’s, and he will continue to organise this one on behalf of LAPADA. John Newgas, chief executive of LAPADA, emphasised that the association will not own the fair. Mr Bailey will take care of all the organisation and effectively he has a licence to run the fair with the LAPADA name. The Claridge’s fair will be strictly LAPADA members only and an optimum number of exhibitors for the venue would be around 50.

Mr Newgas commented: “We believe that this will be a successful new venture for our members and look forward to working with Robert Bailey and his team to build upon and strengthen this already prestigious event.”

LAPADA’s first London fair was launched at the Royal College of Art in 1991 when it was organised by Caroline Penman. Subsequently organisation passed to Fran Foster of Centrex, who put together the NEC fairs, and three years ago the event moved to the Commonwealth Institute in Kensington. Mrs Foster will no longer be involved with LAPADA fairs and the Commonwealth Institute is to be sold, so will not continue as a venue.
The final LAPADA fair at the Commonwealth Institute runs this week from October 8 to 12.

In 2004 for their country showcase – previously Birmingham’s NEC – the association move to the newly-built Arena at Cheltenham Racecourse where The LAPADA Autumn Antiques and Fine Art Fair will be held from October 6 to 10.

The purpose-built exhibition space opens next year and will comfortably accommodate 70 to 80 exhibiting members.

The Cheltenham fair will be organised by Ingrid Nilson, the Kent prints dealer and a director of LAPADA. However, the LAPADA connections are not a factor in her new position and she is hired as a professional organiser. Mrs Nilson has some 12 years experience in fair organising, much of it with Robert Bailey.