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Organised by Fran Foster of Centre Exhibitions, the NEC’s organising arm (which for a while was known as Centrex but wisely has now reverted to its more familiar title), this new fair obviously borrows a lot from the LAPADA event she organised for six years.

But she has only taken the choice bits, such as the return to The Forum, which was by far the most popular of halls when the LAPADA fair was known in its early days for its dramatic setting and lighting. After 1999, when the fair left The Forum, for most it never regained its old flair.
Also welcome is the timing of the fair, two weeks later than previously.

More than 90 dealers will stand at the end of the month, many of them familiar faces having made the crossover from the LAPADA event, which markedly went off the boil at last year’s final staging.

But in addition to the dozens of LAPADA members returning to The Forum, Mrs Foster has brought in some significant newcomers, among the 15 or so, W.R. Harvey from Witney, well known for their fine period English furniture; J.H. Bourdon-Smith, the distinguished London silver dealer; Mark Seabrook from Cambridgeshire with oak and interesting country items; Scottish Arts and Crafts rising stars Decorative Arts at Doune, and Sutcliffe Galleries from Harrogate.

Overall the fair looks strong on furniture, both town and country, but there are plenty of specialists in other fields to give the fair a broad appeal.

Like at so many other events, Mrs Foster will have no datelines at the National Fine Art and Antiques Fair, but she does promise strict vetting for quality and authenticity.

With a strong list of tried-and-trusted exhibitors, there is already a good feeling about what promises to become a worthy addition to the national fairs calendar.
Admission is £10.