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Long queues form outside the yellow gate at the first new-look Newark fair of 2005 on Saturday at 9am.

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And, with Jaguar Fairs' new event this year at the Lincoln Showground coming bang in the middle of the Swinderby and Newark Fairs on Monday January 31 and Tuesday February l, buyers could have spent all their time on the A46 dashing between the three fairs.

The Newark fair did receive something of a shot in the arm from a much-publicised campaign but what of the other two events?

Swallow Fairs owner Peter Burgoin, known to many of his 3000 exhibitors as Arthur Swallow, was in a upbeat mood saying: "Swinderby has bought more buyers to the area who come for us and for Newark. We had lots of foreign buyers and also more outside bookings. We were putting up loads of marquees, 140 of them, 15 more than usual, and the people with quality stock sold well. Attendance was up on Friday; Saturday was about level with last year and Sunday was a fraction down. Our new VIP lounge serving complimentary refreshments was a big hit with the Americans." Mr Burgoin was tactful about dmg's change of dates at Newark, saying only that he believes it is a brilliant move.

In the meantime, Allan Cartwright, MD of Jaguar Fairs said he was "absolutely delighted" with their first new fair of 2005.

He said: "It was all very short notice as we only had six weeks to get the fair off the ground but we still had 250 stallholders, some US, Japanese and European buyers, and lots of the public. Sandwiched in between the Swinderby and Newark gave buyers a chance to buy in between these two events.

"April's fair [April 4-5] will be very interesting as we hope to double the number of standholders and, as all our advertising is now in place, we should see a mushrooming effect with this fair." Jaguar at Lincoln might be small now, but remember Swinderby started in 1996 with just 50 stands…

By Joan Porter