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The UK's biggest organisers of antique and collectors fairs plan to change the 30-year-old event from a Tuesday 'fair' to a monthly Monday 'market' where entrance for customers will be free.

Keith Harris, IACF chairman oversaw the acquisition of the fair from Ludi and Alan Kipping of Wonder Whistle earlier this month.

The market will launch in its new format on March 7 - a day before the nearby Sunbury Antiques Market held at Kempton Park on the second and last Tuesday of every month.

Monthly antiques and vintage fairs at the racecourse near Esher in Surrey have been part of the 'London' calendar since Sandown was launched by Wonder Whistle in 1986.

Dealers' Calendar

The Tuesday slot had been chosen, recalls Alan Kipping, to avoid clashes on other days of the week.

"It was Covent Garden on Monday, Wednesday was Camden Passage, Thursday the market at Spitalfields and Friday was Bermondsey. There was only the Tuesday free," recalls Kipping.

Today the calendar is less congested and IACF anticipate that their heavily-marketed event will work in tandem with the event at Kempton Park.

Kipping said the decision to sell to IACF made sense as "they have the resources to throw at it". He has been informed of the new plans.

The Kippings' last fair will be a vintage event on Sunday, November 29. After 34 years in the business they plan to spend more time travelling, with Alan keen to pursue his interest in graphic design.

"We would like to thank all our loyal customers and friends for their support over the years. We've had a great time and made some great friends," he said.