Sandown Park Racecourse fair
Exhibitors outside Sandown Park Racecourse at the launch in March of IACF’s new market at the course. The market will now run on a Tuesday, in weeks separate to the fortnightly Tuesday antiques and collectors’ market at Kempton Park Racecourse.

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The market will now run on a Tuesday, in weeks separate to the fortnightly Tuesday antiques and collectors’ market at Kempton Park Racecourse, where many of IACF’s Sandown Park stallholders are regular exhibitors.

Rachel Everett, IACF’s operations manager, told ATG: “After listening to our customers at the first few events we have decided to run the markets on a Tuesday, in weeks separate to Kempton. This works better for the dealers who were put off by having to cope with the early morning traffic two days on the trot [IACF Sandown opens at 8am].”

Everett added: “So many people really want Sandown to be successful and we feel that altering the days is the best way to do this.’’

Pragmatic format change

Militaria dealer Jason Warr has been a regular stallholder at Sandown for 25 years, back when Ludi and Alan Kipping as Wonder Whistle ran these events as antiques and collectors’ fairs. He said pragmatically of the format change: “I guess it was too close to Kempton to develop momentum. I just go with the flow and luck plays its part.”

Lesley and David Wileman, dealers in ceramics and glass, also long-term Sandown stalwarts, said: “We’re reasonably pleased with the way the fair is going. I know a lot of traders here didn’t like the Monday fair being so close to Kempton’s dates.

“One thing we notice that is different from the Wonder Whistle days is that because entry is free, there is a steady stream of people throughout the day, so I am selling right up to the closing time of 2pm.”

It wasn’t easy for IACF to alter dates this year at the busy racecourse but the market’s new Tuesday dates for the remainder of the year are: August 2, Monday, October 17 (a Tuesday was not available that month), December 6.

After a promising start for the market at IACF Sandown, which has potential for development as an alternative to Kempton, it is to be hoped the event will get into its stride in 2017 when the new date pattern really kicks in.