The stands at the Shepton Mallet antiques and collectors’ fair.

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That March event at the Bath & West Showground, including trade day, was up by 22% on the same time last year. Rachel Everett, IACF operations director, says: “This increase is very encouraging in what seem to be uncertain times for other industries.

“Lots of dealers took time out to pop into the office during the weekend to report that they were having very good fairs. The fair was particularly good for the stallholders who stayed for the full three days.

“It was not just one type of stock that seemed to be selling well either, except to say that quality buyers are coming to the fair looking to invest in quality antiques.”

Among the happy dealers was Danish silver jewellery specialist Jane Burgett who said: “I really enjoyed the March fair at Shepton. It’s always one of my favourite fairs and it was a really fruitful weekend for me too.”

The contemporary furniture dealer and her husband Roger was one of the three high-profile antiques dealers ATG included in a preview of the March Shepton Mallet fair.