Retail moves at an increasingly fast pace these days, a world where it pays to rise with the larks. The antiques and vintage sectors have their own fast-track fix: the appropriately named Runway Monday, a fair that prides itself on speed and accessibility.
This one-day event, held eight times a year on the runway strip next to the Newark Air Museum and the Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground, is in fact over by 2pm, much like a car boot fair.
“It’s a very quick, easy and affordable fair to do and yes, it’s car boot in style but the quality of the stock is not,” says Rachel Everett, IACF’s operations manager. “It’s the Kempton of the North, if you like.”
The usual mix of antique, vintage and quirky was on sale when ATG visited on Monday, November 18, with the fair’s set-up making it easy to trade large items such as furniture.
Sellers stall out beside their vans and buyers can park close by – the idea being that “buyers are immediately in contact with sellers as soon as they start to unload,” Everett says.
Prime-time is at 8am when dealers and other early birds pay £10 to enter. Local buyer Ben Jackson, stocking his new Lincoln shop My Secret Antiques, was done and dusted by 10am. “This Monday fair is an in-and-out job,” he says. “We can get here for 7am and be back at work by 10am.”
IACF stewards then prepare for the buyers they affectionately call ‘the 10 o’clockers’ – those mainly private purchasers who come after 10am on a reduced entry fee of £5.
Seller-wise, the event caters for pre-bookers in numbered pitches in the main two-lane section, with ‘casuals’ located at the back of the runway. There are pros and cons to casual pitches, dealers told ATG – one benefit being they can decide on the day whether to stall out, given the weather.
Runway Monday in November was held on a rare day of sunshine after flooding. Dealer Mike Kent, from West Wycombe, has sold silver and other objets de vertu at Runway Monday since its inception in 2015, and joked about stalling out in “hail, rain and floods – my best selling day ever here was in the snow”. n