It was only the second week of the new year and temperatures outside had plummeted.
Undeterred, the trade – sellers and buyers – as well as privates flocked to 2019’s first Sunbury Antiques Market at Kempton Park to find a few diamonds in the rough.
In the crowded ecosystem of outdoor and indoor antiques markets, this twice monthly Tuesday fair, now in its 40th year, has carved out a strong niche.
Tribal art specialist and BBC Antiques Roadshow pundit Ronnie Archer-Morgan is one of Kempton’s most loyal customers, attending twice a month since the event was founded in 1979 by the late Sue Cruttenden.
“There always will be discoveries at events like this,” he tells ATG. “On average I find 15 amazing bargains here each time at Kempton – in categories across the board.”
Archer-Morgan says he happily eschews the early trade brigade arriving at 6.30am and gone by the time he rocks up.
Edward Cruttenden, who with wife Jennie is the second generation of Cruttendens running Sunbury Antiques Market, says the early opening won’t be reappraised.
“The idea has always been that traders come here at 6.30am to avoid the rush hour and their purchases could be in their shop window – or on Instagram or eBay these days – by 10am the same morning.”
End time is 2pm and while stall holders may start to pack up at noon, “buyers like Ronnie will still be here at 2pm, looking for that diamond in the rough,” Cruttenden says.