The Chelsea Antiques Fair started in 1950 and for 20-plus years was as important as the flower show and second only to Grosvenor House in the hierarchy of British antiques fairs. I bought the Chelsea fair in 1983, and enjoyed the boom times of the ’80s and ’90s.
The BADA Fair’s arrival in a marquee along King’s Road knocked Chelsea sideways, but now Chelsea at the Old Town Hall in March enjoys being the more accessible, affordable alternative running at the same time as BADA at Duke of York Square.
In 2020 it will be Chelsea’s 70th year. I really do not want to kill it – but at 75, I really do not want to take on the stress and responsibility of another Chelsea fair. As reported in ATG, I am semi-retiring, although holding onto the Petersfield fair that runs twice a year.
Now, without the Little Chelsea Fair, Chelsea Old Town Hall is ripe for a fresh and trendy antiques fair on Kings Road. To anyone considering launching a new London fair, I would be delighted to offer (for a very small sum) the ‘establishment’ name of The Chelsea Antiques Fair, the forward reservations with the Royal Borough of Kensington plus the goodwill, contacts and all other aspects of the business.
Will anyone save Chelsea?