Robert Miller, right, managing director of Hemswell Antique Centres, which has had one of its strongest sales years ever, pictured recently with two customers.

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Hemswell Antique Centres has revealed ambitious plans to expand after one of its strongest trading years ever.

Operations director Paul Dagg said sold items are up by 10% and dealer revenues have increased on average by 16%.

He added: “We are fully occupied with 400 dealers and a strong waiting list for space but our future plans include an expansion of our flagship Guardroom building, about which we are in discussions with the local council.

“This multi-million development will include additional dealers’ spaces and a private viewing suite.”

The centres currently attract in the region of 250,000 visitors a year so this is likely to be boosted by the expansion.

Dagg added: “We’re looking for dealers who want to put down fresh roots to become part of our exciting future.”

The business is located on a former RAF airfield in Lincolnshire where Lancaster bombers were based during the Second World War.

Dagg said: “Behind the scenes we’ve added a mystery shopper programme and something we call ‘Pitch Perfect’ to help ensure every customer has a great visit.

“But, as with every business, it’s the people who make the place and we’re very lucky to have a dealer and team group who enjoy being here and working with each other.”

Hunger to succeed


Gold is the theme of this striking Christmas window display by dealer Jacqueline Seaby at the 120-dealer Hungerford Arcade in the Berkshire town.

Another well-known antiques centre has hailed 2023 as a very encouraging period and is also optimistic for the future.

Adrian Gilmour bought the Lamb Arcade in Wallingford last year in addition to the award-winning Hungerford Arcade he has owned since 1972.

The Lamb centre was renamed the Wallingford Arcade and both antiques businesses are bucking the high street trend with very good sales, said the arcades’ senior manager Rita Kibble.

“Our shops are extremely busy with footfall increasing at Wallingford and we are building more capacity both in cabinets and walk-in units for the New Year when we will have 78 dealers.

“One of our ceramics dealers, Ian Spuffard, is taking a much larger unit in the New Year at Wallingford while another, Ian Ryan, has moved into a new unit in our Victorian Room.”

Talking about the Hungerford Arcade, Kibble, said: “Customers are coming from near and far to do their Christmas shopping and there’s much to see and buy from the 120 dealers.”

‘It’s been brilliant’


The back view of a laden Mike Collins, director of Sherman & Waterman which runs two long-running weekly antiques markets in London as he busies himself at one of them, Spitalfields Antiques Market.

Meanwhile, Mike Collins, the well-known and popular director of Sherman & Waterman which runs two weekly antiques markets in London, at Covent Garden and Spitalfields, said he has “had a great year at both markets”.

“It’s been brilliant, even better than I expected,” he added. “Our Monday market at Covent Garden has been absolutely packed this month with silver one of the best sellers.

“We have 150 dealers there and 85 at the Thursday Spitalfields market which sees a younger crowd who buy anything unusual and who love Mid-century, with vintage fashion a winner at both markets.”

The company also owns the Stratford-on-Avon Antiques Centre, a 17th century building in the heart of the town. Run by Collins’ wife Heather, it is also experiencing tills ringing merrily, he said. The centre has been part of the Sherman & Waterman operation for the past 30 years.