I think I sort of knew this monthly Antique and Collectors’ Fair was on, but it’s the kind of event that happily carries on without new people noticing. It’s been happening in King Charles Hall, Warwick Park, for about forty years now. It’s only 50p to get in, and, I reckon, if you rebranded it as a ‘Tunbridge Wells Vintage and Retro Fair’ you’d get a whole new set of customers piling through the doors. There are some lovely ‘proper’ antiques (out of my price range) but once you start looking around there are also lots of little pieces – such as old postcards for 50p, brooches for £2.00 – that fit right in with the current ‘shabby chic/retro’ style. There’s a mix of everything, from solid silver to old board games, from old maps to kitsch ornaments, from glitzy jewellery to household furnishings.
The other two good things – everyone is very friendly, and the refreshments are incredibly good value. Added to which, the friend I was with and I were invited to sit at the table on the stage for our lunch, and have the view over the whole hall.
It’s open from 8am to 3pm, and the upcoming dates are: 9th November and 14th December. Into 2014, there is no fair in January, July or August, but the other months – second Saturday, it’s Fair Day. So, if you are in Tunbridge Wells that day, take a detour round the side of the Pantiles and Chapel Place, and pop in for a look. It’s the sort of place to go for those presents for people who have everything – ideal in the run up to Christmas. I’m going to write another blog one evening about Ray and his maps, once I’ve had time to check his website!