Last Monday, the weather was fine so we set off for a trip to Swinderby Antique Fair. Just to look around you understand, not to spend any money. It's just that these mega-fairs appear on TV antique shows and we wondered what they were really like.
The answer is huge. Apparently there are 800+ stalls on an airfield and I can well believe it. Entrance before 10am is a sizeable tenner - the early part of any antique fair involves traders selling stuff to each other. The public can come in but are discouraged by doubling the charge. That way the trade get all the best bargains.
If I were being unkind, I'd suggest it was a posh car boot sale. Yes there are lots of interesting items for sale, some of them exceedingly fine (see, I can do da lingo) and also exceedingly strongly proceed, at least to my eyes. If you want a cabinet with lots of drawers suitable for modelling bits, there is a lot of choice but I baulked at £180 for a small set I though would do for whitemetal castings leftover etched bits. Well, one of the hinges was broken...
With my modelling head on, I spotted a lot of tatty yachts. Nearly all of them the horrible, cheap, Chinese display models with their masts broken off. None would be any use for sailing and to be honest, probably aren't worth repairing. I did find a couple of proper pond yachts but again these were out of my price range and quite frankly, they take up a lot of space and I can't be bothered with wind powered sailing.
The one that got away was a fibreglass hull grey boat (a tender I think) which was reasonably built but not finished. All the bits were apparently in the hull and the radio gear, speed control, motor etc were fitted. £40 and we left it thinking we'd look again at it. Half an hour later it was gone. The moral is, buy it when you see it !
The other think I noticed a lot of were plastic kit aircraft. Made up ones that had then been broken. At least three stalls had a selection for sale and I don't understand why. I meant if they had been nicely made then you might might want to buy one but who wants something with bits missing ? You'd need to buy another kit to replace the missing parts, in which case why not just build a new one ?
It is sad to see models that someone has spent hours constructing heading for the tip but sometimes this is the only option. What makes dealers give up valuable table space for unsalable objects, that they obviously transport between events jumbled up in a box, beats me. Would you buy one ?