Devon County Antiques Fairs, Matford Centre, Exeter, Devon

Alice Roberton meets antiques hunters at one of the county’s largest weekend fairs

 

Devon County Antiques Fairs (DCAF) run well-established events offering antiques, collectables and vintage homewares. The eight fairs they hold each year at the Matford Centre south of Exeter host around 250 traders, both inside and out. It’s a great place to pick up a bargain or find a missing piece for a collection.

Visitor Lesley Littlewood of nearby Kingsbridge told me that she didn’t consider herself to be a collector as such. That was until she started to tell me about her collection of 1930s tea services. ‘I suppose the fact that I have a few sets that I use and enjoy displaying makes me a collector,’ she smiled. 

Mary Potts exclusively collects Hornsea Pottery and has several hundred pieces, which are displayed wall-to-wall in a purpose-built summer house in her garden. Mary visited the stand to show me her latest find and to say how much she enjoyed our February feature Pots of Appeal. A chunk of Mary’s collection will be displayed at The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter next year, from January until March.

There are lots of specialist traders at this fair with a wealth of knowledge, which is apparent as soon as you start to chat to them. Collectable objects such as tins create such a rich tapestry when displayed together and leave the buyer spoilt for choice.

Tracy Lloyd had well and truly set up home for the day with a comfortable leather sofa in one corner, a dining table and chairs in another, and shelves and boxes full of curious pieces. Tracy describes herself as a magpie and has a barn brimming with things she picks up on her travels. She also runs O’Connors Campers and boasts an impressive fleet of vintage VW camper vans available for hire.

When the weather is conducive, traders pitch-up outside selling furniture, kitchenalia, gardenalia and bric-a-brac.

Old pots, buckets, baths and jugs make great herb and flower planters for the home or garden and can often be picked up for reasonable prices at fairs like this.

H&A reader Kevin Moore was scouring the fair for pieces for his new venture selling retro, vintage and antique homewares. Trading as Mole, he has a concession in local Ashburton treasure trove Alchemy. ‘I’m particularly pleased with the blue and white platter, which I have to admit was quite a bargain,’ he said.

The H&A stand appears at fairs up and down the country where we offer great deals on magazines and subscriptions. 

March 

Thursday 5th, Friday 6th and Saturday 7th, 11am-5pm, and Sunday 8th, 11am-4pm - The 26th Bath Decorative Antiques Fair, The Pavilion, Bath, BA2 4EU. £3.

Saturday 7th, 10am-5pm, and Sunday 8th, 10am-4pm - Bedruthan Midcentury & Vintage Fair, Bedruthan Hotel, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall, TR8 4BU. Free.

Saturday 7th, 10am-4pm - Hello Vintage Fairs, The Court House, 7 Church Lane, Berkhamstead, HP4 2AX. Free.

Sunday 15th, 10am-4pm - Midcentury Modern, Dulwich College, London, SE21 7LD. £9.

Saturday 21st, 10am-4pm - The Art of Vintique Fair, Great Barrington Village Hall, nr Burford, Cotswolds, OX18 4UR. £2.

Sunday 29th, 10am-4pm - Shabbytique Pop-Up Fair, Neville Hall, Miley Road, Waltham St Lawrence, Berkshire, RG10 0JP. 50p.

April

Sunday 12th, 9.30am-4pm - Wicksteed Park Antiques Fair, Wicksteed Pavilion, Barton Road, Kettering, Northamptonshire, NN15 6NJ. £2.50.

Sunday 19th, 10am-4pm - Dairy House Annual Antique & Vintage Textile Fair, Dairy House Antiques & Interiors, Station Road, Semley, nr Shaftesbury, Dorset, SP7 9AN. Free. 

Tuesday 21st, 9am-5pm, and Wednesday 22nd, 8am-4pm - Ardingly International Antiques & Collectors Fair, South of England Showground, Ardingly, nr Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 6TL. £20 (Tues & Weds), £5 (Weds only). 

 

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