Any trader or visitor who is a regular at our Monday antiques markets, which take place at Donington Park’s sizeable Exhibition & Conference Centre, will be familiar with the early morning buzz. To paint a picture; it’s 6.30am, pitch dark outside and the roller-shutter of the cavernous venue is lifted to the sound of running engines. Traders are guided in one-by-one to their trading places by ASFairs owners and brothers Richard & Marc Burgoin. Although an early start things are surprisingly jolly, with friendly hello’s all round, chirpy morning chit-chat and the cracking open of coffee flasks.
Between 6.30am & 7.30am traders put out only their tables, cloths and shelving. There is a strictly no stock allowed out rule for the first hour. That is until the sound of an air-horn ricochet’s around the building to mark the market’s opening, bang on the dot of 7.30am. At the sound of the horn it’s a race against the clock as traders hurriedly put out their stock. Simultaneously the doors open and the trade visitors flood in, they instantly get caught up in the hubbub and suddenly it’s a busy market.
The point of this system is simple; it gives everyone, visitors and traders alike, the same starting point. No one has an advantage and it’s a great level way to start the day’s trading.
Mother and daughter team Julianne and Harriet Cronin aren’t shy of an early start and relish the prospect of getting stuck in to make their stand look as inviting as possible. With a great mix of English, French and Belgian decorative antiques they make quite a stylish statement. Julianne has been trading from showroom space at Matlock Antiques & Collectables in Derbyshire for around eighteen months but loves getting out and about on the fairs circuit.
Julie Howard runs a vintage and handmade shop in Loughborough, rather adorably named Rosebuds and Ribbons. ‘I have a children’s section in the shop and have been searching for a dolls-house to renovate for some while. I’m sure this will sell very quickly once it’s had its plywood and tin-plate tidied up and a lick of paint’ said Julie, who is a regular visitor to the market.
Kay Dolman was trading at the market with her partner Nick, who together are Nick & Kay’s Antiques & Collectables. When we caught up with Kay she had been having a quick shopping spree and managed to bag herself a fine pair of mounted antlers ready for Christmas and an industrial lamp in need of a tidy up.
Natalie Egan and Alex Blackwell of Magpies Vintage, who are based in Derbyshire, got to the market bright and early for the pick of the crop in vintage and industrial furniture and pieces ripe for renovation or up-cycling. Natalie and Alex sell online to clients far and wide and had a successful haul on the day. ‘ We try never to miss the Donington market as it’s always great for buying, the hard task is usually getting everything to fit into our VW van’ said Natalie.
Liam Woodgates is a familiar face at many of our events, always bringing with him a stylish, well priced mix of industrial lighting, 1950s furniture, signage, Victoriana and on-trend items like this chunky draftsman's table.
Mick Stephens of Brown Bowlers Emporium is another great character to be found at Donington, he extends a warm welcome to all who enter his stand. Mick sells antiques, collectables and curios and has a knack of selling stock with a touch of humour. Arkwright, eat your heart out!
Donington is a quick-fire affair and is usually over by lunchtime, the pace makes it a fun event and the pickings are rich and varied. It's a great market to get your hands on sensibly priced, unusual pieces for the home, business or for a client.
We look forward to welcoming you next year.
Donington Park Monday Antiques Market dates for 2016:
August - no market
November/December - no market