First to arrive in the shed – spacious – grey predominating – then up go the tables in their positions, arranged to attract customers, other traders arrive, news exchanged and their tables go up. Then the crisp white cloths clothe my tables and the red velvet curtain to draw all eyes to the special pieces, the alabaster horse rearing, nostrils flared, the art deco bronze water-carrying girl, the Pierre d’Avesn opalescent bowl… on opposite tables now we have two deep green cloths to provide visual impact.
Dealers all coming along now and a hustle and bustle starts up, an air of expectancy grows as does the sticky heat. Soon the shed starts to resemble a busy market full of ‘stalls’ covered with beautiful old things designed to tempt collectors and buyers to part with their cash and help us indulge our passion for buying and selling ‘stuff’ that catches our eye and keeps the cycle going. By afternoon we are exhausted and have completed the transformation – all ready for the morning.
The day goes on with waves of people coming through the stall and looking and feeling and touching and sometimes buying something. Sometimes a big something… had one really good sale and some little ones. At the end of the day the regular news collectors circulated with ‘information’ of who did what in the day – the ‘poor’ dealer who only sold a couple of items, the observation that ‘they’, the public were not really spending – that there had been glitches with the advertising so not as many people came… There was a sense of quiet containment about the shed as we packed up which can be an indicator of the quality of the fair. However the miracle was that we took about what we usually take at Ipswich although not as much as the last Ipswich which was a cracker and unusual. This in the face of anecdotal evidence of others who complained about having wasted their time! Anyway 900 people came through the door and paid their $10 entry. Enough of them spent money in our stall to put a smile on my face at least. So hopefully we will continue to have some sort of magic that will keep the dollars turning over.