Hello. My name is John Slade and I am the proprietor of Take Five Fairs. It's my job to organise Art Deco & Art Nouveau fairs and also the flea and collectors markets held at great venues in Surrey.
This is by no means an easy task. For instance at Woking - our flagship venue - fair days start at the unearthly hour of three in the morning, with the placing of directional signs to make your journey to the fairs as trouble free as possible. At about five, I am joined by a team of helpers from the leisure centre where the fair is held, in preparing the main arena for the stallholders who arrive at about seven.
Such is the popularity of our events that some attract over 200 stalls from all parts of the country - the majority of whom have become dedicated regulars at the fairs. I like to really get to know my stallholders and am happy to assist in any way that I can to ensure their satisfaction. The knock on effect is that you the customer is content with your visit. This is why I have commissioned the web team to include great information above-and-beyond that which any other antiques fair site can offer. I want your whole day to be a success, not just your visit to my fair. Many of our visitors become valued return customers and I am always happy to listen to their comments about the fairs.
I have run a number of fairs in the past and it has taken well over 14 years of dedication and hard work to build up to my flagship venue at Woking. Our Harlequins Rugby Stadium, Twickenham (Formerly Stoop Memorial Ground) event has also been a great success and we are looking forward to our new event - the Flea Market at Brighton Racecourse, the first one being held on Sunday 31st October 2010.
Everything is right about the Woking venue, down to the extensive free parking on fair days. Prior to my present and very happy position as proprietor I have run several enterprising, but diverse businesses: timber merchant, video camera operator and renovator of second hand computer equipment, which I sold at car boot fairs. During the latter venture I had an intriguing conversation with long-term friend and colleague Jan, who (rather surprisingly to me) suggested I consider setting up a local antiques fair. And that was it. The seed was sown.
At that time I was familiar with a public house called the Winning Post (now a pub/motel). I knew of the rather nice function room attached to the establishment, so I threw on my overcoat, walked up and booked the venue! And that folks is how I got into this most fascinating business. And what's more (much to my relief) it was an instant success. Other locations followed, but none lived up to the present Woking venue. It's now 10 years since I launched the initial Woking fair under the banner 'Antiques and Collectors Spectacular" and I am always eager to check out new locations. I am pleased to report that Woking has been a most happy and extremely successful venue for me, attracting a large number of visitors a month. I have a great team of helpers from the leisure centre and a superb and diverse selection of high quality stalls.
For the antiques, Art Deco, Art Nouveau enthusiast or general collector, a visit to Woking or the Harlequins ground at Twickenham is a must. All stalls are well presented and there are often great bargains to be found. So get there early! Porcelain, glass, silver, jewellery, coins, clocks, watches and small items of furniture are in abundance. When the legs grow weary (lots of stalls to view remember!), there is a restaurant on the first floor where you can order anything from a cup of tea and a snack to a full blown hot meal. Ample free parking (on fair days) and, weather permitting, you can relax or picnic on the manicured lawns of the beautiful park that encompasses the leisure centre.
I lead my operation by example, printing all my own literature and personally handing out my flyers to queuing antiques enthusiasts. Almost 3,000 in one day at London's Alexandra Palace is my record! Someone recently suggested giving all 3,000 to the first person in the queue and asking them to take one and hand the rest back! But that's not my style. I want to meet YOU.