By Ivor Hughes
In the past 20 years there have been no fewer than 18 regular Leeds venues for antiques and collectibles fairs. Pudsey Civic Hall is one of only three left.
And it has also hosted fairs dedicated to dolls, dolls houses and miniatures, model trains and railwayana, transport memorabilia, toys, militaria and stamps and postcards.
The arrival of portal websites such as eBay, then broadband and, most recently Covid, put an end to the others. Covid drove most of the few remaining fairs diehards to the internet, buyers and sellers alike.
So, how did Pudsey Civic Hall survive?
Simple. Size, easy access directly from the ring road and, most importantly, plentiful adjacent free parking. For example, Leeds Royal Armouries was one of the earlier casualties. There, Leeds Art Deco Fair – a modest £2 entry charge but a fiver to park. Ouch. Ditto Leeds Corn Exchange (vintage).
Vintage vintage vintage
Vintage homewares and fashion have been the only consistent growth areas in the past twenty years. When Ginger Biscuits Events decided to extend to Leeds (based Huddersfield with fairs also in Manchester and London) it just had to be Pudsey.
Sunday 24 September – on the day
The ground floor rooms and stage were full of at-home displays of vintage furniture and household decorative and utility items. Vintage? No barcodes. Items that have stood the tests of time and usage that today’s might not. Glassware, ceramics and other ornaments that bring back fond memories.
Check out the slideshow of photos below:
Upstairs featured vinyl records. Although there is no immediate connection between the two, filling the hall and increasing footfall spreads the costs and reduces charges. Good idea when it works. Which it did.
Well worth visiting next year, dates TBA.
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