Ardingly Adventure April 23 2015

Quite possibly the maddest, sunniest, funnest event we’ve been to in a while – Ardingly Antiques & Collectors Fair.

Along with with our good friend, Tim, from the very fab Deben Events, we set off dark and early from Suffolk (at 3am – ouch!) and wended our way through the dawn to the rolling West Sussex countryside, setting up our stall as black turned to blue skies.

As a rootler’s paradise, Ardingly is hard to beat. With everything from stuffed boars’ heads, a 1950’s dentist chair and pinball machines, to scuffed leather club chairs, a dalek and a taxidermy cormorant up for grabs. That’s just for starters.

And there are deals to be done. Haggling, banter and demands of ‘what’s your best price on that?’ are the conversational snippets heard all over the sprawling site. Dealers come in from all necks of the wood, and the event has informal sectors where Dutch and French dealers are cheek by jowl with other Europeans.

We had loads of interest, caressing of tables and benches and made some good contacts. After a couple of well-deserved pints at a local pub and a night kipping in the back of our transit van (cosy!) we were up again to the soundtrack of the dawn chorus and the kettle whistling on the camping stove.

Another full-on day of questions, chat and an extravagance of rummaging saw the hours zip by.

Weary little soldiers, we finally packed up and headed Suffolk-wards, beating the M25 rush hour (result!).

So if you’re on the hunt for a wart hog’s head (aren’t we all), then we’ll see you at the next one.