Antique fairs (all sorts)
- ARDINGLY SHOWGROUND, Sussex.
One of the largest in the south of England. Information from IACF,
- MALVERN SHOWGROUND, Worcs. Another
large fair. Information from IACF, 01636-702326.
- NEWARK SHOWGROUND, near Newark-on-Trent.
Probably the largest event of its kind in the UK-no more
need be said. Information from IACF, 01636-702326.
- SWINDERBY, held at the former
RAF camp, on the A46 road, between Lincoln and Newark-on-Trent.
Regular three-day events, with 250-plus inside stalls under canvas
marquees and 500-plus outside pitches. Details from Arthur Swallow,
01298-27493 or 0860-797200, fax 01298-37493.
For a calendar of these events
and more see http://www.antiques-uk.co.uk/buy_in_britain/bib_fairs_frame.htm
Swapmeets and flea markets
The swapmeet is often the most fruitful source of treasures. Most
of these are organised by societies and that means you'll have to
be a member to find out about these meetings. But that's the best
bit, the fellowship you get from being part of the crowd.
Radio/TV swapmeets are organised several times a year by the British
Vintage Wireless Society (members only) and The Radiophile;
telephone swapmeets are held by the Telecomms Heritage Group (see
Clubs and Societies chapter for addresses). Best of all, for all
of our interests, is the NATIONAL VINTAGE COMMUNICATIONS FAIR,
held at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre, The Fosse, Fosse Way,
Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV31 1XN, every spring. Now run by
the BVWS, further details are to be found at www.nvcf.org.uk.
For classic hi-fi and some vintage wireless, the best source is
the AUDIOJUMBLE, Victoria Hall, London Road, Southborough, Kent.
Quality vintage hi-fi. For dates contact John Howes, 11 Crendon
Park, Southborough, Tunbridge Wells, Kent (01892-540022 evenings)
or see advertisements in Hi-Fi World magazine.
Details of all other BVWS events can be found HERE.
Also worth considering are:
- ANTIQUE SCIENTIFIC & MEDICAL INSTRUMENT FAIR, organsied
by Peter Delahar (tel/fax 020-8866 8659) and held twice yearly
in April and October at the Radisson Portman Hotel, London W1.
- ASHTEAD AUDIOJUMBLE, Peace Memorial Hall, Woodfield lane, Ashtead,
Surrey, KT21 2BE; held every spring. Contact Henry on 07730134973.
- BAKELITE FAIR, organised by the Bakelite Museum Society (020-8852
3492 and 01374-126670). Held in May at the De La Warr Pavilion,
- MEMORABILIA ROADSHOW AND FAIRS, Birmingham (NEC), Glasgow (City
Halls), Manchester (at Bowler's, Trafford Park). Organised by
Made in Heaven, 216 Kristiansand Way, Letchworth, SG6 1TU 01462-683965,
- NORTHERN SOUND & VISION FAIR 2004, the first Sound & Vision
Fair promises to be the biggest event of its kind ever staged
in the North of England. The two day event, which takes place
at the Platinum Suite at St. James's Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
on Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th June, 2004, will feature a positive
galaxy of celebrity guests from the worlds of film, TV and music.
Doors open 10.30am, admission £4. Sunday family ticket £5.
Sound & Vision, PO Box 1NW, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE99 1NW, Tel:
(0191) 2617364, Fax: (0191) 2666073. Email: enquiries@northernsound&vision.com
Web Site: www.northernsoundandvision.com
- THE GRAND M25 JUMBLE, takes place every November at Therfield
School, Dilston Rd, Leatherhead, Surrey, (M25 Junction 9). Contact
Henry on 07730134973.
The magnet here is the famous Vernaison flea market, close to the
Porte de Clignancourt station on the Paris Metro. The market
is lively on Saturdays and Sundays, pretty dead on other days; it
is also the only flea market in Paris worth trawling for our kind
of merchandise (radio/TV/telephones). You will also find old electrical
goods there and books but not much hi-fi. Expect to pay quite high
prices; there are few bargains here. Many of the stalls are in the
older allées with their quaint wooden shanty-town
huts, whilst opposite in a modern concrete hall is a collection
of dealers with equally fine old radios and telephones for sale.
On Saturday and Sunday mornings (the guide books say all day but
the stallholders haven't read them) you will find another, more
down-to-earth market in the streets avenue Georges Lafenestre and
avenue Marc-Sangnier (nearest Metro station Porte de Vanves).
This is a people's market and prices are substantially lower, but
with equally tasty merchandise. Telephones, televisions, radios
and cine films and projectors can all be found here. There is also
plenty of paperwork to be had, including old catalogues and illustrated
magazines, but you must be prepared to search. The French are keen
collectors of ephemera, so old leaflets and directories are quite
widely sold and easy to find.
Brocante fairs (glorified junk markets) in the street or in halls
are another rich source to tap. See the inexpensive Pariscope
events magazine (at all news kiosks) to find out where these are
GERMANY.The vintage radio hobby is well organised in Germany,
so if you are visiting the country it might be worth seeing if any
of these swapmeets coincide with your trip.
- Altenau (Harz). Swapmeet and radio market. Information
from C . Timmermann,00 49 5328-8248.
- Altensteig. Collectors meeting. Information from U. Lambertz,
00 49 7453-8632.
- Bad Laasphe. Radio market. Information from H. Necker,
00 49 2752-9798.
- Bielefeld/Altenhausen. Swapmeet and radio market. Information
from K.H. Lange, 00 49 521-331061.
- Datteln.Historic radio and TV market. Information from
R. Berkenhoff, 00 49 2363-65329 or W. Meier, 00 49 2832-2544.
- Ellerau. North German swapmeet. Information from A. Rieck
00 49 4106-72476 eveings, K. Helt 00 49 4106-67408.
- Erfurt. Thüringer radio fleamarket, September, in
the ElektroMuseum. Information from Stephan Hloucal, Hohe Str.
24, D-99094 Erfurt-Möbisburg (00 49 361-68448).
- Eschborn. Radio swapmeet. Information from Dr R. Walz,
00 49 6195-2506.
- Friedrichshafen. This Hamfest takes place during the
last weekend of June. There is always a lot of non-Ham stuff in
the flea market too: vintage radios + test equipment and other
"junk". Web site: www.hamradio-friedrichshafen.de/ham-en
- Fürth. Radio flea market in September at the radio
museum, Schlosshof 23. Information from G. Walther, 00 49 911-756
8110, fax 00 49 911-752577.
- Gronau/Leine. Swapmeet. Information from L.-D. Schmidt,
00 49 30-3815881 or 00 49 5182-2894.
- Inning/Ammersee. South German swapmeet and radio market.
Information from M. Roggisch, 00 49 89-870688 or C. Dingfeider,
00 49 8143-390.
- Lamstedt. Swapmeet. Information from S. Grüttner
00 49 4777-8156, W. Tenschert 00 49 4773-7368.
- Nürnberg, flotronica computer and radio flea market.
Information H. Kammler, 00 49 911-644863.>
- Ulm. GFGF meeting and radio market. Information from
G. Bogner, 00 49 731-719149 or W. Hauf, 00 49 7346-2800.
NETHERLANDS. An international 'market for old technology'
is held at regular intervals at Nijkerk. Information from
M.P. Ritmeester, 00 31 5910-13721.
RUSSIA: Moscow. The largest market is held on Sunday mornings
at Ismailova Park. There is a Metro station nearby and the market
stretches from there along a broad pathway for about a mile to a
stadium and then around the corner some! All kinds of good are sold
there, and on my visit in 1992 old telephones were quite plentiful
(even an pre-1914 set), although I saw no radio or TV items. There
is also a daily market in the forecourt of the Shabolovskaya Metro
station where you can find radio valves, integrated circuits and
so on. Of course, this may have changed. The Izmailovski Park hotel
complex nearby offers a reasonably-priced (for Moscow) place to
stay - you can book through Intourist.
SWITZERLAND.The national vintage radio and sound society,
CRGS, holds an international flea market in May at Egerkingen.
Information from A.F. Egli, Kreuzbuchstr. 97, CH-6006 Luzern. Retro-Technika
is an annual swapmeet/market for all technical hobbies (including
radio/TV, telephones and hi-fi) held in September at the Wankdorf
exhibition centre in Bern. Details from RTB, Postfach, CH-2537
Vuaffelin, Switzerland (tel 00 41 32-581810, fax 00 41 32-581910).
USA.Regional swapmeets for old radios, TVs and telephones
are plentiful and are listed in the relevant magazines: Old Timer's
Bulletin (published by the AWA) and Antique Radio Classified
for radio and TV, and the ATCA and TCI society newsletters for telephones
(address details in the chapters on Clubs and Societies and Buyer's
Guide). The really big show is the Rochester event held every
September by the AWA; this has a huge flea market (quite apart from
all the other displays, visits and presentations). Also worth a
visit is the Dayton Hamvention, another national event held
early May in Dayton, Ohio. This is predominantly an amateur radio
show but there is a ten-acre open-air flea market as well, which
always has some vintage radio gear.
OTHER COUNTRIES. The best suggestion is to get in touch
with the relevant national society, if there is one. See the chapter
on Clubs and Societies.If anyone would like to offer some other
suggestions, I'll be pleased to use them! Please e-mail me, Steve
Ostler, at email@example.com.
Garage sales, charity shops, thrift stores
As Hank van Cleef says, if
you're keen for bargains, these sources can yield some amazingly cheap
goods. But you never know what you'll find, and you'll have to be
willing to slog through acres of junk, as well. If you enjoy this
kind of hunting, sifting through the junk is all part of the fun.
If you're looking for a specific item, however, you're better off
trying more specific sources.