A POPULAR antique and collectors fair that usually takes place in Winchester on New Year’s Day is set to move to Eastleigh.
Grandma’s Attic New Year’s Day fair was traditionally held at River Park Leisure Centre and drew big crowds.
After the centre closed in 2021, it held three fairs at the new Winchester Sport and Leisure Park in Bar End.
However, fair organisers now say that they feel the centre is not suitable – and after more than 30 years in the city, have chosen to move to Eastleigh.
Chris Brown, who has been running the fairs for the past five years, said: “The new centre was not suitable. It was a fantastic venue and the stall holders loved it but we felt the centre didn’t really want to hold the fair. It was too much work for them and they wanted to put up the rent, which made it not viable.
“Unfortunately there’s no other venue in Winchester that’s big enough.
“We had been in touch with Places Leisure in Eastleigh before Covid and they had a great offer for us. It is a shame to leave Winchester but it just wouldn’t work.”
The fairs started in 1985 and are held three times a year, attracting top dealers and buyers from all over the UK.
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They will now be held at Places Leisure Centre at Fleming Park.
Chris said the new location has many advantages such as easy transport links, easy access and lots of parking.
Plus the hall can hold more stalls, and he says they have already taken bookings for 200 stalls for the upcoming fair – 30 more than could be accommodated in Winchester.
He hopes this number will grow as the new venue can hold 250 stalls.
Chris, from Bournemouth, said: “It is phenomenal. The response has been great so far, It is a great park, the access is great and it is very easy to get to from the M3 and M27.
“It’s going to be bigger than ever, as we have had booking from stall holders coming from Brighton, Bournemouth, Essex, the Midlands, all over. It was always a popular fair but this year is going to be the biggest yet – the biggest antiques fair to be held on New Year’s Day in the UK.”
The first fair will be held on January 1, from 9.30am until 4pm, with further dates on April 9 and August 28.
Admission costs £3 (early entry 8.30am £4).
There is free parking on site for more than 400 cars, and refreshments will be available.
For all stall enquires go to grandmasatticfairs.co.uk or call 01202 779564 / 07960 502508.
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