After more years than enough running Antiques Fairs and similar selling exhibitions, we set up the National Living History Fayre at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre in late 2003, and grew it from an initial 43 traders to full capacity with a waiting list, before (very foolishly!) losing control of the then thriving market in late 2006 – because of our desire for it to continue so that traders who had supported it still had somewhere to trade. As it happens, we were successful in that, as it survived under new management and ownership as the ILHF at Bruntingthorpe. I believe this has recently moved to CressingTemple in Essex.
There are many more photographs of the old NLHF available on Facebook, for example at this link.
Since 2003 we also organised several Medieval Festivals, and ensured that the International Napoleonic Fair survived and went on to a good home. WIth Laurie Wignall we set up and ran History Boot Camp from 2008 through 2010, at which point we decided to take a break until the recession lifted, and we are involved helping Laurie with the multi-period Midlands History Festival.
In 2012 we successfully resurrected the NLHF with affordable stand and pitch fees and free admission, and it rapidly became the largest Re-enactment and LARP Market in the UK! Sadly, because of carelessness / stupidity / sabotage (take your pick!) and an injury to a horse, we lost our venue and our momentum, and many traders who we helped to get established moved elsewhere.
After a long time trying to find a replacement venue, we have sadly concluded that the loss of momentum means that many of our regular traders have found other markets, which is entirely understandable, but leaves us without sufficient numbers to be entirely viable.
So we have decided to concentrate on establishing The Unconventional Markets which have a broader appeal across all “Alternative Lifestyle Choices” including Steampunk, COSplay, Pagan, Goth, Fae, LARP and Re-enactment.
Stantonbury Leisure Centre, Milton Keynes January 27th & 28th, Yate Lesiure Centre nr Bristol, March 10th & 11th.
Email us for more information and booking forms – davidksmith56 AT gmail DOT com