Retro Ronnie Fairs rounded off 2015 with a best-ever turnout in Bingham Hall, with attendance for the final Cirencester Toy & Train Fair of the year almost 20% up on the previous Christmas, and with every available pitch booked up weeks in advance.
“It was absolutely fab!” enthused Ronnie Davies, who counted more than 350 visitors through the door – plus trade buyers, dealers and accompanied children. “We were sold out for months and had a lengthy waiting list as well. It was a great way to end the year.”
It was especially rewarding to see so many families visiting the fair, with Mums and Dads taking advantage of the free entry for children. “The numbers had definitely increased from last year’s Christmas fair,” said Tim Pearson. “There was a lot of family interest this time, and we had people turning up in their cars, on pushbikes, by bus, and even a good number on foot. The caterers were certainly busier than usual, and the mince pies were very popular. It was great to see couples wandering round the fair, and spotting those who headed back on the quiet to buy surprise presents for their partners!”
With the exception of just two or three, all the dealers reported excellent sales, with several recording takings that extended well into four figures. Feedback all-round was very positive, and several commented on how much they appreciated the introduction of a fifth date for the Cirencester fair in 2016.
The release of The Force Awakens, the latest Star Wars film in December, and all the associated hype, contributed to increased interest in the earlier films, and with that a growing number of new collectors for the associated merchandise and memorabilia. The collectable Star Wars figures have always been a strong seller, and while nothing especially rare turned up at Cirencester, traders noted increased interest generally.
Ronnie and Tim were pleased to welcome several dealers who were new to Retro Ronnie Fairs. These ranged from a couple of professional traders, with years of experience in the industry, to newcomers, including one private seller standing for the very first time and hoping to raise some funds to cover university fees. First-time traders are always especially keenly sought out, by fellow traders and buyers alike, as they so often bring stock that’s totally new to the market, and occasionally very desirable.
There’s a wonderful atmosphere at a Retro Ronnie Fair and great camaraderie between traders and the public. “We were pleased to make a small presentation of a bunch of flowers to one of our lady dealers, who had returned to stand with us after overcoming a lengthy illness,” said Tim. “Then we had to help one of the others, whose car had sustained a puncture, and there was an elderly gentleman who spent so long at the fair that he was in danger of missing his last bus home …. so we drove him into town to make sure he got there in time.”
Highlight of 2015 had been the launch in July of the new venue at Didcot, in Oxfordshire. With five fairs scheduled for Cirencester in 2016, and a four more at Didcot, Retro Ronnie Fairs is looking to the future with confidence and enthusiasm. We hope you’ll be there with us!