Retro Ronnie Fairs has reached an agreement to take on the long-established Bristol Toy Fair, with immediate effect.
Tim Pearson and Ronnie Davies, the driving force behind Retro Ronnie, have stepped in ahead of next month’s scheduled staging of the Bristol Toy Fair on Sunday February 5th. They take over the running of the event from Stuart Vowles, who has been organising the fair as part of his Bulldog Fairs portfolio alongside similar events at Shepton Mallet, Thornbury and Exeter.
“We were initially a little nervous about taking on someone else’s fair,” admits Tim Pearson, “but Ronnie and I have known Stu for many years, and we’re very appreciative of everything he’s done to establish the fair. We’d also like to thank him for ensuring that this transition has gone so remarkably smoothly. He’ll now be focusing on his other fairs, and we wish him well.”
The Bristol Toy Fair was founded in 1975, making it one of the longest-running regular toy collectors’fairs in the country. For many years it was staged in Brunel’s famous engine sheds at Bristol Temple Meads, but was relocated three years ago to brand new buildings at the Abbeywood Community School. The proximity to one of Bristol’s major railway stations has been preserved, however, as the school campus is just a few minutes’ walk from Bristol Parkway.
“We don’t want to change a winning formula,” added Tim, “and the essence of the fair will remain largely the same. We hope the existing dealers will stay with us, but we’re also hoping to encourage some new faces to join us at Bristol. In fact, we’re already seeing bookings coming in from some of our Cirencester regulars, and we hope they will create a greater variety and choice for visitors.”
The Bristol fair has an excellent reputation and Retro Ronnie’s aim is to build on that. “We see this as an exciting opportunity for us to expand into the West Country,” says Ronnie Davies. “Bristol represents a huge customer base of vintage toy collectors. In its heyday thousands of visitors came to the engine sheds, and the fair still has an impressive footfall today. It has great potential, but we also see this an opportunity for us to develop a fresh look. We plan on broadening the appeal of the fair, accommodating Edwardian and Victorian collectables, including traditional tinplate, as well as highlighting some of the more modern collecting fields, such as action figures, die-cast and toys from the 70’s and 80’s. The size of the venue allows for significant expansion and we’re really looking forward to the challenge.”
There will be three dates annually, with the first on Sunday 5th February. Further dates will be confirmed shortly. Doors open 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, admission £2.50 with accompanied children under 16 free.
There’s generous on-site parking, disabled access, and refreshments & snacks will be served all day.