Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The sun shines for the Listed Property Show

Above: The Salvo stand at The Listed Property show promoting Salvo and the trade

Above: Ruby Kay and Terry Garrett on the Salvo stand speaking to visitors to the show in Olympia. We had a great response from everyone and people were extremely interested in Salvo and the trade and visitors to the show were particularly interested in the upcoming SalvoFAIR . . . so book your stands now!!!

Above: the Salvo stand showed display boards for Lassco, Architectural Forum, Westlands, Drummonds, Architectural Antiques, Architectural Heritage, IBS and Mongers

Above: Simon and Mark of Thomas Crapper put together their stand at the Listed Property Show. All of the trade reported a good fair and lots of interest from visitors.


ATTENDANCE at the Listed Property Show seemed very good, and Salvo was happy to have a stand there this year, put together by Ruby Kay and Colleen Gowlett, and manned by them, new girl Terry Garrett, and me. Salvo also organised a Saturday night pub crawl ending in a meal attended by the trade which was a fairly jolly affair considering all the doom and gloom lambasting everyone every day in the press. Inevitably some of the crew went clubbing and next day tales of thigh-length boots with perspex f***me heels were overheard. There were a dozen or more stands from the trade at the show, and several dealer display boards on the Salvo stand, including one from Mongers advertising their clearance sale on 5th April.

Geoff Wilson from Wilson's Yard in Co Down dropped by the Salvo stand. "It's hard to find originals," he said, "especially in Ireland. England had the best buildings - and more of them to demolish." LPS exhibitor Damian Cronin discusses the price difference between repro and original restored radiators (a topic mentioned in the last Salvo Mag - see 'It ain't easy doing Reclaimed Radiators'). "A firm at the show is selling a new 4-section nine column under window Chinese repro rad for £290. John Bodrell sells them for £1,200." Andy Triplow, the radiator king (although Bodrell is the emperor) of The Old Radiator Co sells them for £560. "Look," said Andy Newton, of UK Architectural Antiques, afterwards, "it's all very well carping on about fair trade and Chinese rads. I used to restore old ones but I eventually gave up after the restored rads started weeping and customers complained." Well, yes maybe he has a point. Anyway even restored rads contain new Chinese brass fittings. "Door furniture is still doing ok," said Fez of MDS, "but panel doors have gone quiet. Is it the competition or just a drop off in activity? I don't know." He said he would try a SalvoWEB build-a-button just in case. Charles Brooking was in attendance and is still looking for a patron to secure the long term future of the collection. A major UK construction company might be interested, he said. Justin Miles-Booy from Arc was jolly as he recounted a story of an old school dealer from an old antique garden biz. "I bought this old wooden seat and botched it together thinking I might get a ton. Well an erudite dealer came and asked to buy it. Sure, I want £100, I said. He paid and then told me it was an exceedingly rare J P White. In fact so rare he had only ever seen an example in an old J P White trade catalogue. Ah well." Rob Thomas was on Dean Cannadine's stand, and floorlayer Thomas Mountford of ATM was on Bob Lovell's stand - both wanted a Salvo article doing. Bob has some fab reclaimed teak flooring - a sample panel was on his stand - from Asia with export certificate. He signed up as a Salvo Code dealer at the show. I asked Rob whether Ray Radnege was still doing strip-outs of timber from demolition, since we have had reports that demolition contractors cannot get rid of timber these days. "Yes," Rob said, "if anyone has a load of timber tell them to get in touch. We'll either take it down ourselves or buy it on the deck."

Many people popped on to the Salvo stand while I was manning it on Sunday, and I did a roaring trade in Salvo bits including the free London & Region Salvo guide. Mrs Posh from Wiltshire saw LASSCO's display board showing Brunswick House at Vauxhall. "Is the house open to the public?" she asked. She seemed uninterested in visiting the Three Pigeons. "I shall call in next time I am in town," she affirmed. "The last time I tried to get in it was owned by a strange society." Yes, that's LASSCO, I mused. Two interior designers from Suffolk took a couple of Salvo Fair postcards. "We'll definitely be there for the trade day," one said. A lawyer asked, "What powers do conservation officers actually have?" "Last time I heard," I said, "their legal powers were defined by the 1990 Planning Act. Although I think it might have been updated now. Challenge anyone who says you can't use old materials," I offered. "I live in one of the Brockwell Park estate houses, and it has metal lined shutters. Do you know why that might be?" asked an elderly lady. "Brockwell Hall (built in 1813 by John Blades, a 78 year old Ludgate Hill glass merchant) also has them," she said. "Anti-theft? Anti-fire? Security device?" I suggested hopefully. There was a stand opposite hosted by Conservation Officers but they mainly seemed occupied with earnest-looking period house owners seeking advice, so we got the quickfire questions on our stand.

I spoke to Peter Anslow, the fair organiser, and asked if he was thinking of expanding it next year and suggested that more trade might come, with maybe more selling stands like Olliffs, who seemed to be busy, helped by Ronnie Wootton at times. Sam Olliff also kindly manned the Salvo stand for ten minutes on Sunday.

Good to see everyone, and perhaps we will be reconvening there again next year.


Listed Property Show

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