#EnglishTourismWeek19: Petworth Antiques Market
Our series of blogs for #EnglishTourismWeek19 celebrates all that’s great about the Chichester region. This time, Kathryn Mandry, Market Manager at Petworth Antiques Market gives us a taste of the wonderful world of Antiques dealing.
You can walk through the centuries in the historical town of Petworth, although the Antiques Market that I run started in 1967, the same year that I was born! It was a partnership for the first 5 years between Dealers Diana Souster & Doris Rayment , in a smaller building. Petworth Antiques Market opened in East Street in 1972, chosen for its increased space and central location in the town, and with a yard! It was actually one of the first provincial antique centres in the country. It became the Rayment’s family business, with one half of the building kept for a market two days a week & modelled on the London markets. It provides a central artery for both local and American Dealers and has an incredible stable of Antiques dealers operating within it.
After 45yrs the family were ready to sell but were determined that it should continue with people with the same passion for the antiques industry. Petworth Antiques Market was sold to new owners in April 2014. The rest of that year was dedicated to designing a revamp of the building, the first since the 80s. The building needed warming up! We’re so happy with how that worked out.
All that was then needed is for us to work hard & make the sales happen. The challenge then is dealing with each other! The markets true strength though, as I see it, is the dealers! Knowledgeable, charismatic, true icons of our time- I would have a poster of every one of them on my wall. Celebrities themselves!
We like to help everyone to blend in, but our customers tend to be very stylish creatives that stand out. Prince Charles was the first. Not a bad way to start. Last year we were visited by 3 huge A-List Hollywood Film Stars and a Grammy winning popstar along with some hugely influential designers. Such nice things being said about us that we can’t help but love what we do. So many good things keep happening! Being able to attract such attention, we feel like winners and demand for space is high. All our stands are occupied.
The first thing to do in the morning whilst opening up, is to ask each dealer how they are and deal with what they need. I’m there to share the panoptic view and work with that at heart. Some dealers’ day’s work has started 5 hours ago and so each person can be in a very Independent mind-space, time zone, frequency! Up to date communication is key to the flow in our market. Unity sells, as the customer can then be clear on what to do- BUY!
The last thing to do is to thank the mainstay for the day and hopefully get to say goodbye to everyone else if I am not too attached to my desk.
2019 should be a lot of fun. There’s some extraordinary stock passing through the market all the time. We’re doing the ADFL Petworth Park Fair again this year and were really pleased to be accepted as an exhibitor at their vetted fair in 2017, and last year www.adfl.co.uk. We also have our own 3 day yard sale on the same weekend 10th– 12th May.
There’s lots more TV appearances in the pipeline. So much going on for one building, one town…even one lifetime! Check our Instagram page @petworthantiquesmarket or even better, come and see us. We’re open every day.
To celebrate #EnglishTourismWeek19, we’re also offering everyone who signs up to our e-newsletter the chance to win prizes from a host of top attractions across the region, including overnight stays, hampers full of goodies, tickets for Chichester Festival Theatre, and much more! To find out more, click here.