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Re-Enactors Markets

Posted: Tue May 19, 2009 1:00 pm
by archerofthelevy
There are obviously various "markets" around the country (talking the "closed season" as it were)
What would everyone think about having one larger market?

Centrally located, good facilities, good transport links etc

Would love to hear your thoughts


Posted: Tue May 19, 2009 1:10 pm
by sally
larger than torm and the ilhf?

Posted: Tue May 19, 2009 1:20 pm
by G Cooley
From a buyers point of view this would make sense. Also from a traders point of view.

However, there are a few hurdles to overcome. 1st you need to get all those who currently run a market to stop and support a single large market. This may involve buying out current markets. What are you going to do with any profit and how are you going to cover any loss?

You then have the problem that TORM and LHF are both at capacity in relation to the number of stalls at the venue. You need a venue that could hold say 200 stalls from 6ft to say 24ft+. The venue also needs ample parking, good toilets, easy access, eating facilities and additional space for added attractions.

You need to have a significant advertising budget so everyone knows about the event.

You need to have a fair policy in relation to the traders to ensure that anyone can trade and they are not restricted in what they sell. Although you also want to promote quality products. Not always an easy balance.

In addition if there was only one market you need to ensure that the stall fees and the entrance fee are seen to be fair and reasonable.

In summary sounds like a good idea but I cannot see it happening.

Posted: Tue May 19, 2009 1:45 pm
by Eric the well read
From both the traders point of view and yours it's a 'no go'
There's quite a few skint people around here who will tell you why.

Posted: Tue May 19, 2009 1:58 pm
by Eric the well read
As an addition:-
This can only be bad for traders - there is no increase in the amount of money re-enactors have to spend . What you envisage is to have another 'trading opportunity', so traders have to shell out yet again to keep their same share of the market? On an unproven site? :shock:
Or are you going to buy out every other market organiser? Good luck with that!
I'll watch developments with interest! 8)

Posted: Tue May 19, 2009 3:18 pm
by lucy the tudor
A better move would be o try to persuade TORM and ILHF to talk nicely and run on the same weekends like wot they used to, so folk could go to both on the same day. I'm sure we weren't the only people who used to go to both, making notes and comparing prices, then go back to the one we visited first to buy the stuff which suited best from there, having got the stuff which suited best at the second one of course- hell I've even bored myself into a stupor.

Re: Re-Enactors Markets

Posted: Tue May 19, 2009 4:30 pm
by John Waller
archerofthelevy wrote:There are obviously various "markets" around the country (talking the "closed season" as it were)
What would everyone think about having one larger market?

Centrally located, good facilities, good transport links etc

Would love to hear your thoughts

My thoughts - you organise it. People might go - or not.

Personally I would like one in the south. West of the M25.

Posted: Sun May 24, 2009 8:57 pm
by LucyRose
Having worked at both TORM and ILHF I think you'd struggle. You would have to buy out the main markets in order to make it worth their while stopping and supporting a single main, as mentioned by others. Plus cover any cancellation charges levied to the organisers by venues, who contract these things way in advance.

Mops/re-enactors, often mention that there is too much of a gap between the two fairs in themselves, let alone moving down to one.
As mentioned before, you'd have to have fair rules to allow all traders to trade, without compromising quality, and find a space/venue big enough to cater for all traders (and public - remember your fire limits).

MOPS especially seem to not like parting with money, they are more likely to buy from traders twice in a year, or via internet purchase rather than shell out for everything in one event - although their probably not, they'd feel like their spending less when splitting it between visits, as it were.

The only problem with running the TORM and ILHF fair on the same day is that there is higher attendance at both, making them direct competitors and 'clever' business people would realise numbers may be up but so are the competitor numbers so separate dates are often more lucrative numbers wise. The other major issue is that traders who trade at both have split loyalties and have to decide where to trade (4 shows become 2) and some traders would then not be able to stock up on stuff they themselves need if trading at the other fair... Although numbers were up at both fairs when trading on the same weekend and the re-enactors like the ease of it, it can adversely affect traders just trying to make an honest living.

Would not want to put a dampener on any business idea, especially in this day and age but I would also hate for someone to work their proverbial behind off to find they get it kicked, as it were. :-/ Best of luck though :-)

Posted: Mon May 25, 2009 10:22 pm
by archerofthelevy
Cheers for the replies, most interesting!

Venue isnt an issue, looked at a hall of some 5000 sq metres the other day, Warwick Exhibition Centre is 2000 sq metres (approx) just to give you a scale comparison. It is also set up for large events with very large crowds expected.

All traders of all periods would be welcome and there is option to actually double the size of the floor space if required so event could be opened up to not only be a re-enactors market but an oppurtunity to "showcase" re-enactment for interested parties.

Access is superb, just off a motorway with train Station extremely close by.

Buying out the other markets would not be an option, however sitting down with both parties to discuss the options of working together would be.



Posted: Tue May 26, 2009 12:49 am
by Eric the well read
archerofthelevy wrote:
Buying out the other markets would not be an option, however sitting down with both parties to discuss the options of working together would be.
:shock: :roll:


Posted: Tue May 26, 2009 11:17 am
by G Cooley
Best of luck but can I suggest a few things you may like to consider.

On the assumption that you will advertise and attract lots of customers and therefore you need to attract traders.

- Why should traders support another event and further water down the customer base for other events? (There is only so many reenactors and hence a limited amount of money)
- Can they stay overnight and reduce travel and accommodation costs?
- Can they have access to a bar and good meals in the evening? (There is limited time to get a proper meal during the day.)
- If you open on a Friday have you thought why? (Any trader who also has a day job will need to take time off work to attend a 3 day show)
- Are you able to provide additional attractions and hence more visitors?
- Can you guarantee the pitch fees will be fair and reasonable?

Posted: Tue May 26, 2009 4:51 pm
by G Cooley
Just out of curiosity what is Centrally Located? I would class this as Birmingham area but as Haltwhistle claims to be the 'centre of britain' I just wondered.

Posted: Tue May 26, 2009 8:03 pm
by gregory23b
I have traded at both LHF and TORM, personally I feel we need choice rather than a mega market.

The best thing about either market is the relative smallness or hugeness (depends on your pov), too big and people never see enough. I hate massive events regardless of medieval or otherwise, too much to see too little time.

I would like to see a few more regional events, it costs wedge to travel to maybe buy something that you might see at an event.

Both LHF and TORM are very much social gatherings for traders and visitors alike, I feel a huge market would knock that on the head.

Due to work commitments I have no prospect of trading on a Friday at the moment, more's the pity.

Posted: Wed May 27, 2009 2:38 am
by Pete the Pong
My ha'porth?
It's one of those ideas where everyones opinion is right, even where they all differ!
But it is "location, location, location"!
IMHO, anywhere within 200 miles of Birmingham will be a complete non-starter as we have two well established major markets each running there twice a year. That is saturation point.
I know that a market in the North is alreay being seriously considered by an experienced organiser who works from that area, but there might just be a call for a market somewhere in the South. But then you would have to keep stall prices VERY cheap (or make them freebies to start with) in order to attract the estabished (and popular) traders who are already finding it a challenge in making a running profit at the current venues.
You'd have to throw a lot of cash at it to start with in order to get the event up and running -and be prepared to make a hefty loss for the first couple of years.
I'm not totally against the idea, but it would be a major risk on your part, and there is no guarantee whatsover that it would work. So unless you have resources that you are not letting us know about (and after all why should you???) you could stand to lose a great deal of money if you go for the wrong place and the wrong time!!!

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:21 am
by frances
Hi there,

I have traded at markets all over the place. For a trader it is very expensive to go to a market. Travel, accommodation, make goods and the cost of materials, time, some people hire helpers, some hire vans, some hire tents, insurance, damage to goods in transit or by customers, loss due to theft, the list of expenditure goes on and on. Then there are the arrangements to look after the pets, someone to make sure the post is put through the door, relatives to inform that you will be away, make sure that caravan or trailer is clean and working, get the car/van serviced, tyres checked, personal belongings organised, costume sorted and all the parts packed, etc

In the past I have been to new events where there were more stall-holders than customers. Infact at one there were three people in through the door - there were more people at the dog show in the building next door. I wanted to go there myself, but you never know, a customer might have walked through the door at any time. Most traders had packed up by 3.00pm in the afternoon.

Look, I wish you all the best, I really do. Every new event has to start somewhere. But you need to find a gap in the market and exploit that. Then you have a chance of success. Find something unique that noone else has thought of and everyone will support you.

Good Luck

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:12 pm
by Annie the Pedlar
As a Mop it's expensive to travel to the centre of Britain!
I vote for more regional markets, meself.

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:03 pm
by david smith
There are already two alternatives to the established markets which can offer an out of season trading opportunity for those who might relish another market or might prefer one that is more affordable.

These are the History Boot Camp in early April, at Phasels Wood near J20 of the M25 close to Hemel Hempstead, where traders get free pitches and always will do. It also has benefit of the Trollsbottom Bar, Caterers on site, and camping for three days with master classes as well as retail therapy in 96 acres of playground and all for just £23 for the entire shebang (some classes charge to cover materials).

And, if sufficient traders want to support it, a New Market at Cressing Temple with very cheap stand rents and pitch fees, and camping and bar etc, and only £4 per adult for the entire Friday evening through Sunday. So no accommodation costs, and subsidised beer. Space for an Arena, too. October 17th & 18th pencilled in.

Best wishes

Re: Re-Enactors Markets

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:26 pm
by Alan De Westwick
Hi Jason

Speaking to a number of people at the last TORM/ILHF I did hear that some one was considering starting a new market near Rytton-on-Dunsmore in direct competition with TORM. Do we know if this is still on or has it fallen through?

My own view is that during a deep recession few people like change, but when there are more punters with more cash to spend, then a big single market may offer traders the economy of scale to make it worthwhile.

Kind Regards

(see you at Berkeley with the Levy)

Re: Re-Enactors Markets

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:57 pm
by Tod
This thread is three years old, that must have taken some searching to find it.

Re: Re-Enactors Markets

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:04 pm
by david smith
Wow, I had no idea that threads this old still had a life, as it were!! Some things change and some remain the same :-)

Alan, check out the website at for details of the new "old" National Living History Fayre, same weekend as TORM but Sat & Sun only, with free admission for customers, who can camp cheaply, affordable stands for traders (from just £50), space for groups to use as training opportunity or shop window, discounts on camping for block bookings, brand new shower block, subsidised bar, decent catering, just off M45 near Dunchurch 9 miles from Ryton-on-Dunsmore.

And with 4,520 square metres of Indoor Arena (currently) and 1,000 acres, so space to grow.

Best wishes

Re: Re-Enactors Markets

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:55 pm
by Earl Mortimer
And if by magic. Lol:)

Re: Re-Enactors Markets

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:57 pm
by acecat999

how are you? must be years since we saw you last?


Re: Re-Enactors Markets

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:49 pm
by paste
Hi everyone,
I don't normally post on business subjects, but just to enlighten people on the difficulties of running an "out of season" Market - as the organiser of the International Living History Fair at Bruntingthorpe it is a major problem finding larger premises (in excess of 3,000 Sq Meters) at an affordable cost, unless you either push up trading pitch cost (not really going to work in the current economic climate), or charge a lot to the visitor to get in (means less cash to spend on goods from traders!).
The idea of putting 2 markets on the same weekend has been tried, both historically (pardon the pun!) and this November, and was a partial success, but not really a feasible business model.
I know what Jason is trying to achieve, and although a competitor, I think the idea is worth exploring. As a major competitor, rather than a "buy out", why not consider a business deal? There is no harm in starting a non-binding discussion for future possibilities?
If Traders would prefer to sell at a "Mega-Market" then why not canvas support - but from personal perspectives, the smaller the show, the easier to run and offer a choice in a nice environment to potential customers?
I have started to look at the regional market strategy, with locations in the South West, South East, and Central South of England, all at indoor market locations, together with a large multiperiod outdoor event in the summer to rival the EH Kelmarsh Event - The Chalke Valley History Festival - which in 2013 will also include the "International Napoleonic Fair". If your interested in trading to a large "historically minded" audience, then check out the website at
Look forward to hearing the traders perspectives on this subject - without them there is NO MARKET!
Best wishes
Dave Allan - Pike And Shot Events Limited

Re: Re-Enactors Markets

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:31 am
by hobbit1
hello, I would like to invite you to living history eshop :)

Re: Re-Enactors Markets

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:05 pm
by Foxy
Just my two-penneth as a punter but I concur with the regional market idea, I never have the time or money to make it all the way up to the middle of the country. That said herstmonceaux provides us southerners with the opportunity to be seperated from our money:)

Re: Re-Enactors Markets

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:25 am
by paste
Hi Folks,
Pike And Shot Events Limited has recently secured a major outdoor Event, with 7 days of Historical lectures & seminars, 2 days Educational presentations to visiting schools, and a 2 day multiperiod show. The dates are June 24th - 30th, with the main event happening on the weekend 29 - 30th June 2013.
The Chalke Valley History Festival will be well advertised, as it is sponsored by the Daily Mail and Waterstones, to just mention two.
Full details and trading registration forms will be available at the February International Living History Fair in just over a months time on Feb 22nd - 24th in our normal venue at Bruntingthorpe, near Lutterworth, Leicesrershire.
So, if you want to find out about an event that is beginning to rival several other multiperiod shows, check out
All the best for the season,
Dave Allan
Pike And Shot Events Limited

Re: Re-Enactors Markets

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:05 pm
by steve stanley
Different view here...I'd sooner the existing ones were further apart in date!
A) too much cost in a short period of time
B) Not all periods have traders at events..something in the season would be useful
ATM looks like we have 6 fairs within 4-5 months then Zilch.............

Re: Re-Enactors Markets

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:28 pm
by AndyandHelen
I'd like to make a request that someone PLEASE set a fair at the start if school holidays. TORM happens to occur in term time. In order to attend that event I had to make sure I got out quick as possible then catch the flight out on Friday night, hire a car for the weekend, and make sure I got back in time Sunday evening ready for a teaching day Monday. Oh and destinations and timetables are very very limited in both February and November to such an extent that I had to fly to Gatwick of all places in order to get to Coventry. The choice for East Midlands just makes it impossible. I'm sure that this might also be the case for other outremer folk wanting to attend UK fairs.

Re: Re-Enactors Markets

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:07 pm
by paste
Hi Andy & Helen
When you say organise a Market at "the start of School holidays" - do you mean in the Summer, Spring, or Autumn?
The ILHF tries to link into the February & October School Half Term holidays, but to hold an Event in the beginning of August or 2 weeks before in July, unless it is part of a major outdoor Event would be financial suicide.
If you want to find local Fairs, on a smaller scale, then there are certainly a number around during the Summer Holidays, and as previously reported, we are looking to expand our indoor markets to include other locations within the UK.
Hope this makes sense - just a point - what dates are YOUR school holidays, and are they the same as the UK?

Re: Re-Enactors Markets

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:42 pm
by Tod
Remember Scotland and England have different school holiday dates. Another problem is that venues tend to fill up doing school holiday time or increase their rates.