Collecting Articles and Features

Lilliput Lane and Border Fine Arts Collectors Fair 2000

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The two day Lilliput Lane and Border Fine Arts Collectors Fair 2000 took place on the 17th and 18th June, the two hottest days of the year so far in the UK.

Lilliput Lane and Border Fine Arts Collectors Fair 2000
Lilliput Lane and Border Fine Arts Collectors Fair 2000

Jane Hall, Marketing Director estimated that about 7,000 collectors visited the fair, which took place at Syon Park with the fabulous Syon House as its backdrop. Syon Park, is the London home of the Duke of Northumberland. Syon House itself is built on the site of a medieval abbey dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539. The park was later landscaped by Capability Brown in the 18th century and within the grounds there is a Doric column bearing Flora, goddess of flowers, a Rose Garden and over 200 species of rare trees.

The Great Conservatory, whose centre section was the basis of the Lilliput Lane special event model was built by the third Duke. The special event model was available on the day, but had to be pre-ordered.

There were a large number of attractions and entertainment laid on around the fair including the exciting Devil’s Horsemen Cossack Stunt Riding Team  who delighted the crowds with their display. On the Sunday, the Pipes and Drums of the Royal Gurkha Rifles (pictured left – click image for more detail) performed around the site instead of the main arena. The Diehard Company VMS (pictured right – click image for more detail) trained in full regalia. Also on site was Bill Brookman’s Amazing Victorian Street Theatre, and a Living Victorian Street Scene complete with Victorian crafts demonstrations and street players.

As usual for Lilliput Lane collectors, there were the usual assortment of activities including: Paint Your Own, competitions, demonstrations, exhibitions, and founder David Tate was at hand to answer questions and sign autographs. Steve and Kathy Rosson are pictured left (click image for more detail) with their family in the Paint Your Own Tent, which this year featured a new model Summer Sunday. Steve and Kathy Rosson had travelled from California to attend the event, and were having a ‘wonderful day out’.

It’s nice to put a face to a cottage and several Lilliput Lane sculptors were at hand demonstrating their skills. Pictured right is Jack Missekbrook (click image for more detail) who latest collection is the Snow Place Like Home Collection which features a charming series of snowed cottages, all with a Frosty the Snowman character. These have only just been released in the June introductions.

Pictured left is David Tate wearing his familiar straw hat, along with World Collectors Net founder Darryl Kirk (click image for more detail) .

Lilliput Lane founder David Tate with World Collectors Net founder Darryl Kirk
Lilliput Lane founder David Tate with World Collectors Net founder Darryl Kirk

Viv Marston and Don Gibson, writers of The Pocket Guide to Lilliput Lane were also in attendance promoting, signing and selling the second edition of their price guide. This really is a great little book, with excellent pictures of nearly everything Lilliput Lane have ever produced. The prices seem a touch high, but an invaluable resource all the same. Viv Martson is pictured right (click image for more detail) .

For Border Fine Arts collectors there was a production exhibition of a Border Fine Arts figurine, a Sculpting exhibition by among others master sculptor Ray Ayres, a complete Border Fine Arts collection on display and a Museum of retired Border Fine Arts. Other events included a static bird of prey display, and the
Hydestile Animal Hospital, as well as talks. Pictured left is Ray Ares (click image for more detail) who was demonstrating his amazing talent throughtout the two days. Also pictured right is leading painter Drew Weatherstone (click image for more detail) , painting a new model called Hay Cutting Starts Today.

Outside of the fair’s activities Syon Park was a spectacular venue and has several other attractions which collectors had the chance to visit including: The London Butterfly House (which contains species of live tropical butterflies), The Aquatic Experience (which features endangered species of fish, reptiles and amphibians) and The Syon Park Farm Shop.

Combining the event with two collectables was a great idea – everyone we spoke to had a wonderful time and were impressed by the organisation and range of events and activities available. Hopefully, some existing Lilliput Lane collectors will have found a new hobby and vice versa. As to next years show – it is still to be decided. We spoke to Sandra Tate who said normally everything had been arranged but so far a venue had to be decided. In the Lilliput Lane collectors tent, the club was asking for ideas and a vote was in progress to find a favoured region.

At the time of leaving t he votes were: North East – 1, North West – 2, West Midlands – 3, East Midlands – 16, Home Counties – 9, South West – 8, South East – 30, Scotland – 3, Wales – 2, Northern Ireland – 1. Also suggested were Australia,  USA and New Zealand.

Lilliput Lane Cottages history and background
Lilliput Lane Price Guide – Secondary Market Guide

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