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Antiques News Blog

In conversation with Edward & Jennie Cruttenden Sandown Antiques

In conversation with Edward and Jennie Cruttenden, Sunbury Antiques.

We talk to this hard working young couple on the eve of the launch of Sandown Park Antiques Market on Tuesday 3 April 2018

Antiques News & Fairs - Kempton Antiques Market

Edward and Jennie Cruttenden - Sandown Antiques


ANF:  You are the second generation owners of Sunbury Antiques Market, known in the trade as 'Kempton' - the longest running twice monthly antiques market in the country - 39 years and counting!  Your late mother Sue Cruttenden left a huge legacy for you to fulfil – how hard has this been for you as a young couple?

EC: Yeah it’s been hard at times especially after losing Mum so suddenly but knowing what Mum wanted which was to continue the legacy of what she had built up and established over the years I think it has made us even stronger and more determined. What has also helped tremendously is the support of family, friends and the supporters of Kempton itself.

ANF:  Edward: you must feel that the antiques trade runs in your veins having grown up around the fair.  Tell us about your childhood spending time with your mother at the fair.

EC: Having grown up with Kempton it’s in my DNA which reflects in the passion we both have for the fair. One of my earliest memories was at a Church Hall in Streatham (South London) where Mum used to have a stall at an antiques fair. It was here that Mum got the idea of running her own antiques market. As well as Kempton Park in the 80’s Mum used to run an Antiques Market at a squash club in West Byfleet, Surrey. One of our traders, who’s still at Kempton today, remembers the fair with fond memories and jokes. He joked the other day: "it wasn’t even that big but the lunches were amazing".

Antiques News & Fairs - Kempton Antiques Market

Kempton Antiques Market

My earliest memory at Kempton was helping out before school. Mum used to pin a 'Poter' sign to my back and I would help carry stall holders’ stock in. Obviously being so small the ladies would often feel sorry for me and just let me carry their handbags for them and give me 20p!

ANF:  Jennie: when you married Edward you married the lifestyle – what has it been like being married to the fair?

JC:  Edward and myself were together for about eight years before he popped the question. During this time I was working as a PA for a fashion company but was always interested to hear stories of the fair and visited many times myself. I helped out in the office when I had some spare time and Sue asked if I would be interested working for Sunbury Antiques, the rest is history. I’ve met so many interesting people along the way. Sunbury Antiques has become a way of life and I couldn’t imagine life without it.

Antiques News & Fairs - Kempton Antiques Market

Kempton Antiques Market

ANF: The big news this year is your acquisition of the Sandown Park Racecourse event which will run on the first Tuesday of every month from the launch on Tuesday 3 April.  How will this event compare with Sunbury which runs second and last Tuesday of each month?


EC: Sandown Park as venue is a little different in comparison with Kempton Park both physically and trade wise. Feedback from dealers who traded at Sandown say it attracts many private buyers. Thus being able to attract the trade from Kempton but also continuing to concentrate on the private buyers we are very much looking forward to a long and established future at both venues where each can complement the other but having something different in turn to offer.

Antiques News & Fairs - Kempton Antiques Market

Kempton Antiques Market

ANF: You have events 3 times a month throughout the year – do you have a good team to help out and do you both manage to delegate easily?

E&JC: We are extremely fortunate to have a great team which who has worked with us for many years at Kempton thus know the traders and understand how we want the Market to work and feel. Many are close friends of the family and have worked with us since the very early days of Sunbury Antiques. This is important as it helps maintain the personal level and consistency of service which our customers and supporters of Sunbury Antiques appreciate. Having this relationship with our team and their understanding of the fair enables all of us to communicate on one level. 

ANF: Do you manage to visit any other fairs around the country to see how the competition is doing?  Which events have inspired you in the past?

EC:  I have in the past visited many of the fairs but nowadays purely focus all our time and efforts on the job in hand at Kempton and Sandown. I still like to keep an ear to the ground as to what is happening around and read what is happening in the press but just as valuable to us is talking to the traders and customers who trade up and down the country and abroad at other fairs.

I honestly take inspiration from what Mum achieved at Kempton - I know it sounds a bit of a cliché but it’s true. Starting out with twelve stalls and now 39 years later being recognised as one of Europe’s premier antique fairs takes some beating!

ANF: Given the size of the fair is it easy for you to know what it being bought and sold and do you hear of which important pieces are found at the fair and then turn up at top London shows or showrooms?

EC:  Obviously due the size of the fair it’s difficult to follow exactly what is being sold but I always make time to walk around and see what’s happening. I often speak with the on-site shippers and see what their clients are buying which gives me a good idea of trends as many of their customers are from famous large London stores. A friend who works for film studios always keeps me updated on who is buying for the next big movie which is always exciting. 

ANF: How important is the free admission and free parking to your brand? 

ECHuge - it’s been our policy since day one.  Why should we charge people to come and spend money at our events? I don’t get charged to go into Marks & Spencer’s to do my shopping. We want to encourage everyone to come and enjoy the markets so offering free parking and admission is basic stuff.

ANF: What is the breakdown of countries your visitors are from?  We know Sunbury is a huge favourite with the UK trade who come armed with torches for the early hour entry, but what about European and US and Asian trade?

EC: Over the years we have seen an increase in traders from mainland Europe coming to Sunbury and now accounting for roughly 10% of all our trade. Now also with the Euro and US Dollar gaining against the Pound over the past year we are seeing a huge increase in overseas visitors returning especially as you mention from Asia. Just the other day a lady came into the office and left a present for Jennie to thank her as they had been chatting over email, it turned out she was visiting from Tokyo.

ANF: Do you have facilities for groups of buyers – shippers on site and couriers?

EC:  We have over the years seen an increase in organised buying trips from both home and overseas so have various systems in place to accommodate large groups or tour coaches. On the first floor of the Main Grandstand we have a restaurant with free wi-fi, comfy seating as well as both inside and outside seating areas providing great views across Kempton which is a welcome haven after a long day on your feet.  Also on-site are professional carriers who provide national and international delivery services.

ANF: You have an excellent national press presence and we hear that a number of celebrities are frequent visitors – do you know who they are or do they come incognito?

EC: Obviously many come in under the radar so to speak which is one of reasons we don’t allow filming as many of these individuals are very private people and we in turn respect their privacy. Some celebrities though are quite happy to pose for selfies or post pictures on social media like Richard E. Grant did and Paloma Faith actually spoke to a stall holder’s daughters over the phone because they wouldn’t get out of bed for school… very funny.

ANF: When you do get some time off how do you unwind?

E&JC:  This is a must for us being hugely important to be able to switch off and re-charge. We both enjoy travel, the great outdoors, restaurants and cooking. Socialising with family and friends is high on the agenda which is why we encourage one another to hit the gym, run and sign ourselves up for Tough Mudder & Wolf Run events with friends. Though there is nothing better than a night in on the sofa with Netflix and large glass of Red.


Antiques News & Fairs - Kempton Antiques Market

Kempton Antiques Market



Antiques News Blog

In conversation with Edward & Jennie Cruttenden Sandown Antiques

In conversation with Edward and Jennie Cruttenden, Sunbury Antiques.

We talk to this hard working young couple on the eve of the launch of Sandown Park Antiques Market on Tuesday 3 April 2018

Antiques News & Fairs - Kempton Antiques Market

Edward and Jennie Cruttenden - Sandown Antiques


ANF:  You are the second generation owners of Sunbury Antiques Market, known in the trade as 'Kempton' - the longest running twice monthly antiques market in the country - 39 years and counting!  Your late mother Sue Cruttenden left a huge legacy for you to fulfil – how hard has this been for you as a young couple?

EC: Yeah it’s been hard at times especially after losing Mum so suddenly but knowing what Mum wanted which was to continue the legacy of what she had built up and established over the years I think it has made us even stronger and more determined. What has also helped tremendously is the support of family, friends and the supporters of Kempton itself.

ANF:  Edward: you must feel that the antiques trade runs in your veins having grown up around the fair.  Tell us about your childhood spending time with your mother at the fair.

EC: Having grown up with Kempton it’s in my DNA which reflects in the passion we both have for the fair. One of my earliest memories was at a Church Hall in Streatham (South London) where Mum used to have a stall at an antiques fair. It was here that Mum got the idea of running her own antiques market. As well as Kempton Park in the 80’s Mum used to run an Antiques Market at a squash club in West Byfleet, Surrey. One of our traders, who’s still at Kempton today, remembers the fair with fond memories and jokes. He joked the other day: "it wasn’t even that big but the lunches were amazing".

Antiques News & Fairs - Kempton Antiques Market

Kempton Antiques Market

My earliest memory at Kempton was helping out before school. Mum used to pin a 'Poter' sign to my back and I would help carry stall holders’ stock in. Obviously being so small the ladies would often feel sorry for me and just let me carry their handbags for them and give me 20p!

ANF:  Jennie: when you married Edward you married the lifestyle – what has it been like being married to the fair?

JC:  Edward and myself were together for about eight years before he popped the question. During this time I was working as a PA for a fashion company but was always interested to hear stories of the fair and visited many times myself. I helped out in the office when I had some spare time and Sue asked if I would be interested working for Sunbury Antiques, the rest is history. I’ve met so many interesting people along the way. Sunbury Antiques has become a way of life and I couldn’t imagine life without it.

Antiques News & Fairs - Kempton Antiques Market

Kempton Antiques Market

ANF: The big news this year is your acquisition of the Sandown Park Racecourse event which will run on the first Tuesday of every month from the launch on Tuesday 3 April.  How will this event compare with Sunbury which runs second and last Tuesday of each month?


EC: Sandown Park as venue is a little different in comparison with Kempton Park both physically and trade wise. Feedback from dealers who traded at Sandown say it attracts many private buyers. Thus being able to attract the trade from Kempton but also continuing to concentrate on the private buyers we are very much looking forward to a long and established future at both venues where each can complement the other but having something different in turn to offer.

Antiques News & Fairs - Kempton Antiques Market

Kempton Antiques Market

ANF: You have events 3 times a month throughout the year – do you have a good team to help out and do you both manage to delegate easily?

E&JC: We are extremely fortunate to have a great team which who has worked with us for many years at Kempton thus know the traders and understand how we want the Market to work and feel. Many are close friends of the family and have worked with us since the very early days of Sunbury Antiques. This is important as it helps maintain the personal level and consistency of service which our customers and supporters of Sunbury Antiques appreciate. Having this relationship with our team and their understanding of the fair enables all of us to communicate on one level. 

ANF: Do you manage to visit any other fairs around the country to see how the competition is doing?  Which events have inspired you in the past?

EC:  I have in the past visited many of the fairs but nowadays purely focus all our time and efforts on the job in hand at Kempton and Sandown. I still like to keep an ear to the ground as to what is happening around and read what is happening in the press but just as valuable to us is talking to the traders and customers who trade up and down the country and abroad at other fairs.

I honestly take inspiration from what Mum achieved at Kempton - I know it sounds a bit of a cliché but it’s true. Starting out with twelve stalls and now 39 years later being recognised as one of Europe’s premier antique fairs takes some beating!

ANF: Given the size of the fair is it easy for you to know what it being bought and sold and do you hear of which important pieces are found at the fair and then turn up at top London shows or showrooms?

EC:  Obviously due the size of the fair it’s difficult to follow exactly what is being sold but I always make time to walk around and see what’s happening. I often speak with the on-site shippers and see what their clients are buying which gives me a good idea of trends as many of their customers are from famous large London stores. A friend who works for film studios always keeps me updated on who is buying for the next big movie which is always exciting. 

ANF: How important is the free admission and free parking to your brand? 

ECHuge - it’s been our policy since day one.  Why should we charge people to come and spend money at our events? I don’t get charged to go into Marks & Spencer’s to do my shopping. We want to encourage everyone to come and enjoy the markets so offering free parking and admission is basic stuff.

ANF: What is the breakdown of countries your visitors are from?  We know Sunbury is a huge favourite with the UK trade who come armed with torches for the early hour entry, but what about European and US and Asian trade?

EC: Over the years we have seen an increase in traders from mainland Europe coming to Sunbury and now accounting for roughly 10% of all our trade. Now also with the Euro and US Dollar gaining against the Pound over the past year we are seeing a huge increase in overseas visitors returning especially as you mention from Asia. Just the other day a lady came into the office and left a present for Jennie to thank her as they had been chatting over email, it turned out she was visiting from Tokyo.

ANF: Do you have facilities for groups of buyers – shippers on site and couriers?

EC:  We have over the years seen an increase in organised buying trips from both home and overseas so have various systems in place to accommodate large groups or tour coaches. On the first floor of the Main Grandstand we have a restaurant with free wi-fi, comfy seating as well as both inside and outside seating areas providing great views across Kempton which is a welcome haven after a long day on your feet.  Also on-site are professional carriers who provide national and international delivery services.

ANF: You have an excellent national press presence and we hear that a number of celebrities are frequent visitors – do you know who they are or do they come incognito?

EC: Obviously many come in under the radar so to speak which is one of reasons we don’t allow filming as many of these individuals are very private people and we in turn respect their privacy. Some celebrities though are quite happy to pose for selfies or post pictures on social media like Richard E. Grant did and Paloma Faith actually spoke to a stall holder’s daughters over the phone because they wouldn’t get out of bed for school… very funny.

ANF: When you do get some time off how do you unwind?

E&JC:  This is a must for us being hugely important to be able to switch off and re-charge. We both enjoy travel, the great outdoors, restaurants and cooking. Socialising with family and friends is high on the agenda which is why we encourage one another to hit the gym, run and sign ourselves up for Tough Mudder & Wolf Run events with friends. Though there is nothing better than a night in on the sofa with Netflix and large glass of Red.


Antiques News & Fairs - Kempton Antiques Market

Kempton Antiques Market