Volume 61, Number 1, January 2024
On the move AFTER nearly 20 years at the Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury, the London Coin Fair (LCF) is on the move and will, from June, be held at the Novotel West London, Hammersmith. The new venue is a mere stroll from the two Hammersmith tube stations that are served by the Hammersmith & City and Circle Lines and the Piccadilly and District Lines respectively, so it’s ideal for those travelling in by train. With a 240 space carpark on site—and being outside the congestion charge zone—it’s perfect for those of us coming in by car too (with the best will in the world, we can’t bring our stock of books up by train!). The location is just one reason for the change of venue though, with others including the unloading/loading facilities for dealers (take it from us, Bloomsbury is not ideal for that) and, most importantly, the fact that the show’s new home will allow all the dealers to stall out in one room. Presently, the London Coin Fair is split across two levels with the main room and corridors downstairs only representing half of what’s on offer; the rest of the dealers are upstairs and, apparently, do get overlooked on occasions with customers simply forgetting they are there! That may sound daft but almost every other coin fair in the UK is on one level, in one, or maybe two, interlinking rooms and it is all too easy to forget that the main room at the LCF isn’t the only attraction. From a business point of view, it is easy for dealers to wander round when everything is on one level, looking to see what others have on offer and glancing occasionally back to their own tables to see if they are needed, but when they have to go to another part of the building entirely things become a little more complicated. Bringing everything into one room will change that and there is no doubt that the decision will prove popular amongst the trade—but what of the public? Will they embrace it as readily? Only time will tell on that one of course. Inevitably, there will be those who don’t want to head west and would rather the show stayed put, but then there are always those who don’t like change regardless of what it is. I am sure that for every one person that doesn’t want to visit Hammersmith there will be someone else who hasn’t wanted to head into town to go to Bloomsbury, and before that didn’t want to go to the Cumberland Hotel, and before that the Café Royal! You simply can’t please all of the people all of the time, but I do hope this move will please more people than it upsets. It shouldn’t really upset anyone, there are huge plusses all round, and whilst it may make for slightly longer journeys for those coming from the east, Hammersmith’s proximity to the M4 means that it’s easier to head round the M25 and up than ever it was crossing London. Certainly from our point of view it’s a godsend, it used to take us an hour of sitting in traffic on a Friday evening to get from the Hammersmith area to the Bloomsbury hotel and so we couldn’t be happier—we just hope others share our enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is what is needed of course, not just for the London Coin Fair but for Huddersfield, York, Harrogate, Coinex, Cardiff et al, not to mention the coin clubs and numismatic societies. The enthusiasm to actually get up off of the sofa, head out into the big wide world and make an effort to attend these things. You don’t have to, you can sit inside and browse the web, collecting by never leaving the comfort of your own home—it’s easy to do that these days and I fully understand why people do it, but if everyone collects like that, if the enthusiasm for attending fairs (wherever they might be) or clubs etc. wanes, then fairs and clubs just won’t exist anymore. Take it from me, the coin hobby won’t disappear if the shows and clubs do, but it will be a lot poorer for their loss. So, I hope that next month when the last London Coin Fair at the Bloomsbury Holiday Inn is held on February 3, and in the summer when the first London Coin Fair at the Novotel West London, Hammersmith, takes place on June 1, there will be record attendances at both. Show the organisers that you support their efforts, show them that you appreciate what they are doing to keep fairs alive and kicking in the 21st century, for without your enthusiasm these things just won’t survive and that would, I think, be a tragedy. That being the case, I trust we’ll see you in London in February and, before that, at the York Show on January 19–20. Happy New Year everybody!
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