This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Columnist WiseWords


Well here we are again at, which for us in the trade, is the most exciting time of year - preparing for the Spring round of trade shows. In my case, of course that means


With Spring Fair just around the corner, David Metcalfe is taking his pre-show ‘preparation’ very seriously.


getting ready for the Spring Fair at the National Exhibition Centre. This is something that cannot be taken lightly as there are five days of great business opportunities to be explored (six if you happen to be in the business of volume gifts) and so I take preparation very seriously. You know my methods. Working those halls all day means that I have to be at the peak of my physical fitness, so I embark on a series of health-enhancing activities. First of all, I make sure that I do the


crossword every morning by an open window. This is an invigorating exercise which is good for the circulation, as is the stream of bad language coming from my wife, who feels the cold. Secondly, I walk to the pub rather than getting a lift, and when there take more water with it than usual, and so on. Following this rigorous routine for a month, I am usually ready for the


opening day of the Fair. This will be the 41st Spring Fair at


The NEC, which means that the Centre itself will be marking the 40th anniversary of its opening. Quite how this significant milestone will be commemorated is, at the time of writing, unclear, if there are to be commemorations at all. Perhaps there are extensive celebrations planned, and the nature of them not yet been vouchsafed to your humble correspondent, but we shall see. If it were a wedding anniversary, of course, it would be a ruby one, but it is difficult to see how that would be translated into a jubilee for a collection of exhibition halls. Maybe an announcement over the public address system; people could then look at each other and say ‘blimey’. It would drive them giddy with excitement. I have much respect for the present


day management team at the NEC who have done much to improve the lot of exhibitors and visitors alike, and so I am sure that this momentous landmark will not have escaped their notice.


from David Metcalfe


Perhaps they have utilised the creative powerhouse which is the British giftware industry to mark the occasion – perhaps special greetings cards, personalised gift items like teddy bears, or a chess set with pieces made to represent buyers and sellers. Surely our great ceramic industry must be harnessed to produce commemorative pieces (I do actually own a Royal Worcester dish which was, apparently, produced to mark the 1984 International Spring Fair, and which I bought in a charity shop in Dorking for £1).


The anticipation is almost more than


I can bear, but I shall have to be patient. I have always looked forward to the first day of the Spring Fair, as all that is new and fresh in our industry can be seen there, and it reminds me why I cannot imagine being in any other industry. The annual wave of creativity on display is why we do what we do. I look forward to seeing you there,


and I wish you a very happy and prosperous 2016.


David Metcalfe


14 Giftware Review & Home Interiors January / February 2016


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132