All the fun of the Fayre
Luke G. Williams
One of the highlights in the calendar of any self-respecting boxing collector is the annual 'Boxing Memorabilia Fayre' run by Chas and Kymberly Taylor, which takes place this Saturday 15 October from 1.30-5.30pm at Dick Collins Hall in north London.
The Fayre features a kaleidoscope of stalls selling all sorts of boxing related memorabilia, from books, photos and prints to autographs, magazines, programmes and robes. Many of the stall holders return year after year to enjoy the experience of meeting and conversing with fellow pugilistic aficionados.
"We allow boxing memorabilia of all sorts," explained Kymberly in conversation with Boxing Monthly. "What the stall holders do with it is up to them, whether they swap or sell, but we do not allow 'punters' to bring in stuff to try and sell or swap, they have to take a stall."
Kymberly then outlined how the Fayre began. "We started the Fayre in 1998. Chas and I are founder members of the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, which we have visited every year for 27 years. They put on a similar event on and still do. In 1998 we put on the first and only International Boxing Awards ever held in the UK, in conjunction with the British Boxing Board of Control - we had a vast amount of American Boxers and old timers at that event so we put on the Fayre the same weekend.
"I was secretary of Lonsdale, and up until 2007, we put on the BBBofC awards every year on the Sunday with our Fayre on the Saturday, along with all our own functions at the Lonsdale Sporting Club.
"We have had numerous boxers attend the Fayre over the years. When we used to put the whole weekend on, we of course had boxers coming that were being awarded on the Sunday, The BBBo C and LEBA [London Ex-Boxers Association] both take a stall every year We have had John H Stracey, Terry Marsh, Colin McMillan and Herol Graham take stalls in the past and present.
"True boxing fans know about the Fayre, through word of mouth or through the adverts Chas puts in Boxing Monthly, we are not funded by any one," Kymberly points out. "Ringside [on SKY TV] plugged us one year. Chas pays for it all himself and the stall money goes towards the hiring of the Hall. Anyone who has not attended before is missing out on a really great day, every one leaves the Fayre happy and "on a high" - that is something that has been said many, many times."
When asked to sum up the atmosphere at the Fayre, Kymberly told me: "You have been there, so you know what the atmosphere is like! It is a very happy, lively day where boxers old and new get together and have a drink and a chat, some haven't seen each other for years, and make it their regular yearly meet."
Having indeed attended last year to sell copies of my book Richmond Unchained, I can back up Kymberly's words 100 per cent; the Fayre is a wonderful occasion, full of friendly and fascinating folk and I highly recommend that any boxing fan who is free on Saturday afternoon should pay a visit.
The Annual Boxing Memorabilia Fayre is on Saturday 15 October, at Dick Collins Hall, Redhill Street, London, NW1 4DJ from 1.30-5.30pm. There is free parking all day, and a licensed bar selling drinks and snacks. For enquiries and information, phone Kymberly or Chas on 01707 654 677 or 07956 912 741, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org