Middlesbrough Record Fair


Now I have to confess at the outset of this piece that I have never been to a record fair much to the chagrin of Steve who very rarely misses one.

I had no idea what to expect but was pleasantly surprised, held in the Crypt at Middlesbrough Town Hall this was the first one held for a while because the big one at Christmas had to be cancelled due to some little virus that was knocking around.

Organised by Gary of Betterdaze Records in Northallerton we paid our two pounds entry fee and were confronted with a vinyl collectors paradise.

Fifty traders in place literally thousands of records of all genres and price range. Most sellers had 12 inch albums but there was a poster and memorabilia stall, a stall with cd’s and another concentrating on 7 inch singles.

Mark Williams from Yarm was doing some fine acrylic painting with portraits of Bruce Springsteen and Jimi Hendrix for sale and George Harrison in progress on the canvas.

We also bumped into Tony a Boro vinyl legend who was on this occasion buying and not selling. Steve and I remember him selling us albums well over 40 years ago when he would walk into the pubs of Middlesbrough with an armful of records.

Bill Aitken a retired teacher has been selling records for 15 years, he told me he does a record fair almost every weekend and rates Midlesbrough the best, he usually has around 2,000 albums for sale.

He picked out King Crimson – In The Court Of The Crimson King for the Press On Vinyl collection and rates Richard Thompson as his all time favourite artist.

Mike Wallbank has been selling records for 47 years and has over 8,000 albums, he usually sticks to the Middlesbrough and Northallerton fairs and also picked out Richard Thompson as his favourite artist.

His selection for Press On was First Light by Richard and Linda Thompson.

Finally I spoke to Eddie McKay who had travelled up from Huddersfield where he runs Vinyl Tap records. He’s been in business since 1986 and has over 200,000 items in stock.

His favourite record fair is Reading and his favourite artist is Tori Amos (not Richard Thompson very strange).

He picked out Prefab Sprout – From Langley Park To Memphis as his Press On selection a particular favourite of both Steve and me.

We were a little under budget so I asked Steve to make a selection and since he couldn’t find any Coldplay he picked out Los Lobos – How Will The Wolf Survive.

In summation anyone who wants to add to or even start their vinyl collection I would highly recommend a visit to a record fair, very friendly and something for everyone.

Now for the hardest task of the day dragging Steve away from the vinyl.
P.S. Steve hates Coldplay

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